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FA: " Rule is your food must be on floor not in overhead bin. Move it."

FA: " Rule is your food must be on floor not in overhead bin. Move it."

Old Jan 22, 23, 4:30 pm
  #1  
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FA: " Rule is your food must be on floor not in overhead bin. Move it."

This happened on my last AA flight.

For TL;DR readers:

Per FA: "The rule is your food must be on floor under the seat, not in the overhead bin. Move it there."

Any such "rule"?

I ask because if there is, I need to know - and so do other potential AA pax who read this forum.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For everyone else:

I took food on board an AA widebody flight. It was within a canvas bag which also contained other items. I had the canvas bag tied shut. I placed the canvas bag in an overhead bin and sat down.

Later, the FA pulled out the bag partway and asked whose it was. I told her it was mine. She asked what was in it and I replied that it contained "some food for the flight, books, a jac..." whereupon she interrupted m anwer to proclaim that I had to put the food on the floor in front of me. I replied that I would prefer that my food be up in the bin rather than under the seat on the floor.

She replied that it was "an airline rule that food cannot be in the bins and can only be stowed under the seat," so I would have to move it to the underseat storage. Obviously, I found this statement exceedingly doubtful.

It was important that I make it home and I could tell that she definitely had the potential to turn the situation ugly, so there was no point in challenging the veracity of her claim, asking for the purser, asking for where to find this rule, etc. So, I took the food out of the canvas bag, and commented (in a carefully bland and polite tone) that I had never read or heard that rule before and wondered if it was a new one. She said it had always been that way.

*(Note: She did not actually check to make sure I put it on the floor.)

The situation made me uncomfortable. It felt she was on the verge.

So...

1. Is her statement as to that alleged "rule" true?

If so:
1a. Where is it found?
1b. What is the point/logic?

If not:

2. If the statement is not true, and you were sure she was lying, how would you have handled the situation?
2a. If the statement is not true, and you thought she was merely confused, how would you have handled the situation?


3. Should I have reported her?

4, What do you think could have happened to me had I chosen to put the food back in my canvas bag during the flight and been seen doing so by her?


Thanks for any help in helping to solve the 'food rule mystery' I encountered.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 4:32 pm
  #2  
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Total BS. No rule. Ask her what was in her peace pipe.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 4:42 pm
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What kind of food was in your bag? I don't know anything one way or another about a rule; however, when I read your post, I could imagine a FA (or fellow passenger) being concerned about, e.g. aromatic, potentially leaky take-out containers being in the vicinity of their belongings in the overhead. By contrast some kind of dry, packaged snacks would still be "food" but not pose the same concern.
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Last edited by ZenFlyer; Jan 22, 23 at 5:20 pm
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Old Jan 22, 23, 4:54 pm
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This is completely made up. I personally think this is worth reporting to AA so that the FA can be properly trained to #1 - This is not a rule and #2 - To not make up fake AA regulations.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:17 pm
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What was the food? Tuna melt? Soup? French fries?
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:45 pm
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My take as speculation:

1) There is no "rule". If there was it would most likely be listed with all the other rules and requirements when you buy a ticket or enumerated along with all the other things that have to be stowed in the pre-take-off announcement.

2) If the OP was in coach on a full flight, the FA maybe was looking for overhead bin space to stow a carry-on and found a soft small bag and asked "who's is this and what is in it". A common occurrence IME. Upon hearing "food", the FA had their excuse to pull it, albeit the reasoning was bogus, IMO.

3) Alternatively to #2, whatever food was in there "aromatically leaked" and either a nearby pax blew the whistle or the FA themselves detected it.

My bet is on #2.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:55 pm
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If OP was in coach, there's definitely the rule of common sense. Bins are going to fill up, people are going to throw in their carryons without regard for what's getting crushed, and next thing you know, there's a big mess.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by inlanikai View Post
My take as speculation:

1) There is no "rule". If there was it would most likely be listed with all the other rules and requirements when you buy a ticket or enumerated along with all the other things that have to be stowed in the pre-take-off announcement.

2) If the OP was in coach on a full flight, the FA maybe was looking for overhead bin space to stow a carry-on and found a soft small bag and asked "who's is this and what is in it". A common occurrence IME. Upon hearing "food", the FA had their excuse to pull it, albeit the reasoning was bogus, IMO.

3) Alternatively to #2, whatever food was in there "aromatically leaked" and either a nearby pax blew the whistle or the FA themselves detected it.

My bet is on #2.
I agree it is most likely #2. However, even if this is the case, the FA should inform the passenger they'd like the bag moved so others can fit larger items up top. That in itself would be perfectly fine. They should not be making up rules and stating they are AA rules. That is where the FA made a major mistake and it should be reported.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 6:34 pm
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Good one!

Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Total BS. No rule. Ask her what was in her peace pipe.

Right!


Maybe she WAS on something other than a power trip....
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Old Jan 22, 23, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by inlanikai View Post
My take as speculation:

2) If the OP was in coach on a full flight, the FA maybe was looking for overhead bin space to stow a carry-on and found a soft small bag and asked "who's is this and what is in it". A common occurrence IME. Upon hearing "food", the FA had their excuse to pull it, albeit the reasoning was bogus, IMO.
That's what I initially thought, but then I saw this in the OP:

"So, I took the food out of the canvas bag, and commented (in a carefully bland and polite tone) that I had never read or heard that rule before and wondered if it was a new one. She said it had always been that way." (Emphasis added.)

Thus, it does not appear that the canvas bag itself was removed from the overhead bin.

Last edited by guv1976; Jan 22, 23 at 8:29 pm
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Old Jan 22, 23, 7:16 pm
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I would expect that other passengers may not like having food in the overhead bin, since itll be squished with their suitcases. But an FA shouldnt be able to make up a rule.

This is another FA who should work for Amtrak; shell fit in well. Please report her.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 7:36 pm
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In the hypothetical situation where this is a real rule, how would they deal with bulkhead pax who bring on food?
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Old Jan 22, 23, 8:22 pm
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It is quite common for a flight attendant to ask whose bag it is, but I have never heard a flight attendant ask a passenger what is in that bag. It is more commonly asked by a Customs agent. That makes me wonder whether there was something about that bag that triggered that question. Was it obviously that there was food inside?

I agree that there is no specific rule against food in the overhead bin, but I also wonder whether the exchange between the passenger and the FA was accurately described in verbatim by OP. A slight change in description would have totally different interpretations. Perhaps OP can tell us what that food item was.

We may have a different view between a sandwich and a bowl of hot soup in the overhead above our head.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 8:45 pm
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I've heard FAs on international flights say that Duty Free bottles of alcohol cannot go in the overhead bin because the bottles could break and cause a safety problem. Must go under the seat only. (not sure how that works for bulkheads)
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Old Jan 22, 23, 8:48 pm
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Rule or no rule doesn't matter. It's common sense. What would happen if, for whatever reason, the food gets spilled all over other people when you open the overhead compartment? Just a thought....
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