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Old Jul 30, 01, 11:20 pm   #16
 
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From a former Flight Attendant, it's rude to use the button. I agree if you want something on a long flight get up and get it. For one it's hard to find the exact spot the button came from. You really can't see the little light when ur walking through the plane. Second most of the time someone rings it, it's for something dumb. Like a pillow or a blanket. Either grab one when you first get on the plane, get up and get it yourself, or trying bringing ur own (those things are nasty, the blankets are just folded up and thrown back up there for the next flight, and the pillows as well. The FA's have enough to do. Remember, their primary function is safety. And also that they are human too, and they need to eat, sit down and take a break, have time to use the lav. So once again, just get up and go ask.
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Old Jul 30, 01, 11:40 pm   #17
 
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I will add that I only use it on longhauls. I also enjoy getting up and taking a walk, however if you have the window seat and would be waking the person at the aisle, then I prefer to use the button.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 12:16 am   #18
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What is the big deal. If I need something and I don't see the FA's in the asile, regardless of the class of seat I'm in, I ring for the FA. If I have to wait too long i get up and go to the galley. Sure the FA's are there for my safety and also for my well being. Granted I rarely call for a FA and do not make it a regular habit, but at the same time I'm not shy about pushing the button.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:12 am   #19
 
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I don't agree that you should have to get up and get something. The call button is there for that very reason. Most of my travelling is long hall business class. If I'm in the middle of watching a movie, I'm not getting up for anyone. I get worse than that. If there is no response to my call in about 5 mins, I turn off the call and push it again (can hear the "ding" in the galley). I repeat this until someone comes. Maybe I am just lazy and impatient ....
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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:19 am   #20
 
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I used it once after witnessing the port engine's cover become unriveted, flap around in the wind for a few seconds, and then break off. (On a domestic UA flight) A flight attendent did respond quickly.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 3:49 am   #21
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by QuietLion:
I press it whenever I want something if I haven't seen a server for a few minutes. </font>
The fact that you consider the flight attendant your "server" is probably why F/A's aren't fond of responding to the button. That's really not what they are there for.



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Old Jul 31, 01, 6:57 am   #22
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Oh boy, another discussion about the purpose of F/A's.

So far we have two posts saying that FA's aren't there for service, they're on the plane for safety. That's a cop-out.

If F/A's are really there only for safety, cut staffing to FAA minimums and reduce pay (due to unchanged safety requirements but no service).

I'll take the lower fares and get up to make my own drinks in the galley!
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Old Jul 31, 01, 7:03 am   #23
 
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Lets be honest. Please. I have never bought the "being there for safety" thing. Yes, that is one reason. But the FAs are hired there to do many other things. I am sure that if an airline offered their FAs to take away from their duties all that "other" stuff like serving meals, drinks, bringing pillows, etc. they could reduce costs by having less FAs and also by paying them less. Competition would probably be higher for those jobs as the FAs would be able to read and chat in their own time and space as their work load would be reduced.

If they are there for safety only, how come we do not have also attendants in buses and trains. Trains and buses also crash and people also die when that happens.

BTW, the first time I flew on an Asian airline (I was on business) I got up to get water. The FA said she would bring it to my seat, and when she did she told me to call her anytime with the call button if I needed a refill. I immdiately thought of UA, AA, DL, ....et al.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 7:03 am   #24
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I fly long haul all the time. The problem is if we are not in the galley, we don't always hear the chime, but the light should show, and we will go and see what it is that you need. I disagree with the person who thinks that it is rude. Whilst I am more than happy for people to come and stretch their legs and pick up what they want, it is not always possible on night flights when there are people asleep between the the passenger or the aisle. There is, there always must be one person minimum not on rest at any time. That is what they are there for, whilst my ex-colleague is absolutley correct, we hope that we will never have to put it into use.

We all know the sort that use them bell as though they were summoning the parlour maid, we can deal with that as well. Indeed, one poor soul could not distinguish betwen the bells as the design is sometimes awkward. She kept wondering why we kept comming and was so embarrassed, although we assured her that she had no need to be. Give me people like her any day!

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Old Jul 31, 01, 8:03 am   #25
 
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In 15 years of heavy travel, I think I've used the button 10 times.
I like to get up during the flight as long as I'm not in the way.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 10:41 am   #26
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I'm with Tomphot on this one. Getting up gives me an excuse to move around without wandering aimlessly about the cabin. The only time I'll use the button is if I'm in a window seat and my getting up would disturb passenger(s) between me and the aisle, if there's stuff on my tray table that would be difficult to get out of the way, or if the seatbelt sign is on. That's not because I don't want to ask FAs for anything, though. I really do prefer to get up.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 11:52 am   #27
 
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I'm more than happy to go to the galley to get a drink -- if I fancy the walk. That happens about 90% of the time. If I don't fancy the walk, I expect the FA to answer the bell. I'll ask politely ("When you have a moment could you please..."), and I expect a polite response. When I go to a restaurant and I want to order another bottle of wine, water, whatever, I don't expect to have to walk into the kitchen.

And as regards the safety vs. service issue, surely the trick is for the FAs to be seen to provide full service, whilst being completely in command of the safety aspects of the job (hopefully never to be seen)?
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Old Jul 31, 01, 12:41 pm   #28
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by lairdb:
What kind of response do you get?
</font>
Well, firstly, doing long-hauls and having been in a window seat on all but one of them that I can remember, I mostly stay where I am. Climbing over 1 or 2 other people to get something and then climbing back over them to get back to my seat is pretty disruptive, especially if they and/or I are watching a movie.

British Airways have the worst FA's I've experienced, being quite capable of going over 2 hours without ever responding to the call button.

Despite what some have said, I've always had reasonably decent service from UA and US FAs. NZ, QF and AN are consistently good, and, as others have commented, Asian carriers such as SQ, TG and MH even better.

On one SQ flight, the barman ... er, I mean FA ... started simply bringing a Cointreau when I rang, since that was what I asked for previously! (and this was in the cheap seats down the back)

This is the sort of service which makes me continue to fly SQ whenever possible ... even though I may not get Mileage Plus status bonuses and other airlines may be cheaper. At the other end of the scale, I haven't flown BA since I experienced their "never answer the call button" FAs and quite possibly never will. This difference between SQ and BA was one of my reasons for switching from using QF and its allies to using Star Alliance.

I'm sure some airlines, and their FAs, underestimate how much goodwill they can generate by simply providing decent service and how much they can lose by giving lousy service in this area.
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Old Jul 31, 01, 12:46 pm   #29
 
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I use the bell every 10 minutes because I like to see the FA's running around the cabin. I turn it off quickly to add to the confusion. Makes for great entertainment on long-hauls in coach.

Yes. I'm kidding.

I've only used it for a drink when I'm at the window and the person next to me is sleeping, or if I've done my usual stupid thing like spilling something in my lap.

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Old Jul 31, 01, 12:48 pm   #30
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Hi missydarlin:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by missydarlin:
The fact that you consider the flight attendant your "server" is probably why F/A's aren't fond of responding to the button. That's really not what they are there for.

</font>
In my eyes, service is exactly why they are there and I choose airlines with better service over ones with "primarily here for your safety" attitudes.

And I've rarely had any negative response from a crew member for pressing the call button.
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