10 tips for thanking flight crews with chocolate

by Anya Clowers, RN on March 21, 2011

I’ve previously written about the hassle of air travel today affecting airline employees as well as passengers.

One way I show my appreciation for the hard work, smiles, and patience of gate agents and flight crews is by offering them a small gift of chocolate, a note of appreciation and words of thanks – always accompanied with a genuine smile and no expectations. (no, it’s not a bribe!)

(Is your flight crew or gate agent not smiling, friendly, or working hard? See tip #9 below!)

10 tips for offering chocolate or other appreciation gift to flight crews and gate agents:

  1. Only offer sealed chocolate or candy in original packaging.
  2. Select quality chocolate. (would you enjoy it?)
  3. Handwrite a note and keep it simple and genuine.
  4. Avoid wrapping it for airport security purposes.
  5. Do not offer it to them when they are busy. Use good judgement and wait for a quieter moment.
  6. Smile  and make eye contact when offering the note and chocolate.
  7. Say something simple and appreciative. Example: Tell them you appreciate their hard work, smiles, and patience so the flight is a possibility for you.
  8. Consider number of flight crew when selecting quantity. (International flights have larger flight crews than domestic flights. I usually select a 6 piece combo for domestic flights and a 1-2lb. box for international flights.)
  9. Don’t hold back when the flight crew or gate agent is “crabby” or seems undeserving of thanks. Like my crabby hospital patients, unhappy people are the ones who often need kindness and compassion most. Make the first move to bring something positive to the flight.
  10. Consider a unique gift, but avoid homemade treats. Remember our parents taught us not to take candy from strangers? See tip #1…

For long international flights, I also have put together a little basket of goodies to make their long workday more enjoyable.

Some ideas for a flight crew appreciation basket:

  • Starbucks instant coffee packets
  • $5 Giftcard
  • Gum or Mints
  • Tea Bags
  • Sleep Mask
  • Ear Plugs
  • Emergen-C (Vitamin C packets)
  • Kleenex
  • Lozenges
  • iTunes gift card
  • phone card

Be creative – it’s fun. Yes, it takes time out of our busy day, but it is worth it to make someone’s day! Is chocolate or products necessary or is a note enough? Well, of course a note and smile are always wonderful. However, my experience is that a small gift is something they enjoy and appreciate.

If traveling during the holidays or certain time of the year, consider an appropriately themed gift – such as the special chocolates from Sees for spring or Valentines Day.

For those of you who still want to argue you shouldn’t be expected to pay one cent more when the airlines are already gauging you with fees… You have missed my point. Not everyone will agree with this and that’s fine.

Whenever offering a gift, don’t expect something in return. Do it for the right reasons and contribute to the happiness of others.

Related Posts:

Hassles of air travel tough on airline employees

Chocolate for airlines employees; is it a bribe?

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