Flights attendants have their very own social media challenge and it involves them climbing into and carrying out various poses in overhead bins… It’s called the #OverheadBinChallenge (of course) and flight attendants from airlines around the world have uploaded their own photos onto various social media platforms. It’s proved popular but United Airlines for one has decided its had enough of its flight attendants taking part in the challenge.
There are various ways of taking part in the #OverheadBinChallenge – legs sticking out like above is popular and so too is lying completely flat on your belly in the overhead bin. Just check out some of these submissions that have been uploaded onto Instagram.
But while taking photos posing in an overhead bin might now have a name, it certainly isn’t anything new. Flight attendants have been doing this sort of thing for decades – the only difference is that social media platforms make it a lot more public.
Which, along with concerns for the safety of their employees (really?), is why United is clamping down on the #OverheadBinChallenge. 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 told its staffers that expects any photos posted on social media that shows a link with the airline to be both professional and “tasteful”. Along with overhead bin photos, United has also outlawed another crew member favourite photo location – the inside of an aircraft engine cowling.
Of course, United certainly isn’t alone in banning these kinds of photos, although it just goes to show how difficult it is to control employee behaviour on social media. After all, the airline had actually asked employees to promote United on their social channels to promote the carrier.
It could take the nuclear option favoured by Qatar Airways and just ban flight attendants from posting any photos of themselves in uniform whatsoever. United has been contacted for comment.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.