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I have always assumed that I should go to the crew rather than use the button (unless in emergency etc.) as they have more important things to do than giving me a glass of water.

However recently I leaned that cabin crew does not necessarily like for passengers to go around airplane for safety/organizational reasons. Which approach is preferred by crew when I'm indifferent?

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    At least partly this depends on the duration of the flight and the time. Most of my flying is international. At night most people are sleeping or dozing and the crew may not come through for hours so I get up and take a walk and ask for a cup of water several times during the night. I have had crew just give me a bottle so that I wouldn't be back anytime soon. I have noticed that some airplane models seem to have drier atmosphere than others. Hydration is a problem for me anyway so the drier air models are a pain. Oct 22 '17 at 18:12
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    Why not ask? When the flight attendants are coming through the cabin at a convenient time early in the flight or at the gate before departure, ask if (s)he would prefer you rang for water or if it's okay if you come up to them when you want it. I'm sure they'll appreciate being asked, and they'll let you know what they prefer. Oct 22 '17 at 18:29