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10th Apr 2024

Flight attendant reveals the ‘green flags’ of travel that will improve your next trip

Jody Coffey


By now, we hope, you’re making plans for a well-deserved summer holiday

When it comes to taking annual leave in the summer, the focus is, understandably, all on ourselves.

I mean, we’ve worked hard, paid the (extortionate) price of a flight and hotel, and want to take advantage of this is a time; a time dedicated to rest, relaxation, fun, indulging, and splurging.

Getting caught up in the ‘me, me, me’ of it all, we may not consider another soul, because, after all, it’s our holiday.

Many of us are guilty of planting ourselves into our designated airplane seat, popping in our headphones, and breathing a big ole sigh of relief that we are officially ‘out of office’ for the foreseeable.

And, look, you’d be starting your holiday right by doing so.

However, there may be a way to enhance your travel experience even more this summer.

The ‘Green Flags’ of travel

Flight attendants are the unsung heroes of the sky, providing that first sip of wine of the trip, being at your beck and call, and giving those reassuring smiles that, for me, always signal the left phalange is still intact.

Sadly, their role can be thankless, simply because we, the holidaymakers, are so wrapped up in our own experience and getting to our destination to start our holiday.

A flight attendant for Destaine – also known as @destanieaaa on TikTok has shared some insider tips for making their day, and therefore, improving our flight experience this summer.

Greeting your flight attendants

Many of us, hopefully, already greet the staff onboard when we embark on the plane, and unconsciously plan to do so this summer.

With the hundreds of passengers they see daily, unfortunately, many may neglect this gesture, or look to the staff to direct them where to go.

However, a warm greeting or some friendly conversation, the flight attendant says, does not go unnoticed and often makes her day.

This can help motivate flight attendants to go the extra mile in terms of service onboard.

“I love when a passenger says ‘good morning’ or asks us stuff about our day,” she says.

“It feels like I’m actually connecting with people. I thought with this job I would connect with people a lot more.

“I feel like I never have conversations with passengers like everyone’s just doing their own thing, which is fine but it’s nice to talk and connect with people.”

Credit: Unsplash

Watching and listening

Before every take-off, flight attendants must carry out a safety demonstration with instructions to follow in the event of an emergency.

We all know it; you know, the one we all pretend isn’t happening whilst looking awkwardly out the window or at our phones.

However, the flight attendant reveals that staff take notice of who isn’t paying attention and who is.

She says she finds it ‘cool’ to see passengers taking the time to listen, as well as when complying with the rules of storing baggage in the overhead compartments.

“I love small considerate acts like that, it just makes our lives so much easier.”

Similarly, during service, having your earphones out and knowing what food or drink you want to order helps the cabin crew out a lot.

“When we have to do beverage service really fast, we’re serving like 200 people, and there’s gonna be like five people that say, ‘What do you have?’ and you have to explain everything.”

Respecting their workspace

Many of us believe we can’t enter the flight attendant’s galley, so we tend to stay clear.

However, she explains that some flyers just walk in, so she loves it when people ask first to be in their space.

“You’d be shocked at how many people just walk in there, don’t acknowledge us, will stand there without saying anything to us, or start stretching on our emergency exits.

She notes that the galley is really small and that she has had an experience where they asked a passenger to sit down while they prepared for service and he ‘got so mad’ and started filming them as he disembarked the plane.

“I don’t understand the entitlement of being in our space but there will be times when people will be like, ‘Hey, my legs are hurting, do you mind if I stretch here for a couple of minutes?

“I’m like, ‘100 percent, thank you for asking.'”

Asking to stand in the galley while waiting to use the bathroom is also appreciated.

Using our manners

You would think it would go without saying, but the flight attendant felt it was necessary to include manners on her ‘green flag’ list for flyers.

Sadly, too many passengers have boarded flights she has worked on without ever saying ‘Please’ or ‘Thank you’ to staff.

This pet peeve extends to children, as she admitted to being exposed to ‘bratty kids’ during her career.

For this reason, she appreciates well-mannered kids all the more.

“When kids are well mannered, I’m literally like ‘I think I do want kids’.”

Credit: Unsplash

Take their side

Flight attendants meet people from all walks of life during their workday, including those prone to inappropriate behaviour toward staff.

It’s not always holidaymakers buzzing with excitement for their summer trip.

Not everyone’s reasons for travelling are positive either, of course, and emotions can be high, but it’s no excuse to direct them toward the cabin crew.

She says the ‘greenest flag’ of all as a flyer is to show support when a ‘Karen’ or ‘Kevin’ kicks off or criticises the flight attendants.

Even subtly showing you’re companionship goes a long way.

“I love when a passenger is giving me a hard time and another passenger is observing it and then they make a joke about it,” she explained.

“Or when a passenger does something super inconsiderate and another passenger is noticing and we’ll just make eye contact, and I’ll be like, Mmhmm, yep, this is what we’re dealing with.

“The other day, a passenger was being really rude to me, and this old man looked at me and said, ‘You having fun yet, sweetheart?’ and I was like, ‘You see me’.”

@destanieaaa GREEN FLAGS #passengers ♬ Yacht Club – MusicBox

Respect boundaries

While she welcomes friendly conversation, knowing where the line is important.

The flight attendant shared that one of the downfalls of her career is when flyers think it’s acceptable to get ‘too friendly’ with staff.

Going on a holiday (aided by a drink or two in the sky) can fill passengers up with newfound confidence or bravery, however, hitting on or flirting with flight attendants is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

“The times that guys have tried to chat me up, they’ve always had a ring on their finger,” she shared.

The flight attendant adds that she loves it when people are “Kind but not too kind”.