The first time I ever received gifts from the cabin crew was on a flight from London Heathrow to Moscow. I was travelling in business class and after the main service I popped back to the galley for a chat with the crew.

They were a happy bunch and I got along very well with them. Just before descent, one came by and announced, “Here’s the Duty Free you ordered, sir!”. Puzzled, I saw the pleading look in his eyes saying, “Just go with it!” so I thanked him and stowed the bag.

Gifts Revealed!

Once we arrived, I said my goodbyes and found my way to my hotel. Once in my room, I opened the bag and laughed with delight. The crew had packed up three mini gins, three mini vodka’s, three little cans of tonic, three lemonades and one full size bottle of Champagne!

That was a really nice surprise from a really great crew. Perhaps they felt sorry for me travelling alone, or perhaps they just liked me but either way I’ve never forgotten that flight.

Other Gifts On Other Flights

Anyone who reads my flight reviews will know I always like to drink Champagne when flying. On a few occasions I have received one or two of the piccolo size bottles to take home with me. The only downside is when connecting as liquid restrictions mean you can’t take them through security to the next flight.

When I was in Australia last time, I chatted with the crew briefly about my holiday with my Dad after they saw me taking his picture on board. Later on the crew gave me a full bottle of red wine to help celebrate the trip which was a lovely surprise.

Why Does This Happen?

My take on it is good customer service training coupled with a company that empowers their employees to go the extra mile. Being able to surprise and delight a passenger with something unexpected creates a feeling of goodwill towards the brand.

It works too, because I’ve recounted that Moscow story to lots of people as part of my repertoire of stories about memorable flights I have had. The people I have told know that a particular airline is a good bet because of it.

Another reason is quite frankly flirting. On the Moscow flight, there was definitely some chemistry between one of the crew and I, so I suspect that may have been a contributing factor.

Being nice to the crew is also another influence as well. My background is in customer service and I always bent over backwards to help the really nice people. The difficult ones would get the bare minimum I could get away with as pay back for their attitude. It pays to be nice!

Overall Thoughts

Receiving a gift from your crew is a really nice surprise. It happens quite rarely so when it does happen it is truly a really nice surprise and gives a person a favourable impression of an airline.

It does go both ways as well. Once I had really good service from a lounge attendant and gave him a business class amenity kit from another airline to say thank you for his service. Recognising good service is also very important.

Have you ever had the crew give you a gift on board or surprise you with some great service? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

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Featured image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.