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Is it appropriate to give small gift for cabin crew when boarding?

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Is it appropriate to give small gift for cabin crew when boarding?

Old 15th Mar 2020, 15:16
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 6
Is it appropriate to give small gift for cabin crew when boarding?


I will be flying LHR-CPT in November, representing the UK in an International Pole Fitness Competition.
I am a very nervous flyer, and Registered Blind/Severely Visually Impaired with a Snellen rating of 2/36. Other than that, I am strong, healthy and mentally sound.

At present I am working on ways to try to get over my fear of flying, because not only is it embarrassing, but I believe that Cabin Crew have a hard enough job already, without adding a nervous, scared V.I. Passenger to the mix!

I would like to offer the Cabin Crew a small thank you gift of appreciation as I board, but I don't want to breach any etiquette rules, or gift something inappropriate or not useful.

I do intend to write to the airline (it will be British Airways or Virgin) after the flight to express my thanks, but I wish to show my gratitude in person while actually on board.

Please could you offer me some suggestions of acceptable gifts that can be shared amongst the crew...and any other tips or advice on what to do or not do, in order to be a pleasant passenger?

I'm also really worried about not being able to reach up to put my bag in the overhead lockers, because I am only 4ft 8ins! Would I be a pain in the bum if I need assistance with this?

Thank you.
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Old 15th Mar 2020, 20:23
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Son of Slot
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Hello TokenBoxTicker and welcome to the 'cabin' of PPRuNe.

That is a kind idea and I'm sure that Cabin Crew will be along in the next few days to answer you. It may well be that something given on departure is better. That said, offloading is always busy, so you might want to locate the senior cabin person (title varies by airline) during the flight and ask them to receive on behalf of all the cabin crew in your cabin.

The flight time is (typically) about 11.5 / 12.00 hours so there is a long period after the meal, when most of the cabin are sleeping or watching movies. This can be a good time to stretch your legs anyway. Also, it would depend if you are travelling with others.

May I reassure you that it is not embarrassing. A close friend of mine (South African as it happens) has flown long haul since childhood. But, for reasons unrelated to travel, they have become a nervous flyer and this happened when they were aged 41. It can happen to anyone.
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 01:02
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Hi SoS and thank you for taking the time to reply.

What a coincidence - I used to fly often when I was younger (and fully sighted), but now aged 41 the prospect of flying again has me really nervous!

I will be flying alone, which doesn't bother me in the slightest - I'm a lot braver when I am on my own. But I know that I will be very anxious and just want to be counting down those Plus 3, Minus 8 minutes....! I think that I will be fine during the actual flight, I am expecting the takeoff and landing to be my panic points!

I'll be memorising the amount of seats to get to the nearest exit so that I don't hold anyone up in an emergency, too. I know it's small potatoes, but I am trying to be proactive and concentrate on practical things and staying calm - I know there is only a tiny chance of something going wrong, but I don't want to make matters worse by holding everyone up.

My husband grew up in an R.A.F. household and has been around aircraft all his life - he did gliding in his teenage years, and being chucked up into the air doesn't faze him, so he has been no help whatsoever! Apart from to ask if I would like to take parachuting lessons😃
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 03:24
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I don't want to sound nasty to the ever-patient, courteous, hard-working cabin crew - but they are doing a job and they are paid for it. On your flight there will be many cabin crew - so how many gifts are you thinking of giving? In my experience - be pleasant and courteous in return is sufficient.

Being nervous - I think everyone goes through it at some time or other - I did for a while and I've been flying now for years - at one point 60 - 80 flights a year. Just try to chill - learn up on a couple of relaxation exercises and if you have an issue ask/tell the caring cabin crew.
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 07:36
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Thank you LoadToad.

Great advice, and I have started working on relaxation techniques so that by November I should be a lot better!

As for the number of crew....yes, I understand that there are quite a few, my plan is to gather all the responses and from there decide whether to do small individual gifts or one "Shareable" gift if any are suggested.

Thank you again
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 13:05
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Like Load Toad I also have flown extensively usually over 100 - 150 flight per year and have been in or around A/C since the age of 3 with the vast majority of my flights being long haul. I also suffered a crisis in confidence (like SOS friend) on a flight up from the Med, with Flying Colours many years ago, when crammed in at the back in the early hours between two very large women on a flight from Palma to Manchester. I just really wanted to get off the plane even at altitude ! I put it down to being very tired, but when I flew to Dublin 3 days later for work the same feeling of claustrophobia came over me. I had a flight back to Lagos the following week which I was dreading as a result (most people dread Lagos for other reasons !) but for once in my life I got an upgrade with BA, and spent a very pleasant flight talking with the crew, as we were lightly loaded, and have been fine ever since. So as you can see fear can strike even the most seasoned flyer, and as I say I have been in some dodgy weather and planes on my travels before and since, but that Flying Colours flight scared me the most for some reason. As for a gift I agree with Load Toad, be polite and friendly without being intrusive, and say thank you when getting off, and maybe make a note of some names so you can e-mail BA or Virgin afterwards. It will get back to the crew if you note names and flight number and date, and I know that from experience having done that, and subsequently met some of the crew some months later on another flight, that it is appreciated. Have a great trip and enjoy SA.

Kind regards
Mr Mac
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 20:10
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: France
Posts: 1,007
That's a very kind thought, and I'm sure the crew would appreciate a gift from you. Might I suggest a box of good quality individually wrapped chocolates? Enough for say two per person or so? If they were something local, rather than a worldwide brand, that would be great. Yes, they are doing their job, but sometimes something immediate can make someone's day.
As for the nervous flyer part of your post, you would possibly feel better if you know what's happening. Can you get a copy of a simple book on the way aeroplanes fly? There are quite a few available, and one was recently linked in a post on this forum.
Most of all, relax, get comfortable, and look forward to your trip. Personally I enjoy a G and T before lunch when being a passenger. Then I sleep after the meal.
Have a great time!
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 20:57
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Some good chocolates would be great, or you can bring them some kind of cake. I'd bet they would love either one.
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 21:07
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Nice idea, but there might be some security implications here. Whatever you give, please ensure that it the contents are entirely visible, and do not gift wrap it!
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Old 16th Mar 2020, 22:09
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Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by geriatrix View Post
Nice idea, but there might be some security implications here. Whatever you give, please ensure that it the contents are entirely visible, and do not gift wrap it!
That's why I get some chocolate or sweets for crew in either NRT or HND in duty free, it's still sealed in plastic. Never a problem, and they definitely appreciate it.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 07:35
  #11 (permalink)  
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Yes, I'm definitely wanting to go along the "Pre-wrapped, easily recognisable as nothing sinister" route..... thank you!
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 13:10
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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I've always fancied tipping the Captain when I'm leaving the aircraft and he stands in the cockpit door way..............
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 15:37
  #13 (permalink)  

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I often buy the crews some tasty pasteis de nata when travelling from Lisbon to Luton. They really appreciate it. It's a nice gesture.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 21:12
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Paxing All Over The World
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My partner HATES the landing. She always holds my hand tight and I've given her more explanations about the process - but emotions don't respond to process!

Cape Town is a great city, we were there in February. You will find the wind strong and it will bring many new smells for you!
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Old 18th Mar 2020, 15:28
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Thank you for all of your replies - they have all been very helpful!

I'm going to scout out some nice (unsquashable) little sealed and packaged cakes or chocolates and buy them nearer to November.

Thank you for the nervousness advice, too....you've all been very gentle with me!
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Old 21st Mar 2020, 20:23
  #16 (permalink)  
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Let us know how it went
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Old 23rd Mar 2020, 22:43
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Will do, thank you!
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