Whether it’s to keep their jobs or to maintain the peace, there are some things that airline workers just can’t tell travellers.
But sharing some of these things, while perhaps controversial, could be to their, your, and other passengers’ benefit, if only someone would say something.
So Business Insider asked more than 80 airline workers including flight attendants, gate agents, ticket agents, and other airport customer service reps to weigh in on what they’d love to tell passengers but can’t.
We’ve anonymously included some of the more constructive insights here:
'I'm tasked with carrying out the rules and regulations set forth by FAA. I risk a possible fine if I don't do what I am tasked to do. There is always a reason we say the things we say.' -- A flight attendant
'Different airlines have different rules, but a change or upgrade can get you fired these days. And it's not worth our jobs. The airline computer system tracks everything, and big brother can be watching us.' -- An airline customer service agent
'You're venting, which is fine. But it won't change anything. Speak to the folks who make the decisions and the big bucks. We didn't choose the wifi system. We didn't choose the leg room. We didn't choose to charge for certain things. I'd love to have it all free and roomy and completely reliable!' -- A flight attendant
'You are sitting next to a Federal Air Marshal, so put away that tequila you bought in Duty Free.' -- A flight attendant
'Cutting your toenails, flossing your teeth, putting on nail polish, and talking loudly on your cell phone shouldn't be done in public in the gate areas while you're waiting for your flight.' -- An airline customer service agent
'If you show up to the airport with 20 minutes to spare, you might miss the flight. It is not like taking the bus. Plan ahead.' -- An airline customer service agent
'If it seems like we are forgetting about you, we are not. We just have minimum crew. Usually we are staffed with one flight attendant for every 50 passengers. We need better staffing.' -- A flight attendant
'No, we don't have spare aeroplanes to use if there is a cancellation.' -- An airline customer service agent
'We are 30,000 feet in the air -- we have what we have today.' -- A flight attendant
'Inexperienced international travellers don't realise the size of taxis and public transportation in the cities they are visiting. That extra-large suitcase is not going to fit in a trunk of a cab. And you might often have to walk a distance to your hotel, which means dragging all your luggage with you. You really can get by with less when you travel.' -- An airline customer service agent
'Don't keep bugging the gate agents with questions they have already answered in their announcements'
'They are working with a time crunch, and all those extra questions are keeping them from doing their work.' -- An airline customer service agent
'US law requires compliance with lighted and posted signs and crew member instructions.' -- A flight attendant
'It is never OK to tug on someone's clothes to get their attention, no matter how loud the environment may be.' -- A flight attendant
'Travellers think we are being rude when we tell them, 'No, you can't do what you want to.' We tell them no because we are enforcing the rules that have been made up by our company, not by us personally. The rules are there for a reason -- not to make travelling harder but to make it safer.' -- An airline customer service agent
'If you threaten us, you can be arrested. We will call the police, and you will not fly. The punishment for assaulting us is a fine of up to $US250,000 and up to 10 years in prison.' -- An airline customer service agent
'The galley is our only work area, and we have nowhere else to go because our seats are in the galley by the doors.' -- A flight attendant
'I'm not your maid or your waitress or your babysitter, either.' -- A flight attendant
'Treat me right, and you will get the best I can give you.' -- An airline customer service agent
'You get more with honey than with vinegar.' -- An airline customer service agent
'A lot of people just don't know. They think, 'I'll order a glass of ice, and a thing of tonic, and we'll just open up the bar.' It's a big no-no. That's just bad etiquette, and it's a huge Federal Aviation regulation and up to an $US11,000 fine. It's a very expensive drink, so just don't do it.' -- A flight attendant
'You're not the only person here.' -- An airline customer service agent
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