A few years ago I learned that some people bring a gift for flight attendants as a thank you. For example, wrapped chocolates that they can enjoy on the flight or take with them afterward.
At the time I looked into it further and found some accounts of flight attendants talking about the practice and how it can be a boost for them. I just looked before writing this post and could not find such things, though I did come across an article discussing that some airlines are encouraging money tipping for flight attendants. Yuck! I hope that trend does not pick up. This is something different that has been an enjoyable experience I wanted to share.
Since learning about the practice, I have handed out something on about half the flights I have been on.
It has been a fun experience that fosters interactions I often would not have with the flight crew.
There are some downsides:
- Chocolates can be expensive. I just spent over $50 on airport chocolates for 3 upcoming flights to get back home.
- They can be bulky in already over-stuffed carry-on’s.
- Being a health nut I have been trying to think of something other than chocolates to hand out. Something that would be special, that they can divide, and that’s portable. For a recent handful of flights I bought Four Sigmatic drink packets and handed out about 6 on different flights…along with some chocolate kisses in case they preferred those. These are also great because they are not bulky or heavy! And it’s something different that they will either like more – or not at all.
- As a shy person, sometimes I have been hesitant to pass them out. I didn’t know when to do it and what to say. This is also part of the fun of it, but when I’m tired after many hours of travel I’m less likely to do it even if I have something with me.
But there are upsides!
- Sometimes the crew are ecstatic and thank me throughout the flight! It’s fun to feel like you added joy to someone’s day.
- I have been given free drinks.
- I have been given free food.
- On one flight to Australia they gave me free pajamas and an overnight bag that they give out to the first class passengers. It was such a delight and I currently wear those pj’s every single night.
- Sometimes they seem not to be excited at all – and that’s okay too. It’s interesting to notice that it’s often the whole group that’s excited – or no one is. Though occasionally it’s just one or two that seem excited. It also depends on whether the crew at the front of the plane tell the others later in the flight. Sometimes they ask my seat number and make sure the flight attendant’s all know…but often that doesn’t happen.
In summary, it has been a fun practice. It provides different interactions with flight attendants and can make both theirs and my flight more pleasant.
Let me know if you try it out and what you think. And if you have good ideas about what to provide!