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After the gate was open and flight attendants were standing idly waiting for the signal for boarding, I (young man, well-dressed) politely asked a flight attendant if I could take a picture with her for the memory, and she refused on the basis that it weren't allowed by the airline.

I tried asking two other flight attendants (they had no idea that I'd asked another flight attendant before, so their response was not influenced by the fact that someone before them had already declined) and received similar answers and then gave up.

(The specific airline was Emirates)

So what is the reason that flight attendants are not allowed to take pictures with passengers?

Are there situations where they are allowed to appear in photographs? (I remember one time, also on an Emirates flight, that a flight attendant took a picture with a child because it was the child's birthday)

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    I wouldn't take her response at face value, if I were a flight attendant I wouldn't pose for pictures with random people. Saying it's not allowed is less confrontational than just saying no. – GdD Jun 22 '16 at 13:22
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    I would cast my vote on Corporate Image. Airlines and many other companies don't want their employees ruin their reputation with pictures published on random social networks. – mouviciel Jun 22 '16 at 17:54
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    Many airlines dont allow its air hostess to marry or get pregnant, or to wear uniform out of duty hours, so it all comes to Corporate image. – DavChana Jun 22 '16 at 19:41
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    "[not] allowed by the airline" --- this is airline speak for "I don't want to do it" – Calchas Jun 23 '16 at 15:22
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    No photos allowed on Amish Airlines. – WGroleau Apr 11 '17 at 5:11
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The bad news is, they simply didn't want to take a photo with you, that's it. That's the common excuse flight attendants use when they don't want to take a photo with someone. To prove this, check this Facebook photo album, in one of the most famous cabin crew groups in Facebook (I don't own it). You will see many photos for Emirates cabin crew with passengers. Check other albums as well, you will find the same.

The rejection could also be due to the fact that it's during the boarding, it's somehow a critical time. So, next time ask in a better time, like after service for example.

Emirates, as well as all other airlines (AFAIK), has no rules regarding taking photos while on uniform, whether it's with passengers, celebrities, in planes, in airports, etc. It's considered a free publicity. Of course, as long as the photo is "fine" and not degrading by any means.

I am aware of one airline that totally prohibits this, which is Qatar airways. A photo with uniform has one punishment, that is termination, no exception for that except for the official photos by the airline itself. All the unofficial photos for Qatar crew members are published by their owners after they leave Qatar. This is a source of jokes actually among the cabin crew community.

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