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A Great Answer From a Flight Attendant

A while back, I wondered why flight attendants don’t get tipped. Here’s a nice response from a reader named Barb, who retired after 36 years as a flight attendant with US Airways. Her suggestion sounds pretty perfect to me. I particularly liked her “schmuck” observation:

Flight attendants are paid very well and therefore do not need to be tipped. They are also safety professionals. Airlines teach us in training not to accept tips unless from a little old lady so as not to hurt her feelings. I would like to share a few things that happened to me over the years.
I received a Hummel, a check from a famous movie producer (buy yourself a bottle of Champagne), a basket of products from Johnson & Johnson, Richard Simmons diet plan and tapes, etc. from passengers who appreciated that little extra something they thought I provided. The best gifts were food [from] passengers who brought baked goods, candy, food, or bagels for the crew.
I personally never get on a plane without home-baked chocolate-chip cookies for the crew or a box of candy. Just being polite when boarding and saying thank you touches a flight attendant’s heart. And when you receive exceptional service, take the flight attendant’s name and base and write a complimentary letter to the airline. The schmuck sitting across from you just may be writing a nasty letter and yours will cancel it out. Safe flying, and thanks so much for providing insight into the world of airline crews.
Best, Barb