The Best Ways to Reward and Acknowledge A Flight Attendant

As many know, being a flight attendant is a hard job — with long hours, limited opportunities to rest, stress from passengers, and more. Simply, it’s not easy.

It’s worthwhile to reward and acknowledge your cabin crew when they go above and beyond their call for service. When they’re welcoming you onboard with a jovial face. constantly replenishing drinks, offering to assist you, and just generally being a great person, it’s always worthwhile to make their day, since they aren’t getting paid a ton to begin with.

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Think of a waiter in a restaurant — when you finish your meal, you tend to tip the server upon paying your bill. Unfortunately, this isn’t common practice for appreciating flight crews, though there are some great ways to make sure you say “thank you,” which can always go a long way.

An American Flight Attendanf Aboard the Inaugural 787 Flight (with permission)

Here are some suggestions:

  • Bring aboard some gift cards to eateries that are likely to be in an airport – say, a Starbucks gift card, one for Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, etc. Flight crews aren’t fed well aboard flights and due to schedules, sometimes are running gate to gate to get on the next plane.
  • Some folks will bring a box of chocolates or candy onboard, which can be shared amongst everyone. Just make sure they don’t melt. 😉
  • I have given some flight attendants a free coupon for a GoGo inflight wifi session, since I’ve been told that their tablets and other work devices can’t browse the internet or access social media and the like. If there’s some downtime and they are allowed to use a smart phone, a GoGo wifi pass will allow them to stay connected.
  • Praise them on Twitter. In a day and age of social media, make sure you make a quick shout out to the airline’s social media team letting them know the name of the person that you thought was great, and the flight number and routing, just to be sure they’re acknowledging the right person. This won’t take but more that a few seconds, and often these praises will be placed in their personnel file, which is a great thing for them. I talked with AA’s social media manager, and he emphasized their promise to make sure employees are recognized when customers mention it. 
  • Use praise certificates, if you have them. On American, they are used to be called “AAplause,” but each airline has their own coupons. These coupons usually are collected by the FAs, and then can be used to enter a drawing for a prize or bonus. While these certificates tend to only be given to elite members initially, you may be able to find some at a customer service desk, if you ask nicely.
  • Tip – I’ve seen this few and far between to be honest, though have seen some do it. The amount you’d tip would need to be determined personally, since there is no standard formula.
  •  A “thank you, have a nice day!” goes a long way, too. I try to say this when I leave my flights, since it’s common courtesy. 
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What other strategies do you have for praising a flight attendant who has done a great job?


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  1. Joe says

    I’ve been advised that tips are considered rude by the crews. So it’s ok now? Because I have had some really great service and I didn’t think an “attaboy” on the airline website feedback would really ever get back to them or even noticed.

    • says

      Hmm, not sure if it’s rude or okay, but I’ve seen it done before. I’ve been told several times that the feedback on the website or social media DOES in fact get back to them, and in many instances, has saved them from trouble.

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