As a former flight attendant, I have seen many travelers take offense to a flight attendant’s request to follow an airline rule. I can honestly say that flight attendants do not try to make passengers unhappy. In contrast, happy passengers make for a comfortable flight for everyone. Flight attendants are simply doing their job, and that job comes with rules and regulations they must follow and ensure that you do as well. Not enforcing the rules exposes flight attendants to fines and loss of employment. Here are a few reasons for the rules some passengers take offense to.
Although it may be comfortable not to wear a seatbelt, there is an excellent reason for ensuring that passengers wear their seatbelts during the flight. One of the most compelling reasons is air turbulence. There are times when turbulence occurs without warning. If this happens and a passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, they can be severely injured or killed. One of the reasons this does not occur often is because flight attendants ensure seatbelts are worn.
Airplane exit seats are desirable because of the extra legroom. However, many passengers conveniently forget that the extra room is there to get people out of the airplane in an emergency quickly. This reason is why young children and disabled people are not allowed to sit in the exit row. Imagine a young child trying to open and throw a 70-pound window exit or someone unable to get out the exit quickly. Flight attendants are required to ask before every flight if a passenger is willing and able to assist in the event of an emergency. Moreover, there is no time to rearrange seats in an emergency. Therefore, even when the exit seat is available, there may be a reason a passenger is unable to sit in it.
The seatbelt sign.
Passengers must be seated before the aircraft can leave the gate and stay seated until the seatbelt sign has been turned off. This rule is not an airline rule but an FAA rule. Although there are rare cases, flights have had to stop on the runway suddenly, and if not seated, passengers can be hurt. In addition, airplanes can occasionally collide, which is another chance for passenger injury. However, these occurrences are rare, and so often, passengers think walking around to be of no danger when that is far from the truth.
Disruptive passengers have become more and more common recently. However, passengers should understand that flight attendants are doing a job that requires them to enforce the rules. Not following these rules can impact passenger safety and jeopardize a flight attendants’ job. Challenging flight attendants on basic rules is simply being rude. By sharing this information, I hope that the reader will be just a bit kinder to flight attendants next time they get on an airplane and merely follow the rules.