10 Things Every Flight Attendant Is Thankful For
Thanksgiving is next week, and so we’re doing it. We’re rounding up the Top 10 things every flight attendant is thankful for.
This year has been a difficult one for flight attendants. We have been expected to show up and work with the public while a global pandemic rages on. No working from home for us!
And Coronavirus is not the only thing that has made our workplace less safe this year. There has been incident after incident of members of the flying public going absolutely apeshit-wild up in the air. Assaults against flight attendants have become so common that acquaintances shoot me texts and Instagram DMs asking if I’m okay. Wishing me well and hoping I do not have to deal with one of these encounters.
Our jobs have also changed considerably this year, along with the entire aviation industry. Flight attendants were laid off from work in early days of the pandemic, worried about how long it would last, whether their jobs were ever coming back. A year later, when demand surged and the public wanted to fly once more, flight schedules were ramped up, quickly and drastically, with a smaller, exhausted workforce expected to pick up the slack. We haven’t always felt appreciated—by our customers or by our employers. And yet, we still show up.
The truth is, for all the hardship of the job—long days, being away from home, unruly passengers—there are also things we love about it. For those of us still here, the good outweighs the bad. And there is much to be grateful for, even under these changing conditions.
So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 things every flight attendant is thankful for this year.
1. Not Punching Us
A couple years ago, I would have never imagined this would make our thankful list, but here we are in 2021. We’ve all seen the news stories about people going OFF THE RAILS on the airplane and assaulting flight attendants. (Often over a legally-mandated face covering that the flight attendant had no part in mandating, but I digress.)
Big thanks to those of you who have found it in your hearts to not assault your flight attendants while traveling this year.
To those of you who feel the need to shout at or hit strangers in their place of employment: Get a grip. Get an actual grip on reality. You’re not proving any point unless the intended point is that you are an asshole who cannot control their own emotions or actions. Try taking deep breaths, watching The Notebook, or knitting if you need a way to keep busy and cool on your flight.
Some examples of tomfoolery on the airplane:
2. Wearing your mask
Even those flight attendants who don’t believe in COVID, who don’t want to be vaccinated, who hate wearing masks themselves, have to enforce mask-wearing on the plane. It is “plane”-and simply the law. We don’t like it any more than you do, but it’s part of the deal now.
We are so thankful to those of you who accept the terms and conditions (that you already agreed to when you booked your flight) and wear your mask on the airplane.
3. Not ringing your call button
Every flight attendant is thankful for a call button-free flight.
If you are choking, hit the call button. Nauseous? Call button. Panic attack? Call button. See, hear, or smell something that does not seem right? Call button!
Trash on your tray table you’d like to get rid of, though? “What time zone are we in?” Or “Can I get up to use the bathroom?” All NOT call button occasions.
The call button should be used when you need something urgently. If you’re feeling unwell, or there is a situation we need to be alerted to, by all means press the button. But not every situation warrants its use. Please use it sparingly.
Your flight attendants thank you.
Office views like this are something to be thankful for.
4. Keeping your Butts to yourself
Every flight attendant is thankful for a yoga-free galley. For being able to eat their lunch in peace without a stranger’s rump mere inches from their face.
If you need to stretch during your flight, that is a-ok. But please keep it to the aisle and do not bring it to the galley. This is our workspace and the only personal space we have in an otherwise very public-facing job.
We are so grateful for you respecting our (tiny piece of) personal space.
5. Your Understanding
We flight attendants are so thankful to those of you who understand that, while we are the airline representative you see in front of you, we did not have any control over creating airline policy, making flight schedules, charging fees, breaking or fixing the TVs and Wi-Fi, or the weather. We don’t mind if you call and give the company an earful later about any of these things. But your understanding and your patience with us is greatly appreciated.
6. Not eating fish on the plane
This may seem off-base for the rest of the theme of this post. But it is important, and it must be said that flight attendants are thankful for a fish-free flight.
A girl’s gotta eat, and guys do too. I know people get hungry. But please, for the love of god, do not bring fish on the airplane. Sitting in a seafood-scented enclosed metal tube is more than your worst enemy deserves. Even the biggest seafood lover doesn’t want someone else’s cod stinking up their suit jacket on the way to a big meeting.
We all know this is wrong, and yet, some of you still do it. To those of you with an ounce of consideration for other people, and on behalf of all flight attendants, thank you for not bringing fish on the airplane.
7. The Gifts
AWWWW, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE! But we’ll take it, thanks!
The chocolates, the Starbucks gift cards, the cookies, the greeting cards. Sometimes kind passengers bring gifts onboard for their flight attendants. It is never required, but if you are looking to make someone’s day this is a solid way to go about it. A small gesture of kindness like this reminds us that good people exist and that the negative incidents at work are far surpassed by the positive. AND it might just get you on the VIP list. I’m not saying we play favorites, but we are only human under the uniform. It’s hard not to like someone who went out of their way for you.
To any of you out there who have brought us gifts and goodies, we so appreciate it.
8. Following the rules
Every flight attendant is thankful for the people who buckle up when the seatbelt sign is on, refrain from smoking, and stow their laptops for takeoff and landing. I know it sucks being told what to do, but all of the compliance measures on airplanes were put into place after accidents and tragedies made them necessary.
There is a reason for each one, even if you don’t believe anything bad could happen to you. Furthermore, we don’t make any of the rules on the airplane, but we still must enforce them. Not just to keep our jobs, but as a matter of law. Your flight attendants thank you for simply complying and not making our jobs more difficult. We just want to get there safely and have a nice flight, like everyone else.
We are ever so grateful for you following the rules.
9. You having our backs
Sometimes after dealing with a difficult passenger on the plane, another customer will pull us aside to tell us how much of a jerk that person was. Sometimes they say “You handled yourself really well”, or “What an A$$hole”, or “I don’t know how you put up with people like that.”
You’re right. It is tough to put up with people like that. But knowing the other passengers on the aircraft have your back makes it that much easier. Every flight attendant is thankful when you let them know you are on their side.
10. Being Treated Like Humans
It really is the little things. Flight attendants are grateful for people being nice to us. For treating us with respect and basic human dignity.
Thanking us for working the holiday so you can get to your destination. Or thanking us for hanging in there during our long delay. Or telling us “This was a great flight” if it was. Or replying to us when we say hello, instead of walking past as if we are ghosts invisible to the living. Saying a polite “No, thank you” if you don’t want a drink, rather than pretending you can’t hear us.
All of these tiny, simple gestures mean a lot to us. We flight attendants are thankful to all the people who treat us like…well, people.
And that’s it folx, the Top 10 Things every flight attendant is thankful for. To those of you who made our thankful list, through your sweet gifts, understanding, or respecting the rules of the air, we appreciate you so, so much.
Flight attendants: Are there other things I missed? What are you most thankful for this year? Share in the comments section below.
I’ll be taking next week of from posting to enjoy the holiday like a regular person, so try not to miss me too much! I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving, whether it’s spent with close family, alone in a hotel room, or in a crowded airplane full of strangers.
If you will be working over the holidays this year and it’s giving you the blues, be sure to check out last week’s post: Homesick for the Holidays: 7 Ways to Make it Suck Less for some tips to keep your spirits high even when you’re far from home. I hope it helps.
Thanks for stopping by, and until next time!