Be completely honest with yourself. Do you really appreciate what they do? Think about it.
In my opinion, they are under appreciated because “they are just doing their job”. Just doing their job is an understatement; they fly 150+ lives 30,000 feet above air working 10+ hours a day. Could you imagine waking up every day as a pilot, getting ready for work and thinking “I am going to be about 30,000 feet in the air with over 150 lives, I can’t make one mistake because they trust me to land them safely”; and on top of that working 10+ hour shifts. This is more than likely pilots thought and worries. Think about this after you get out of surgery safely you thank the doctor a million and one times for saving your life; why can’t we all appreciate flight crew as well? You’re probably thinking you can’t compare a doctor to a flight crew and your right it’s completely different but they both have your life in their hands one wrong move can change everything. It’s amazing how they have to plan out everything before, during and after flights. They have to figure situations out in seconds with less than minutes to spare. I can guarantee you that pilot will go home and say to his family “every flight I landed today, every 150 passengers told me Thank You. This is why I do what I do!”
How you can show appreciation:
Applause: I remember at a young age as soon as we would land everyone would start clapping and I would get so excited thinking “Yay we made it!” As I grew up and started having a fear of flying I realize a different meaning for why people were clapping. We made it safely. I can’t quite pinpoint when people stop clapping but the last 5 years of my travel no one has applauded the crew.
I just flew back from St. Thomas USVI a couple weeks ago on Spirit Airlines. There was a huge storm that the pilot made the call to postpone our flight time. Once we were able to leave we had to make a stop at San Juan Puerto Rico to fuel since the winds were too strong in St. Thomas. You can tell the crew was exhausted and the Pilot main concern was his passengers and getting them to their connecting flights as soon as possible. He paced around well being fueled calling the airport figuring out everyone’s connecting flight. Once we departed from San Juan he picked up the speed and made it in less time then plan. Throughout the entire flight, he had his flight attendants figuring out connecting flights determine to not let anyone miss it. You can feel and see the care and concern this flight crew had for the passengers. We ended up making it 45 minutes after the scheduled time; with all the delays it was actually supposed to be 2 hours after the scheduled time. But the pilot made it happen and can you believe no one I mean NO ONE clapped for him! I was in disbelief I wanted to get up and say “Are you kidding me!! This crew made the impossible possible and we all made it safely because of them.” But I was with my dad and he doesn’t quite let me voice my opinion when I am upset (for good reasons). I also had to remember this is a cultural habit not everyone believes in applauding but if you do not believe in applauding once landed there are other ways to show appreciation.
Behave/ Be Considerate: 2017 has been the year for flight crew and passenger brawls. (Probably not a good choice of word but we’ll stick with it.) Why? Why bother? Yes I understand certain situations are unacceptable but handle it with a conversation be considerate that pilot and flight attendants have minimum control, they cannot change policy they either follow it or lose their job. Get on the flight treat the crew how you would like to be treated by them and they will appreciate you so much more.
One flight I got to my seat and there was a dirty diaper in between the side and the seat. Some people would lose control and demand them to change the seat (they can’t on a full flight). I called the flight attendant over and you can tell in her face that she was worried about what I would do or say. She apologized grabbed a trash bag and asked if I can move so she can clean it. My response was “No it’s okay give me the trash bag I can clean it. I don’t want to stop everyone who is coming in.” I cleaned it up and that was the end. Imagine if I handled it a different way the flight attendant would have been in a bad mood, passengers trying to get in would have been in a bad mood, and guess what it will be a 3-hour plane flight full of bad mood people. No thank you and plus that is one less job for the flight attendant to do.
Say Thank You: I totally understand that many people oppose applauding due to a culture which is fine but I know in all cultures saying Thank you is a sign of appreciation and should be said. There will be times that you may have had a rough flight or a certain crew member wasn’t nice or you don’t want to be flying but you have to. It isn’t the entire flight crew fault and they should receive a thank you for making sure your safety is their number one priority. Please understand they do not have to be a flight attendant or pilot they choose to; to give you the ability to fly. A simple thank you goes a long way! When you are walking out they are all standing by the exit door simply saying “Thank you for doing what you do” or “Thank you for your amazing work” can change their day around. It amazes me how many people walk past the crew without saying anything it truly saddens me. People love to say “Well that’s their job, that is what they are supposed to do” or “That is what they choose to deal with.” Guess what? If they did not choose to do that you could not choose to travel.
Pass a note: I love to travel but every time I get on a flight I have to pray for safe landing and an amazing pilot. Once we land I always give thanks for safe landing but I never feel like saying thank you or behaving or clapping is enough I want to do so much more for the crew for keeping me safe. I wish I could give them a gift but they cannot accept it. What they can accept as a thank you is a card! I saw a post on Girls LOVE Travel Facebook group where a woman gave the pilot a thank you letter and they took a selfie with it. You can truly see in their face how happy they were to receive a simple thank you note. I challenge you to give a Travel Stop Appreciation note. Where ever your destination is, buy a postcard write your appreciation on there and hand it to them. Don’t forget to write @TravelStop_ appreciates them too (since I can’t meet every pilot). Take a picture tag us and we will spread the love for our flight crews. #FlightCrewLove
Never take what you have for granted and that is people willing to work so you can fly. Remember to appreciate your flight crew next time you travel. Your flight will be a million times better.