Overhead call buttons on aircrafts should only be used at specific times of the flight and are best avoided for all non-urgent purposes, cabin crew members have warned.
Aside from being a nuisance to fight attendants, the overhead consoles represent a safety risk when pressed at the wrong time.
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, told The Points 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. »
Stewardess Kat Kamalani endorses this view, explaining that the button can cause a “huge safety concern” when pressed at certain times during a flight.
Previously speaking on TikTok, the flight attendant noted: “If you’re doing these two things on an aircraft, you shouldn’t anymore. If you hit your flight attendant call light button.
« If we’re on the tarmac, or if we’re going up or down on the aircraft […] it’s a huge safety issue for us as we could get injured. »
She went on: “Don’t hit this button if you need a barf bag, blanket, water, headphones, food, or any of that stuff, because your flight attendant won’t be so happy.”
Writing on a Delta Air Lines Reddit forum, one regular flyer asking for examples of when using the button is « considered rude » and was offered several tips by an expert.
Redditor Juneballon, who claims to be a flight attendant, listed several occasions when it is deemed inappropriate.
They explained that pressing the button to ask for a « Sprite or a cookie » while flight cabin crew are tending to a medical problem is a major faux pas.
Flight attendants become equally frustrated when a customer rings the bell just so that they can dispose of rubbish, added the Redditor.
“It makes me feel like a human trash can,” they noted, adding: “Just hold onto it or put it in the seat pocket until we come around with a bag.”
Another poor habit is asking for headphones at the wrong time, as flight attendants specifically walk the length of the aircraft at the start of every flight to make sure the headsets are distributed.
Because call bells are primarily designated for emergencies, few occasions when pressing the call button is acceptable exist.
Parents travelling with younger children, for instance, are entitled to use the button if they needed help exiting their seats.
“It may be that you’re a mother and you have an infant in your arms, and you need some help – it’s difficult for you to get up and you need assistance, » explained Juneballon.
Equally, the button can be useful when a flight attendant is trying to identify where a passenger is sitting in case they need to be notified of a speedy flight connection upon landing.