Galley Gossip: Goodies for the crew

I’m taking a trip next week to Las Vegas. Is there anything I can bring the flight attendants and pilots as a little token of my appreciation. You guys work a really hard job. I just saw the Capitalism Micheal Moore movie and I had no idea that pilots and flight attendants got such a raw deal from their employers. I thought about making cookies or muffins? Any ideas would be great – Tina B.

Thank you for thinking of us, Tina, that’s really nice of you! But you don’t have to bring us anything for doing our jobs. Except maybe a smile. A little eye contact goes a long way, too. You’d be surprised what a difference that makes in this day and age of travel when passengers rarely acknowledge our greetings during boarding and won’t remove their headphones when we’re trying to ask them what they’d like to drink. Don’t even get me started on passengers who actually say please and thank you! When I hear those simple words I can’t help but provide nonstop refills on drinks. No joke, tears just about came to my eyes on a recent flight when a little girl named Fallyn made the crew a thank you card for being nice and making her feel so comfortable.

“You must work for an airline,” I said to Fallyn’s father with a knowing wink.

He looked at me funny. “No. Why?”

Because it was the nicest thing I’d heard in a long time!I’m not alone. When my coworker spotted Fallyn’s card hanging up in the aft galley, he told me about the time a kid on one of his flights drew a picture of him, Cart Man. My colleague actually had the picture made into a magnet and to this very day – fifteen years later – it still hangs on his fridge. Little things really do mean a lot.

If you really want to bring something edible for the crew, make sure it’s wrapped and sealed. I’d hate for you to waste money on those who might be afraid to eat anything for fear it might not be safe. That’s why candy is always a good choice. Julie, creator of Jet Line Clothing, brought the last five crews York Peppermint Patties. A Delta flight attendant, and prettiest laviator, never commutes home without Toblerones. I’ve had pilots bring donuts and frequent fliers (regulars) hand out everything from chocolate covered strawberries to gold hoop earrings (on Christmas). I’ve even received coupons to fast food joints and a five-dollar gift card to Starbucks. Recently a passenger gave me a pen. It’s my favorite pen. I keep it in my uniform blazer pocket. Oh and discarded magazines always make my day!

Whatever you decide to bring for the crew will be appreciated. Trust me! And watch how quickly your beverage gets refilled.

Whenever I bring treats for the crew, I’m never sure how to distribute the goodies. It’s easiest to hand it to the flight attendant at the front as I’m boarding and mention it’s for the entire crew, though I’m usually in coach. I’m often on regional jets and it’s unusual to have more than two flight attendants. I assume they’ll share (and with cockpit crew too) but I never know. – Mickey

Not only will it be easier on you to pass off the goodies to the flight attendant at the boarding door, it’s easier on us as well. With airplanes being turned around quickly, full flights staffed with minimum crew, and not enough bins for all that luggage, boarding can get very hectic. When things calm down the flight attendant working the front of the aircraft will let the rest of the crew know that a passenger brought something special for them. But go ahead and let a flight attendant working in the back know you brought something for the crew. Not only will this ensure that everyone shares, it also lets us know WHO brought the treats on board so we can be sure to thank the correct person.

Now you’d think that flight attendants would automatically share with pilots, but that rarely happens. At my airline, flight attendants working domestic routes don’t get catered meals. Basically we either eat what we’ve brought from home or first class passenger leftovers. But pilots still get meals on select routes. Therein lies the problem. So if you’re bringing a food item for the crew and you’d like the pilots to also have some, make sure to let the flight attendants know. And when you do so get as close to the cockpit as possible and yell really loudly. That said, flight attendants and pilots tend to get along better at smaller airlines. They treat each other more like family. Probably because they fly together more often and lay over in the same hotels, forcing everyone to be on their best behavior.

Photo courtesy of Thundershead