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It’s not a widespread observe, however some vacationers swear by bringing presents for flight attendants. They’re often small tokens of appreciation, however what do the recipients consider the gesture? Is it a well-intentioned thanks or a low-budget bribe? Ought to all of us pack presents for our subsequent journey? We requested flight attendants to weigh in.

It at all times surprises me to see vacationers deliver flight attendants presents. Some inform me it’s a strategy to present their appreciation for the flight crew, significantly after what they’ve been through through the pandemic. For others, it’s a “refined” try at getting an improve, or at the very least some particular therapy on board.

Ashlee Loree, a flight attendant for Delta, sees most presents as a sort gesture that brightens her day and provides her hope.

“We’re all doing our greatest and making an attempt our hardest on a regular basis, and we’re so grateful when that doesn’t go unnoticed,” she mentioned.

Missy Roemer, a flight attendant for personal planes, doesn’t anticipate presents or ideas, and prides herself on giving each passenger the VIP therapy. It’s “a part of why I selected this profession,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, Roemer says it’s a nice shock when a present comes alongside. She thinks it’s a beautiful strategy to acknowledge efforts seen and unseen. Flight attendants’ precedence is your security. It’s a job that requires lengthy hours earlier than, throughout and after a flight, together with intensive annual trainings.

“There are occasions when it’s robust to be away from our households and houses,” Roemer mentioned. “Feeling appreciated can actually assist increase our morale, particularly on the finish of a protracted day.”

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A flight attendant for Air Canada, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to guard his employment, mentioned he and his colleagues “extremely welcome” the gesture if it’s coming from a spot of generosity and never with a transactional expectation. It’s significantly good throughout hectic journey durations corresponding to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Yr’s.

“Generally we’re on the highway for a pair days straight, doing a dozen flights over that interval with cascading delays. It’s the thought that basically counts,” he mentioned.

When you’ve handed over your present, the Canadian flight attendant says it’s widespread they’ll temporary the opposite cabin crew of the gesture. They’ll attempt to make your journey nicer, inside motive.

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“I might say this may seemingly not get you a business-class seat from financial system,” he mentioned. “However [a gift] might be a factor that ideas the size between sharing an aisle with another person versus having the final empty row to your self.”

Every so often, if a buyer who introduced a present or notice was making an attempt to purchase one thing on board, the flight attendant says he’s pretended his point-of-sale machine is damaged or swiped a buyer’s bank card the improper strategy to keep away from charging them.

Loree doesn’t really feel obligated to deal with a passenger otherwise if they carry presents, “however I do make some extent to allow them to know I’m grateful for them and the way a lot they’re appreciated for his or her real efforts,” she mentioned.

There are occasions when presents go improper. In case your intentions are off, “that’s positively not welcomed,” Loree mentioned.

For instance, “if it’s what you are promoting card since you’re hitting on the crew, possibly not,” the Canadian flight attendant mentioned.

Roemer says her rule of thumb is to say no a present if it doesn’t really feel proper.

“It’s by no means well worth the danger,” she mentioned.

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So what do you have to give a flight attendant?

Roemer says money and present playing cards make for excellent presents (though some airlines do not allow flight attendants to accept cash, and tipping is not considered a standard travel etiquette protocol). She’s obtained each in addition to make-up, fragrance and present luggage of meals or sweet. She would really feel uncomfortable with any presents value over $100.

“Items which might be extravagant in value or that might affect any additional enterprise transactions would positively be off limits,” she mentioned.

For those who’re going to go along with an edible present, the Canadian flight attendant suggests sticking with one thing prepackaged and sealed versus one thing do-it-yourself. He’s been given Dealer Joe’s chocolate on an Oregon flight, packets of seaweed, Starbucks and Tim Hortons present playing cards, the guide “Tao Te Ching,” home-smoked salmon and a few Garrett popcorn from Chicago.

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One common buyer who flew 3 times per week at all times traveled with a stockpile of Tunnock’s Snowballs, a marshmallow deal with coated in chocolate and coconut shavings.

“Each time he’d sit down, he’d hand the service director packets of them to distribute to the entire crew,” the flight attendant mentioned. “He’d even have some for the crew swap for when he landed, too.”

One of many flight attendant’s most memorable presents got here from a household touring house from a dream trip in Iceland. The mother had a relative who labored within the aviation trade and “understood how the job can at instances be underappreciated,” he mentioned. They gifted him a goody bag stuffed with Icelandic treats and a card that summarized their journey.

Loree’s favourite present reminiscence was a time when a younger passenger spent the entire flight writing every flight attendant a card. “It meant the world,” she mentioned.

No matter you give, be certain it’s small. Flight attendants journey mild and don’t want a large stuffed animal so as to add to their baggage load.

And so far as timing goes, Loree says she’s been given presents throughout all phases of a flight however thinks it’s greatest to do earlier than takeoff or after they’ve accomplished their service duties. Most of Roemer’s presents have come after the airplane has landed.

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