3 Times You Should Never Use the Call Button, According to a Flight Attendant

Just cool your jets.

Sometimes flying can make us feel pretty helpless. After all, you are hurdling 500 miles an hour 30,000 feet in the air with absolutely zero control over the situation. So it’s no wonder we resort to asking the flight attendants to take care of our every need. However, as Kat Kamalani, a former flight attendant, explained on TikTok, there are a few instances where using the call button is a big no-no. 

“If you’re doing these two things on an aircraft, you shouldn’t anymore,” Kamalani starts her now-viral TikTok video. “This drives flight attendants absolutely bonkers.”

A hand pressing the button in the passenger air plane to call flight attendant

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According to Kamalani’s videos, it’s best to avoid using the flight attendant call button “when we are on the tarmac or if we are going up or down on the aircraft.” The reason, she says, is due to safety. “We could get injured, and same with you,” she added.

If you do use the call button during these critical flight times, Kamalani says, you’ll likely be ignored.

“We’re going straight back to our seats,” she said. “If you hit [the button] while we’re going up on the aircraft, or if we’re going down [when] we’re landing, we won’t even come to the light. We’ll come to it afterward. So, don’t hit this button if you need a barf bag, or a blanket, or water, headphones, food, or any of that stuff, because your flight attendant won’t be so happy.” 

The video caused quite a bit of controversy in the comments, with many asking, “then when can I use the call button?" However, others defended Kamalani, clarifying that she didn’t say to never use the call light, but rather to use it judiciously.

It's best to save the call button for when you’re comfortably flying at cruising altitude to ask for all your non-essentials (the aforementioned blanket, water, headphones, and snacks). And do try to ask for them all at once, rather than having to ring the call button over and over. 

Of course, as Kamalani noted, if it’s an emergency, then by all means, press away. The crew is there primarily for your safety and is trained to assist with all types of emergency care. No matter what you use the call button for, just remember to say “thank you” after. 

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