United Airlines is cracking down on flight attendants posting photos of themselves online posing inside of overhead bins.
For the last couple of years flight attendants have been taking the #overheadbinchallenge – posting photos of themselves in overhead bins on social media. (The photos themselves have been happening for decades.)
The pace seems to have picked back up last summer after a Southwest Airlines flight attendant greeted boarding passengers from inside a bin, scaring some of them, with a video that was posted to Facebook.
Most of the recent photos seem to be coming from American Airlines crew.
According to flight attendant blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo United is instructing flight attendants not to post these photos anymore – or risk discipline.
Management at the airline has told flight attendants they don’t think posting these kinds of images on social media is professional and have demanded the practice stops.
For the time being, United has decided to avoid formal disciplinary proceedings for first-time infractions (although conversations will be recorded), repeat offenders could find themselves in a whole lot of trouble.
United has also instructed employees to stop posting the ever-popular photos of crew posing in aircraft engine cowlings.
It’s understandable that an airline wouldn’t want to have to take a maintenance delay if an overhead bin was damaged. And HR is certainly going to prefer to tell employees not to do it – it’s harder to sue the airline for an injury that way. On the other hand, heaven forbid a United Airlines flight attendant look like they’re having fun at their job… Last summer Southwest Airlines, for their part, backed up their flight attendant’s “brief moment of fun.”