Airline employees often don’t have the option to speak their minds. Whether they are controlled by policies that govern their actions or are trying to keep things calm, these workers typically must hold back from fully expressing themselves. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things they wish all passengers knew.
As reported by Business Insider, some of these thoughts may be controversial, while others could benefit everyone who travels by air, even if just occasionally. While most of these comments were made anonymously, for obvious reasons, here are a few of the thoughts they wish they could share.
Free Upgrades Aren’t (Usually) Up for Grabs
When it comes to giving free upgrades, most airline employees’ hands are tied. One customer service agent stated, “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 tracks everything, and big brother is always watching us.”
Venting to the Crew Won’t Affect Change
People who are upset about the amount of leg room, comfort of the seats, or ineffectiveness of the wifi often vent their frustrations to flight attendants. But these employees have little (if any) power in these scenarios.
A flight attendant, speaking about these discussions with passengers, said, “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!”
Be Consider of Those Around You
Gate areas are crowded and, in most cases, everyone is doing their best just to coexist, though not everyone makes that easy. As an airline customer service agent said, “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.”
Don’t Bug the Gate Agents
“They are working with a time crunch,” said one airline customer service agent, “and all those extra questions are keeping them from their work.” So, if a topic was covered in an announcement, try to refrain from asking the gate agents to repeat themselves.
They Have to Follow the Rules
Passengers often get frustrated when they are told “you can’t do what you want to” when flying, but airline employees are required to follow very strict rules, that they did not create, and are often tasked governing the actions of others.
“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 traveling harder but to make it safer,” said one customer service agent.
A flight attendant shared this reminder: “US law requires compliance with lighted and posted signs and crew members instructions.”
And failing to follow those rules could get you arrested.
Turbulence Scares Us All
One flight attendant, in a moment of honesty, wanted to share a simple statement: “I’m afraid of turbulence, too.”