Holding a book in bulkhead

Old Nov 6, 19, 4:20 pm
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Holding a book in bulkhead

I had a friend flying AS today that texted me asking if it was against the rules to hold a book in bulkhead. Evidently a FA on his flight was a bit overzealous and got into an argument with a lady sitting in F reading a book before takeoff. FA told her she needed to put the book in the overhead bin for takeoff and landing. The passenger responded that they'd always read a book and never been told to put it away. The FA responded "Well they must make more than me and can afford to be fined. Put the book in the overhead." The passenger stated that she would just put it in the magazine holder in front of her, FA denies that as well saying it must go in the overhead, nowhere else.

Is this an overaggressive interpretation of the egress rules or do you technically have to put a book away?

Yes, I know "all" crew member instructions is the rule.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jmail1 View Post
I had a friend flying AS today that texted me asking if it was against the rules to hold a book in bulkhead. Evidently a FA on his flight was a bit overzealous and got into an argument with a lady sitting in F reading a book before takeoff. FA told her she needed to put the book in the overhead bin for takeoff and landing. The passenger responded that they'd always read a book and never been told to put it away. The FA responded "Well they must make more than me and can afford to be fined. Put the book in the overhead." The passenger stated that she would just put it in the magazine holder in front of her, FA denies that as well saying it must go in the overhead, nowhere else.

Is this an overaggressive interpretation of the egress rules or do you technically have to put a book away?

Yes, I know "all" crew member instructions is the rule.
definitely over-aggressive, imo ... although we don't know the actual physical size of the book, so in the FA's defense that **could** have influenced the decision to enforce
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Old Nov 6, 19, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jmail1 View Post
Is this an overaggressive interpretation of the egress rules or do you technically have to put a book away?
You have to put away whatever the flight attendant tells you to put away. It's not worth arguing with the FA, you're not going to win.

Not all books are created equal so just saying "it's a book" doesn't mean its safe. Maybe it was a giant, heavy, hardcover book and a tiny little old lady with frail arms? It'd hurt just as much as a laptop. And clearly multiple FA's have concerns about the bulkhead magazines holders ability to stop heavy object from coming loose during take-off and landing
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Old Nov 6, 19, 4:41 pm
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It really depends on the title of the book. "The Joy of Sex" could elicit such a response for many many reasons I will not get into here.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 4:41 pm
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She probably borrowed this. FA was totally justified if so.

https://www.washington.edu/news/2005...lay-its-spine/
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Old Nov 6, 19, 4:52 pm
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It could've been a large book. It could've been a nasty FA. It could've been both.

Unless your friend can describe said book in more detail, all we can do is throw darts in the dark here.

(I'm not recommending throwing darts in the bulkhead row, or any row, on a plane)
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Old Nov 6, 19, 5:24 pm
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I once got asked to put away my iPad. I don’t think the FA was correct in asking me to do so, and I was a little annoyed (as I tend to be a person who knows and follows the rules and hates to be “corrected” in any way). However, it was easiest to just put it away.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by jmail1 View Post
The passenger stated that she would just put it in the magazine holder in front of her, FA denies that as well saying it must go in the overhead, nowhere else.
The magazine holder isn't meant to hold anything other than the safety cards, informational cards, or the magazine, by rule. So you can't "put something away" there- it goes in the overhead if it has to be put away.

The announcement at the beginning of flights is "small handheld devices can be kept, larger devices must be put away". Maybe the book was similar sized to a laptop, maybe the FA was going "no book for you, come back one year". I agree that having a discussion about something nobody involved witnessed is not particularly illuminating.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I agree that having a discussion about something nobody involved witnessed is not particularly illuminating.
Donít we have FAs on this forum that could perhaps share the official policy? E.g., paperback okay, hardcover goes in bin? Or perhaps there isnít an official policy, and that would be interesting to know (though not terribly actionable because in the end the FA wins any argument at the time of travel)
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Old Nov 6, 19, 10:36 pm
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That would have to be a heck of a book to be larger than an iPad Pro, which I'm sure passengers have used during take off and landing. The snide comment about the fine is absurd escalation too, the sort of frivolous remark we always caution Flyertalkers against when writing complaints to airline customer service.

This is all secondhand but I hope the woman involved complains to AS about it.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
I hope the woman involved complains to AS about it.
Or she could let it go.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 4:36 am
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Items that can become projectiles in an emergency must be stored during taxy, take-off and landing. It's a simple rule, not always enforced. Lack of consistent enforcement doesn't invalidate the rule, however.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by twitch76 View Post
I once got asked to put away my iPad. I donít think the FA was correct in asking me to do so, and I was a little annoyed (as I tend to be a person who knows and follows the rules and hates to be ďcorrectedĒ in any way). However, it was easiest to just put it away.
Same. I have the 12.9" which is getting into small laptop territory. I wasn't happy about it but the FA sets the rules. Given this has only happened once in dozens of flights I do feel he was over zealous but the only rule when dealing with an FA is to comply (at least when it comes to safety.)
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Old Nov 7, 19, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by NWAlaskaFlyer View Post
Same. I have the 12.9" which is getting into small laptop territory. I wasn't happy about it but the FA sets the rules. Given this has only happened once in dozens of flights I do feel he was over zealous but the only rule when dealing with an FA is to comply (at least when it comes to safety.)
Mine is the Air2, which is 9.4x6.6. I do have a clamshell case with keyboard, which makes it look more like a laptop, especially if I have it in that mode. I didnít care about the 5 minutes without my device... itís mostly annoying to be told youíre doing something wrong when youíre pretty sure youíre not. But again, it wasnít worth an argument.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 8:58 am
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First I was thinking ..., but yes. I can see that the size of the book could be an issue - coffee table or large text book would be a no no, a trade paperback, not so much. My Taller Half (tm) reads voraciously and is usually seated in the bulkhead. She usually slides her book or e-reader between her lap and seat divider during take off. Ditto for the water bottle (in the event of the appearance of a PDB) - in which case, angels trumpet and everyone smiles for once.
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