I'm a flight attendant and you're using the call button completely wrong – we hate you for it too | The Sun01/11/2023
FLIGHT attendants have revealed how passengers misuse the call button on planes and why they hate them for doing it.
Some people assume that the button is for them to press when they need a drink, or something else from the cabin crew, but they have other ideas.
Some flight attendants say the button should only ever be pressed by window passengers who don't want to disturb other people in their row, while others would only like it to be used in emergencies.
In a thread on Reddit, crew members explained why passengers often use the button incorrectly and said when it is acceptable for it to be used.
One said that it shouldn't be used to order drinks, unless you're stuck next to the window.
They wrote: "I would prefer people to come to the back for drink requests etc but I understand if it’s a window seat passenger.
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"But if someone is ringing it over and over again for drink requests I’m gonna get annoyed.
"Sorry, if you need that much water you should have bought a bottle at the airport."
Another said it should only be used for medical emergencies.
They added: "It should only be used in emergencies.
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"If you need a trash bag in case you’re going to vomit, may need medical attention, person beside you isn’t well. Things of that nature."
Other crew members said that passengers will sometimes use the button to get rubbish cleared from their seat, which is not its intended use.
One said: "Don’t ring it for trash because I will look at you and say that I don’t have a trash bag and I’ll be sure not to come back until I have to."
Another commented: "Trash would bother me because we’re (my airline) supposed to collect trash every 15-20 minutes and we’re usually very consistent about it."
Passengers are also guilty of pressing the call button at really bad moments, like when the plane is landing, or during dangerous conditions.
One flight attendant said: "Don’t push it if there’s turbulence unless it’s a medical emergency."
A second added: "I had someone ding me after we had secured the cabin for landing, then complained about the slow service."
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants agreed, telling The Point's Guy: "Don’t use the call button to ask for a drink. As a general rule, don’t think of the call button as your vodka-tonic button."
Instead, crew advise going up to staff in the galley if wanting something like a drink or a blanket.
That hasn't stopped plenty of passengers pressing the button when they shouldn't have.
One was left embarrassed after he was shamed by flight attendants – but other people say he did nothing wrong.
He said: "I recently took an international flight was asleep at 5pm when they brought the hot meals.
"I woke up at 5:45pm and realized I missed my opportunity, so I hit my flight attendant call button to see if they could possible bring me any extras?
"The flight attendant very nicely let me know that she would, but that the call button was for emergencies only, she then proceeded to get on the intercom and let everyone know that the call button was in fact for emergencies only (but she did bring my food).
"I felt a little 'called out' and people around me definitely noticed."
However, people were on his side, saying that the button isn't only needed for emergencies.
One person wrote: "Um I don’t think it’s for emergencies. I’ve used it to get a blanket before. The flight attendant had no issue."
Meanwhile, some flight attendants have even said you will get worse service if you use the call button.
Here are some of the secret buttons and handles you never knew existed on a plane.
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