12 Surprising Things a Flight Attendant Can’t Do for You

Yahoo Travel spoke to Shawn Kathleen, a former flight attendant and founder of PassengerShaming.com, to find out what your flight attendant is just not allowed to do for you. Thanks to Mark for passing along, top 5 below and the complete list over at their site.

1. Give you any kind of medication – Nope, your flight attendant can’t even give you an aspirin. They’re not allowed according to regulations, explains Kathleen. There may be some meds on board that they can release to a medical doctor in case of an emergency, she explains, but for a regular Joe on an average flight, if you need an Advil, you have to bring your own.

2. Stow your bag for you – And here you thought it was their job to do stuff like this. Nope. Flight attendants are actually not permitted to lift your bags because it causes too many injuries — a huge worker’s comp issue. “The rule is, if you can’t lift it into the overhead bin yourself, check it,” says Kathleen. A flight attendant can help you push your bag further into the bin once it’s up there or help you close the door, but that’s about it.

3. Call ahead to hold a connecting flight – People ask all the time, says Kathleen, but “it’s not going to happen.” And they can’t ask the captain to make a call either.

4. Have a cocktail with you – It’s not you, it’s them. “We’re not allowed to drink even a drop of alcohol when we’re working,” says Kathleen. “Just like the pilot can’t drink, neither can the flight attendants. We’re randomly tested, because our job is to keep you safe.”

5. Accept a cash tip the first time you offer – Or often the second. But the third time might be the charm. Though rules vary with airlines, it’s often the case that you have to offer multiple times before a flight attendant is permitted to accept cash. However, they are usually allowed to receive gifts. “Everyone appreciates a box of chocolates or a Starbucks card,” says Kathleen.

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  1. One time I had diarrhea and was grateful for the pepto one flight attendant gave me. Even if it was apparently against their rules

  2. “3. Call ahead to hold a connecting flight – People ask all the time, says Kathleen, but “it’s not going to happen.” And they can’t ask the captain to make a call either.”

    I was on a United flight from SFO to ICN a couple weeks ago and our flight was three hours delayed leaving SFO; as we were approaching ICN, the captain made an announcement saying that he had called ahead to make sure people with connecting flights would be taken care of. Based on how he had been keeping the passengers in the loop during the delays at SFO and his announcements throughout the flight, he didn’t seem like the kind of guy that would lie.

    So I’m confused. Can they call ahead or not?

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