In case I have problems with a flight or during the boarding, do I have the right to ask the name or the identification code of a airline employee?

And in case I get denied and I take a photo of the employee (to use it in the claim), would I incur in any legal problem?

  • Employes are working for the airline on its behalf, so if you have a problem, you should complain to the airline, not to a specific person. If you get denied to board, it is not because of one person, but airline policy (and trust that airline gave to a specific person). BTW: often the decision to deny boarding are discussed with various employees, so do not finger point one single person (maybe just the front end). [Note: i just come from a travel were I were denied to board: very late connection, and passenger list were already printed and delivered] Jul 28, 2018 at 14:43
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi: I've seen some pretty outrageous behavior of airline staff (in particular gate agents) that were clearly not in line with airline's policy and process. You still would complain to the airline but having a name clearly makes this easier and stronger case.
    – Hilmar
    Jul 28, 2018 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


There's no universal right to request the name of an airline employee. That would be a matter of airline policy. Many wear nametags, and if you did need to make a complaint (or send in a compliment!), you could identify someone by position and description.

On board, most airlines designate a member of the cabin crew to be the "purser" or "cabin service manager" or some other term that means that they are in charge. Short of the captain, they are the appropriate authority for anything involving the cabin and service on board. If you have a problem that can't be resolved, you could ask to speak to them when they're available. If you later seek to contact the airline, you can say you spoke to the purser, supply your flight information, and they will know exactly who that is.

There is no universal rule that prohibits the photography of airline employees, but it is often forbidden. This prohibition is sometimes explicit: United, for instance, states that "photography or recording of other customers or airline personnel without their express prior consent is strictly prohibited." Other airlines may not have a public policy to this effect, but you may be told it is prohibited if you try, under the catch-all that you need to obey crew instructions. Short of the very much unlikely event of a compelling need to document physical violence (and even then, you could face retaliation), I would strongly advise against attempting to photograph any airline employees without permission.

  • I usually wouldn't, of course (except if they are incredibly beautiful and I want to make a drawing out of them 😉 And I'd ask first). My doubt was more referred to "ground/land" (?) employees, in the airport, in case there is a problem (related to boarding, timing, checks, etc, or any kind of abuse of position) and the employee refuses to give any own reference (or reference of a purser) and just pushes me to the customer service (that in some cases is not a real service but more "defence wall"). Additional note: unfortunately I'm not subscribed to Washington Post 🙃 Jul 28, 2018 at 3:20
  • 3
    Cabin crew are trying to do their jobs, so it's not really appropriate to ask to take their picture to draw them because you find them attractive. I'm really not sure why you're expecting so many problems, but in the airport, it's my experience that employees generally wear nametags, and can be identified by position (e.g. "the agent scanning boarding passes at gate 31"). You should be able to access the Washington Post website for free even if you're not a subscriber; try private browsing if you've used up all your free articles for the month. Jul 28, 2018 at 3:27
  • Thanks for the WPost tip! About taking a picture of an attractive flight assistant, I was not serious. Jul 28, 2018 at 3:50
  • For decision about boarding: these are taken by dispatcher and not the purser (or any front end staff), but if you are intoxicated or inappropriately dress or smelly. Jul 28, 2018 at 14:49

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