Having Authority: 7 Reasons You Should Not Ignore A Flight Attendant

Flight attendants are trained to handle everything from disruptive passengers and potential human trafficking incidents to unexpected aircraft evacuations.

Having Authority: 7 Reasons You Should Not Ignore A Flight Attendant
A flight attendant demonstrating safety procedures to passengers. /SHUTTERSTOCK

On January 2, 2024, the world was stunned following an incident whereby a Japan Airlines Airbus A350-900 aeroplane collided with a coast guard aircraft carrying earthquake aid at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Moments after the crash, the JAL A350 aircraft was swiftly engulfed in flames and terrifying images of the runway fire spread across social media, with many aviation experts around the world assuming the worst, and anticipating a very big disaster.

But while five people on the Japan Coast Guard Dash 8 plane were killed in the crash, to Urano’s, and the world’s, surprise, all 379 people on board the JAL aircraft survived, with the phrase “It’s a miracle" being thrown around online and through media platforms.

Passengers captured escaping a Japan Airlines Airbus A350-900 plane that burst into flames after colliding with a Coast Guard plane at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on January 2, 2024. /SCREENGRAB

Three days later, a door plug blew out of a United States (US)-based Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 when the two-month-old plane was flying at 16,000 feet, sending oxygen masks down to passengers and leaving a gaping hole in the 26th row. No one was seriously injured on the flight, which returned to Portland, Oregon.

Both near-catastrophes underscore the importance of travellers paying attention to flight attendant safety information and instructions, before and during an accident.

Flight attendants are trained to handle everything from disruptive passengers and potential human trafficking incidents to unexpected aircraft evacuations.

Everyone from passengers to onlookers to aviation executives commended the crews of those Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights for shepherding passengers through safely.

Ignoring a flight attendant is not advisable for several reasons, as they play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, security, and comfort of passengers on board.

Viral Tea sought the aid of AI platform ChatGPT and gave us seven reasons why you should not ignore a flight attendant:

Safety Instructions

Flight attendants are responsible for delivering important safety instructions before takeoff.

These instructions include information on emergency exits, seatbelt usage, oxygen masks, and other safety measures. Ignoring these instructions could jeopardize your safety in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Situations

In the event of turbulence, a medical emergency, or any other unforeseen situation, flight attendants are trained to handle such incidents and provide assistance.

Ignoring their instructions or failing to communicate with them can therefore hinder their ability to help you in times of need.

Compliance with Regulations

Flight attendants ensure that passengers comply with aviation regulations and airline policies.

Ignoring their instructions may lead to violations that can result in penalties or even legal consequences.

Cabin Crew Authority

Flight attendants have the authority to enforce rules and maintain order in the cabin.

Ignoring their instructions can disrupt the flight environment and cause inconvenience to other passengers.

Customer Service

Flight attendants are also there to provide customer service and assist passengers with various needs.

Ignoring them may result in missed opportunities for help or support during the flight.

Coordination during Emergencies

In emergencies, flight attendants play a crucial role in coordinating the evacuation process and managing passenger behaviour.

Ignoring their instructions can consequently hinder the effectiveness of their efforts.

Professionalism and Respect

Flight attendants are professionals who are there to ensure the well-being of all passengers.

Thus, ignoring them is not only disrespectful but can also create a negative atmosphere on the flight.

It's important to remember that flight attendants are trained to handle various situations, and their primary concern is the safety and well-being of everyone on board.

Following their instructions and maintaining open communication contributes to a safer and more pleasant flying experience for everyone.

On Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, when the door plug panel blew out, the plane was not at cruising altitude, which means passengers were likely seated and belted in, not walking around the cabin, and flight attendants’ beverage service hadn’t started.

That likely helped prevent injury. The force of the event was so violent it ripped some headrests and seatbacks out of the plane, according to initial findings from a federal investigation.

The Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines incidents bear repeating that air travel is incredibly safe. There wasn’t a single fatal accident on a commercial passenger jet crash in 2023, one of the safest years on record.

Passengers sit near the missing door on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, a Boeing 737 MAX 9, which was forced to return to Portland International Airport on January 5, 2024. /AP