Travel Tip of the Day: Bring Chocolates!

ChocolatesBring Chocolates!
You should always be nice to everyone, but especially when you’re flying. Trip after trip I see how most passengers treat gate agents and flight attendants (not too kindly), so I’m always extra nice. In fact, I almost always bring two boxes of chocolates—one for the gate agents and one for the flight attendants because both can make or break your trip.

When you hand the chocolates over, do it with a big smile, be genuine and don’t look for anything in return. If there is a chance they can give you a better seat or service, they will. And if you don’t know what to say, just tell them Johnny Jet recommended it! BTW: It doesn’t have to be gourmet chocolates either—I usually bring Hershey Kisses, and sometimes three packs (the last one is for me!).

 

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Comments

  1. I worked for an airline and the fight attendants and gate agents often made unkind comments about those who do this. And really, they aren’t stupid. They know why it was done.

    • Carlos Danger says:

      My point exactly!!! Johnny acts like this is similar to bringing an apple to a teacher.
      Too obvious and desperate, imho. The airline staff aren’t idiots. I bet they laugh at Johnny a lot.

  2. Hi Johnny – my friend swears by this tip! I’ve never tried it but you’re reminding me that I want to. I think I’ll try giving chocolates to the check in agent when I first arrive (if I have a bag to check), and definitely to the crew when I board the plane.

    But I haven’t interacted with a gate agent in a while. So I think it would be a bit odd to hand over chocolates to them since there’s really no interaction. I can see just giving a few kisses to the person calling out boarding numbers as I walk past them.

    How about giving chocolates to TSA? Man is that a thankless job….I always go out of my way to smile and chat with them. I wonder if they have to turn down gifts? I’m going to give it a try :)

    • Giving to some cool TSA agents is a great idea!

      • Carlos Danger says:

        NOT a great idea, if you use just a bit of your grey matter. Chocolates (depending on type) can contain unknown liquids of dubious origin and safety. Have the chocolates been tampered with?
        99% of anything proffered as a “gift” to a TSA agent will be discarded. JJet knows this. So his comment that “giving to some cool TSA agents is a great idea” is at least very naive and juvenile?
        Maybe JJet needs to get off the road for a while and actually spend quality time with his new wife. I’m sure SHE would rather have her husband at her side, instead of waking up to a box of chocolates on her pillow, since JJet has flown off again on a fully subsidized (free air, upgrades, hotel) junket.

        • Hey Carlos,

          Why don’t you leave my wife out of it. I’ve never blocked anyone from the site but you are treading on thin ice. BTW: It sounds like you are a bit jealous that I get invited on a press trips. As long as I’m upfront and honest about it than what’s the difference between a movie critic or a travel critic? FYI: Only about 30% of my flights are subsidized.

  3. Carlos Danger says:

    I think this a sad, pathetic suggestion. Please read on…

    This “Hint” reeks of a sad, BLATANT attempt to bribe the flight crew and gate agents who should be doing a good job with a big smile, without we travelers having to “suck up” to these professionals via candy, choc., etc.
    What’s next, Johnny??? Will you start offering freshly-baked muffins or home-canned preserves? Cash in an envelope? Fresh flowers plucked from your wife’s garden?
    Get real Johnny, and grow a pair! You’re blatantly sucking up and you’re comfortable with that. And, THAT says a ton about you and your self-esteem.

    • Ha!

    • Hey Carlos if you don’t like Johnny get the heck off his site. He is doing it out of appreciation for the flight attendants hard work. You seem like you don’t appreciate his hard work so leave. Johnny thank you for all the wealth of information you provide to your readers. If I run into you again I will make sure to bring you a box of Ferrero Rocher ;)

      • Thank you for the support!

        • Trudy H says:

          I followed your advice and brought Laura Secord chocolates (I’m Canadian) for the Delta flight attendants and they loved them. One hugged me! I gave them at the end of the flight as a thank you.

  4. Daniel Bambrick says:

    I did it. Leave flight attendants were really appreciative. It got me a little extra nice service!

  5. For all four of my international legs last year, I brought chocolates for the cabin crew. Most of them were shock/surprised that I was giving them chocolate. When asked why, I just said “I do this for all of my flights”. Almost every flight attendant on those flights stopped by my seat to thank me. I don’t expect anything in return, just a random kindness goes a long way. The flight attendants working the economy class (where I was sitting) was really attentive even made me some special tea prior to landing and I got a couple of business class amenities kits :)

  6. I gave a couple of boxes of Ferrero Rocher to AF Biz Class flight attendants and I don’t remember even getting a Thank You. Maybe they don’t like Italian chocolates .

  7. Interesting, JJet. I posted twice, with coherent reasons why your “tip” may not be appropriate or smart. Both of my posts got deleted. Why??? I thought this is an open forum?

  8. As a retired F/A I can tell you that in recent years we have become very suspect of any consumables offered up by passengers…..too many crazies out there and who knows what they could have done to these items and their intent. We are NOT to consume such things, though the thought is appreciated and may well get you some extra attention. More appreciated my many F/A’s would be a nice collection of reading material for our layovers (the trashier magazines the better…ok…fashion ones are good too….!) Or maybe a nice corsage/flower to pin on uniform….make them generic looking so they can be used by male or female F/A’s. Years ago, a long-time customer of my airline who owned a rose nursery would bring a dozen roses for each of the crew members and agents…..needless to say he was WELL taken care of ! Though this is a bit impractical for crewmembers stuck on an airplane for what might be a 5 day trip. Sometimes the BEST and most appreciated thing is eye contact when you board, with a pleasant greeting back, a please and thank you….things that seem to rarely occur anymore. Most folks don’t acknowledge us upon boarding even when we say hello…..and it they do, it is with a grunt ! They are too busy with their head stuck in their I-phone texting and emailing. And that brings up another issue which is best left for another day.

    • Good to know. I always give the FAs my leftover travel magazines too. I also always wondered if they could legally eat the chocolate but 99% of the time they have and some even shared it with me.

      • Trudy H says:

        The boxes of chocolate I give are factory sealed and each chocolate is wrapped in foil. The crew knows who I am so I’m sure if I tried to do anything funky with the candy, it could be tracked back to me?

  9. I always do this when I travel on a holiday. I buy the sealed small ‘sampler’ boxes and give them to TSA, gate agents, flight attendants, pilots, sky club staff, and hotel desk clerks, along with saying thanks for working on a holiday. Most everyone is surprised and appreciative. I’m never looking for anything, since I’m most likely already upgraded. I’ve gotten a bottle of wine to take with me a couple of times, but that’s it. I wait until after our ‘transaction’ has completed before handing it over since I don’t want anyone to think I’m looking for favors.

  10. Thank you LTabi and Scott for helpful sharing of your experiences. I’m in the ROAK camp – I don’t really care if I get anything because I gave. It’s just a nice thing to do. I mentioned this to my mom and she told me a story that I forgot about…..when I was 12 (in the 80′s) we flew to CA to go to Disneyland and I was so excited I baked cookies for the crew. I don’t know where I got the idea but she said they were clearly stricken by how thoughtful that was. We got nothing out of it besides feeling good, and when they had downtime they did come to our seats to chat which was fun :)

    I definitely understand the caution needed these days that Scott mentioned. But – giving is still the right thing to do (what I believe) so knowing it may get tossed, I’ll just keep it affordable like Johnny’s suggestion of Hershey kisses. AND – I never thought to give my mags…I will definitely do that from now on!

  11. Hi Johnny,
    I think maybe giving chocolates on the way out — like a tip — might be one way to do it. Just to say thanks…

    Sandy

  12. Well, I just wanted to say thank you to JJ for all of the information and tips he sends our way, and you are a class act sir ;). Thank you for your integrity and kindness, this comes through in every post. And for the trolls hanging about, how about practicing some kindness yourself?? Every time I have offered chocs, a ‘thank you’ or just made eye contact with crew on a flight, I have always received a delighted response. Offering kindness with no expectations is what we need more of I say.

  13. JJ this was a great idea! Some people are missing your point of giving the chocolates and asking for NOTHING in return. Just smile and say thank you. I bet the attendants deal with people all day who think since they paid for a ticket and any other fees that they better be treated like a king and give the attendants attitude if they don’t. The attendants never expect someone to walk on the plane and give them a gift and you will likely make their day! I am all about being unique so recently I brought a 1lb box of assorted chocolates from a family chocolate store that is well know in my area. I gave it to the attendants as I boarded and said thank you for great service I always get on this airline. The results were amazing! The attendants opened the box and shared them right away. They would always stop by me on their way up and down the aisle and comment how amazing the chocolates were, asked where I got them and said thank you. I did not receive anything in return and that was never the point. I left the flight with a smile on my face knowing that I made their day a little better. Everyone just stop and think, if someone took the time to buy a gift and gave it to you for no reason how would you feel? Would it make your day better? I always enjoy our emails, tips, and hearing you on Twit; keep up the amazing work!

  14. We did something similar when our Girl Scout troop was traveling. We made swaps, just thank you cards to hand out to people who helped us. Our flight was delayed and I was able to get us on another flight because I was dropped off early and the thank you notes were given to the staff that helped us. I know they were appreciated because people who got them were showing others.

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