To the galley, or not to the galley... whats your opinion?

this question popped up in my head as i was reminiscing of one of my flights last year, and i would like to know your opinion. but first some background info/story:

as most of you probably know by now, im in the reserves of the united states marine corps. part of my contractual obligations include serving for a couple weeks consecutively at a time each year. its referred to as annual training. so last year, 2016, back in the summer we had gone to annual training in 29 palms, california. when it was time for us to head home, we flew out of kont back to kdtw. my unit flew on a delta airlines 767. i was excited because they serve starbucks coffee and i was definitely wanting some good coffee during the flight. so im at the back of the aircraft, about 1 or 2 rows ahead of the rear galley and i have the aisle seat. my first cup of coffee came when they served the complimentary refreshments. each time i wanted a refill, i pressed the button to call an attendant and i politely asked for a refill. so i did this about 4 or 5 times, i cant remember the exact count, which ended up to about 5-6 total cups of coffee for the flight.

the last time i did it, we were just entering the last half hour of the flight. the flight attendant filled my cup and then afterwards, came back up to me and said exactly this:

you know, im just going to go ahead and say it. you have been very rude. you have called us 4-5 times to refill your coffee and we are right there. you could’ve come back there to us and said hello or something.

i literally stared at her in disbelief! i was very polite to them the entire flight yet i was accused being rude! but in that moment, it got me thinking:

is it frowned upon when you present yourself upon the galley and ask the attendants for refills? is it considered rude when you call the flight attendants like i had done? what do you guys think is the best course of action to take for future situations?

i think we can all learn something from this.


Well…she shouldn’t be a flight attendant with that attitude. But I do agree with her. Use the flight attendant call button twice at the most. I don’t even use it except for international flights tbh.


I have to say I can’t disagree with her, she had been to your seat, and helping you multiple times for coffee. I would say the polite thing to do is to go to the galley and ask, as DAL said above, use it 1-2 times. This is my personal opinion.


to be fair on her, she was very kind during the entire flight as well. so when she said what she had said, it caught me off guard and i didnt even bother to continue the conversation.

i normally dont even use it and if i do, its only one time. i usually catch the attendants as they are walking down the aisle. that day i was craving coffee, otherwise i wouldnt have called them so much.

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Since it was a long flight, I assume they would have gone back and forth serving the passengers multiple times. Maybe you could have waited until then to ask for the refill? I think it might have been a bit excessive using the button over and over. (although if you tipped them for helping you, I am sure they would have not minded in the end)

Also, thank you for your service.

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it was a 3 and a half hour flight. they went around i think twice…

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Personally when I am on a long flight and I want a drink and it’s between the services I get up and stroll to the galley. Apart from saying hi to the guys and girls down there it’s always good to stretch your legs.

If you have had 6 cups of coffee on a 3.5hr flight that’s a lot of caffeine in your blood system, might want to check out your blood pressure.

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Going to the galley is your option, calling someone out for being “rude” for not going to the galley is what makes the flight attendant “rude”. By the way I’d suggest asking for a bigger cup next time so you would have probably asked for less cups.

I’ve never used it except accidentally when standing up and banging my head.

I think you should always go to the galley and ask if you want something else. It saves them time and also allows you a chance to stretch your legs which is always good.


Many airlines also have some kind of snack bar on her longhaul products. (E.g. Lufthansa, swiss) Going there you can ask for almost everything they offer, so coffee. The FAs are always really friendly and seem to appreciate one paying them a visit.

I don’t think your action was really rude, I‘d rather say the FA was rude, she could have expressed her thoughts in a more sensitive way.
Having heard what she said, I‘d still go to the galley in the future. ;)

I’m sorry but 5 times for a staff member to get off their seat and get you coffee refills is a little ridiculous. Go back and say G’day and get your coffee so they can get back to doing other stuff. Common courtesy


I go to the galley and chat to the FAs all the time. Especially on long hauls. It allows you to get your bloodflowing too when you walk.

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My friend as a flight attendant for Singapore airlines doesnt mind if a passenger walks up to the galley to ask for something. He doesnt mind if the service button is pressed either, its part of his job and one of his duties is to serve the customers.

It’ll seem like this flight attendant was rather rude. I personally go to the galley to ask questions if they arnt busy in a conversation during lull periods and none seems to mind xD I also have been in flights where I press the call buttons lots of times because I’m by the window seat.

Perhaps its just unlucky you got this flight attendant serving you :<


Did you say thank you?

I work in hospitality at a management level. While I admit it is annoying customers consistently calling staff over, at the end of the day the primary mission of anyone serving guests, be it where I work in 5* establishments on terra firma to the cheapest of the budget carriers such as Ryanair. Anyone serving customers primary job is to serve the customers with a smile. If I caught one of my staff members saying that to a customer the term “monumental telling off” wouldn’t come close to the consequences of that kind of remark to a customer. 100% I believe the FA was rude and you were being just fine, you’ve paid for the privelifhe of flying and being served although a tip or little walk to say thank you (at the galley) would always be appreciated by staff, as it’s not often enough anyone in customer service gets acknowledged for the right reasons.

But this is just my opinion

I was the very last row on an international flight. I never had to get up to ask them anything except right before descent when I went back and asked for a safety card, they were kind enough to spend a few minutes to find the extras. They were very polite and courteous the whole time. However on ANZ they push the food carts all the way to the front of the cabin then work back, so I was the last to get the food. But it smelled great back there!

I agree, I don’t think you should call them more than two to three times. At the same time, instead of the flight attendant straight up calling you rude, she could have asked politely after maybe the third call to please come to the galley for further refills. Some may still take this as a tad bit rude on her part, but if she wears a smile on her face (fake or real), I’m sure the passenger will understand. :D

I think that you should be able to call them as many times as you want, I personally wouldn’t call many times, but their job is being a flight attendant. They are paid to give service to passengers during a flight. I think that that was ridiculous to say he had been rude.

Nope not rude at all, (going to the flight attendants in the galley, but the way the flight attendant told you was rude). I have found they actually enjoy pax who go to the galley to ask for something rather than have them come to you, this is only true on long and medium haul flights I have found. The reason is that with longer flights there is more down time and a pax coming to the galley usually leads to a good brief conversation which makes the flight a little more bearable for them. I’ve encountered this on my flights to the US, South America, and Europe. Not so sure about Asia, Australia or Africa though.

Service culture is different in different parts of the world. I know Cathay Pacific doesn’t do too many regular water runs and they would rather have customers use the bell, but most airlines would rather have the passengers go to the galley where they have refreshments laid out in the galley. In North America, most refreshments are put away on narrowbody aircraft on domestic flights, so going to the galley and asking a flight attendant for help is probably the best option.

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