Confession: Flight attendant reveals secret ways to improve your experience of a great flight

Published on : Monday, November 25, 2013

Danielle HughPlane travel can at times be tiring, uncomfortable and irritating but doesn’t have to be, according to international flight attendant, Danielle Hugh. Getting the flight attendants onside is a good way to improve your odds of having a great flight. “Treat us well and your flight will be decidedly better,” Hugh claims.

“There is a saying in the airline industry: Never reward bad passengers,” she says. So what makes a ‘good’ passenger, the kind that a flight attendant will go the extra mile for? Here are her tips for getting the cabin crew onside:

In her 20 years as an international flight attendant, Hugh says she has seen many scenarios of courteous and cooperative passengers being rewarded by cabin crew.

Many of the anecdotes in her book, “Confessions of a Hostie”, are about the bad behaviour she has witnessed onboard and how the crew reacted, which often involved assisting other passengers who had also been affected.

“Not every ‘good’ passenger is going to be rewarded with complimentary bottles of champagne or a better seat, but, as a crew member, I can categorically tell you that if a passenger is polite and respectful to others around them, including the crew, the flight attendants will be equally polite and respectful, and everyone has a happier flight,” she says.

And who wins Hugh’s gold star for the best passenger she’s ever served? “A well-known politician – I won’t name him – was on two of my flights. On boarding, he stopped to say a personal hello to each flight attendant, and later said, ‘I know you are busy, so if it makes it easier for yourself, I would love a scotch on ice and some cheese when it suits you. I don’t need anything else for the rest of the flight, thank you.’ I gave him the world’s largest scotch with an equally impressive cheese platter – on both occasions. This man was at the pointy end of the plane and obviously travels all the time but he spoke in a way which was both respectful and clear. Any passenger can do that.”

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