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United Bans Fun for Their Flight Attendants

United Bans Fun for Their Flight Attendants
Kaelin Dodge

In response to the viral photo challenge which asks flight attendants to climb into over-head bins, United has put out a statement banning those they employ from partaking. Claiming that it poses a risk to their employees’ safety, United has asked that their flight attendants not climb into the bins and not post photos of them doing so. In an additional statement, they added that the act was unprofessional.

The #OverHeadBinChallenge features flight attendants posing inside overhead bins on empty planes: an empty plane means that flight attendants are off the clock. By implementing this rule, United is asking its employees to behave in a specific way and standard while not being compensated for the time they are doing such. If it’s off the clock, and United goes untagged, should this photo-challenge be against the rules?

Let us know what you think of United’s reaction, and stay up to date with all things air-travel at the FlyerTalk Forums.

View Comments (26)


  1. Bowen74

    March 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Long overdue, I always had a problem with this as I’m sure the aircraft maintainers had to replace a few parts on bins prematurely due to this.

  2. SF1K

    March 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Although off the clock the airplane is still property of United – when other employees go into their place of work off the clock that doesn’t give them free reign to behave and do with the facilities whatever they wish.

  3. Sydneyberlin

    March 5, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    How about do some work instead. Gosh…

  4. am1108

    March 5, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    So this is why it takes time to board after a F/A enters the plane before boarding 25 min. prior. Glad United is banning this.

  5. AS Flyer

    March 5, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Honestly, this is nobody’s business but United’s. Butt out.

  6. htb

    March 5, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    This behavior is about as unprofessional as is employing people and not compensating them while still expecting them to carry out duties and represent them by randomly defining the on-the-clock time.

  7. Silver Fox

    March 6, 2020 at 4:30 am

    They banned fun for passengers years ago so it only seems fair! :)

  8. redrob

    March 6, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Who says an empty plane means they’re off the clock? What about turnarounds, buffer time on ground, positioning flights etc? If they’re off the clock, how come they are still on the aircraft and not on their way home or in a rest area?

  9. pmiranda

    March 6, 2020 at 5:31 am

    No major company can allow employees to goof off in a way that could result in even minor injuries or damage to property. Sadly we live in the era of No Fun.

  10. KimchiExpress

    March 6, 2020 at 5:51 am

    Well, I am all for (harmless) fun at work. But hey, the higher ups at United always make good decisions so we should follow what they say! Right?

  11. arcticflier

    March 6, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Its all fun & games until someone gets their eye poked out.

    Stop the horseplay.

  12. shipcamein

    March 6, 2020 at 7:10 am

    No one thinks the FA is “ok” to do this…right? Maybe they should go jump and down on the pilot’s seat, or smoke in the bathrooms, or go ahead and have a tryst right there in the galley. I mean, you’re off the clock right?

  13. kc1174

    March 6, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Looks more comfortable up there than their seats tbh.

  14. +/-3dB

    March 6, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Man, why all the killjoys? FA’s have some fun on their own time. If they sustain an injury, good luck getting workmen’s comp…accept the risks, be careful, and smile! I think the pics are hilarious!

    Perhaps The Perpetually Offended will remark on how a woman’s legs extending from the bins appeal to prurient interests, promote misogyny and the objectification of women, who knows what else.

    Yes, aircraft are company property, and yes, the company can dictate how their property is used and not used. I suspect United is discouraging this to avoid lawsuits more than anything else.

  15. IBobi


    March 6, 2020 at 10:52 am

    I like it!

  16. Jackie_414

    March 6, 2020 at 11:49 am

    “The Friendly Skies”

  17. htb

    March 6, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    @redrob: “Who says an empty plane means they’re off the clock? ”
    Apparently FAs start to get paid once the door closes. Nevertheless, they are expected to be in board first and assist customers during the boarding process.
    This probably also explains why they prefer to close the door and just sit at the gate instead of wait for connecting passengers.

  18. mvoight

    March 6, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Not only is there a possibility of legal issues due to injuries, but broken equipment or injured employees can cause flight delays or cancellations

  19. Longtimefly

    March 7, 2020 at 12:08 am

    this is why I like SWA!!!

  20. ezefllying

    March 7, 2020 at 2:13 am

    Wedging yourself into a bin sounds pretty disgusting. Those things are regularly jammed with carryons that have been toppling all over the airport floor, sitting on the tarmac, and riding down the X-ray belt. I can’t imagine how grimy the overheads get.

  21. jimmc66


    March 7, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Unprofessional. The most difficult part of a FA’s job is anti-social behavior by their passengers. Makes it hard to justify THIS FA activity, which is also very anti-social.

  22. stickytoffee

    March 7, 2020 at 7:03 am

    I’m all for a little fun even at work but an empty plane is still “the office” for flight attendants and they should conduct themselves accordingly. Also the positions and facial expressions are suggestive and therefore unprofessional in a work setting.

    Sooner of later someone will be offended, be injured, feel pressured, Lawsuits on the horizon.

  23. sfcharles1

    March 8, 2020 at 4:13 am

    I have an idea: Put them on the clock when they arrive at the airport, instead of ripping them off in a practice that should be illegal: demanding they work until the doors are closed – WITHOUT PAY. Then you can tell them how to behave when they are on the plane.

    Though I find the practice of climbing into the overhead compartment as risky and inappropriate, that action pales in comparison to pure abuse of your “employees”.

  24. Qatar Airways

    March 8, 2020 at 5:21 am

    That’s just a normal day for crew getting their legs in the Air.
    It is a very insestuious industry.

  25. Bootman4U

    March 10, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Legs in the air? In QATAR? Sure

  26. pulokk1

    March 10, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Also very incestuous when one cheks theeeir shpelingk

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