I’ve been a flight attendant for a major U.S. carrier for more than 15 years, so if there’s one thing I know besides uncomfortable seats and bad food, it’s men. Really it’s people. That said, I met my husband somewhere over Illinois on a flight from New York to Los Angeles. These days the skies aren’t quite as friendly as they once were. No joke—it’s probably easier to pick up a fully loaded beverage cart than it is a flight attendant today, which is why I offer the following tips.
1. MAKE EYE CONTACT. And say hello! It’s shocking how many people don’t return my greeting, let alone my gaze, when I say good morning during boarding at the aircraft door. Often I feel like I’m talking to myself. Sometimes I’ll even answer my own questions. This is why passengers who are kind, courteous, and say “please” and “thank you” really stand out.
2. DON’T SHOW ME YOUR BAG TAG. If you have to tell me your frequent flier status, you’re probably doing something wrong. Listen, everyone has status. Everybody’s important. It’s why the airlines had to create another top-tier frequent-flier level to separate the million milers from the three-million milers. Differentiate yourself from the masses. Compliment me.
3. HELP A PASSENGER. Nothing catches my eye more than somebody who goes out of their way to help another passenger, especially when it comes to getting overstuffed bags into the bin. Right away I know this is a good person, a person who helps their fellow man without expecting anything in return. Extra wine, water, pretzels for them.