Air Mail: Treats for crew

I got a great question from a reader on my Facebook page the other day that I wanted to share:

I am flying in a couple weeks, and would like to bring a small treat for the FAs. My question is … who do I hand it to? When is the best time? My husband uses a cane, so we’ll likely take advantage of pre-boarding. Thanks! PS … love your blog!

I usually give treats to a crew member specifically working in my section. Before take off is best, since crew are usually pretty busy once they’re in the air. I make sure to tell them something along the lines of “I brought this for the crew to share, enjoy!” If there’s no one working immediately around me, or they’re too busy, I’ll usually drop the treat off with a FA working in the nearest galley to me. And of course if all else fails, you can hand it to the In-Charge. (Usually the FA who greets you when you board the plane). Hope that helps! Happy Flying.

2 thoughts on “Air Mail: Treats for crew

  1. That’s a good question and an excellent response. (And thanks for moving it from FB to your blog; even in ’14 not everyone uses FB!)
    I too offer treats and thanks for my cabin crew. A few things to keep in mind: the passengers should always remember that homemade treats, no matter how wonderful, will usually end up in the trash. Sorry, but the crew has no idea where it really came from and the tiny risk is still too great. There may even be a company policy about this. Just don’t do it. Modest, commercially packaged treats are the order. Chocolate is *never* wrong. Estimate the numbers as 1:50 for FAs, add two for small single aisle planes and add two more for the flight deck crew. “This is for you and your colleagues and thank you for looking after me so well,” spoken and/or written on a modest gift card is just fine, but include your name and seat number. No, you do not want any special treatment and do not expect any, but the crew should know where it came from. And, if I really have to say this, give from the heart, without expectation of anyting more than a smile and a quiet ‘thank you.’ The interpersonal returns (smiles) are huge and the consideration is sincerely appreciated. If one expects more than that – just don’t bother. Attempted bribes are insulting and worthless.
    In my 30+ years of regular flying I provided *modest* thank you gifts on roughly 50% of my flights. Over thirty years I *MAY* have scored one upgrade, one or two complimentary drinks, a more smiles and polite nods than I can count. I’ve also ‘scored’ a half-dozen friends, several of which remain close while we no longer fly and approach our senior years. Again, keep it modest, include enough for everyone and double-check your motive. If the purpose is a simple, quiet thank you for keeping you safe and reasonable comfortable, you’re on safe, welcome ground. If the purpose is to achieve something above and beyond what one is already entitled to, don’t waste you time, money and effort because they are truly wasted. Put another way, the ideal passenger is one who sits down, buckles in (keeping the buckle visible), entertains him/herself with a book or otherwise, and remembers the magic words of “Please” and “Thank you” whenever engaged by a crew member. Jet may well correct me on this last item, but if you need something, it is probably better to push the Call Button than to go wandering about, looking for whatever it is that you need. Other than a lav visit, stay seated and belted and let the crew do their thing. As an example, if you have a larger than average need for water, Say So, rather than trying to carf whatever can be found. (Charging a fee for safe water on an airplane is a truly horrible practice, but if you need more than typical, briefly explain the need and in most cases wonderful things will happen. In this case, a *modest* gift of chocolate or some other treat won’t hurt. The most *important* parts are to smile, Be Polite and, with a genuine need, explain it briefly and without making a demand. Am I clear? Digest it a bit, by fellow PAX and you will so understand that the principal requirement is to be polite. Jet: Have I got this pretty close to correct? If not, please fill in the blanks. Best regards,
    -Cedarglen

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