10 Gifts for flight attendants (and frequent fliers)

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is job security, being able to hold my first bid, two weeks vacation, a raise, longer layovers, more wide-body flying, faster flying times, grateful and polite passengers with a sense of humor, more ferry flights, a cockpit that appreciates who’s on the other side of the reinforced door, and a fun crew

Florence, the flight attendant

Something tells me that ain’t happening. So what can you get that special flight attendant, pilot or frequent flier in your life for Christmas this year? Glad you asked. Here’s my 2009 holiday gift list…

1. AVIATION CRAP STUFF – If there’s one thing flight attendants have in common, it’s the airline museum hiding in the guestroom closet. So if you see something with an aviation theme buy it, wrap it up, and send it to me. I’m talking things like vintage airline posters, sassy bag tags, airplane pajamas, flight attendant dolls, even an airplane Christmas ornament – anything really!

2. HAND LOTION – Flight attendants have always been addicted to fruity smelling antibacterial hand lotion. Now that the flu season is here with a nasty H1N1 scare to top it off, we’re going through germ killer like business class passengers go through wine and bottled water. Bath and Body has a wonderful selection of travel size lotion to stuff a stocking with. Also, we’re constantly washing our hands with harsh airplane soap, so hand lotion with shea butter is a must. Beth, a coworker and friend, swears by Gardners hand therapy cream by Crabtree and Evelyn.

3. CAFFEINE – Three reasons your flight attendant might not be smiling; 1. Long work days. 2. Short layovers. 3. They’ve given up their expensive Starbucks addiction in order to cut back and make ends meet. Every flight attendant deserves (and needs!) a decent cup of Joe, especially when working long hauls, early sign-ins, red eyes, or multiple legs. I’m sorry, but airplane coffee just won’t cut it. While a Starbucks gift card might be nice, a couple packets of Via Ready Brew would work well, too.

4. READING MATERIAL – Flight attendants are like vultures when it comes to scavenging seat back pockets for discarded newspapers and magazines after a flight. While I love to score a copy of US, Star, People, ya know, the kind of magazine you can flip through quickly between beverage services, it’s Vanity Fair I can’t commute to work without. What flight attendant wouldn’t love a magazine subscription or a gift card to Barnes & Noble? Or take it a step further and give a Kindle. You’ll help lighten the load.