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Those of us who fly a lot will know that there is a bit of a variety in cabin crew. Some (sadly more common on certain airlines) do the very bare minimum to ensure a safe flight, but nothing more. Many (especially on airlines noted for good customer service) provide a good service.

Every so often though, you come across a flight crew who go the extra mile. These are the ones always friendly, always helpful, always thinking ahead and solving the problem before it has happened. One moment they're serving you your drink, the next reassuring a little old lady about the flight, the next magicing a colouring book to turn an impending toddler crisis into a happy small child, then answering queries on arrivals and immigration for a first time travaller, then back to offer you a top up of what you're drinking (which they've remembered exactly). Not very often found, but very much appreciated when you happen across them on your travels!

In the case when you do luck out and find yourself on a flight with a great cabin crew (who go well beyond what you normally experience as "good" on that airline/kind of airline), is there a standard/common way to recognise them at the end of the flight? Not just to thank them then and there, but also to let the airline know that this person/group are what the rest of their staff should be aspiring to. Is there any standard way, or does it vary entirely by carrier?

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The best way to thank them would be to tell them that HaLabi is going to join the crew on their next flight. Or not :) –  Affable Geek Sep 28 '13 at 15:25
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up vote 18 down vote accepted

I am answering this because I worked as a cabin crew for years (flight attendant) and still a part of the cabin crew now (cabin crew inspector).

The best would be a thank you, with some details explaining why you're thanking. Believe me this was the best thing I used to get, because passengers are not always thankful and it is always us who welcome them, bid farewell, say please and keep smiling in all situations and passengers simply forget all that and complain about the slightest possible thing. So, say thank you with a smile and add few more words and you will make a super tired cabin crew member so happy.

The second best thing is, in addition to the thank you, ask for a paper and a pen and write a small commendation letter. Do not forget to include the flight no., date, the cabin crew member's name and your seat no. Hand the letter to the purser (the chief of the cabin crew) yourself. You can also write an email to the airline with the same mentioned details. The letter will reach the direct supervisor of the cabin crew member and it will be an addition in his/her file. Many airlines do give bonuses depending on the crew member's performance and this can help with that. In the airline where I work this means a lot (I guess in many other airlines as well).

One more thing, some passengers give gifts to the cabin crew on the spot, sometimes it is acceptable stuff (depending on the country's laws or the airline's policy) like souvenirs and other small things, I do not recommend giving any edible gifts like chocolate for example. In some other cases they give unacceptable stuff, like tips (yes it happens), just avoid that.

Here's a true story that happened to a cabin crew member, he got a cheque of (around $6600 USD or 25,000 SAR) because this cabin crew member helped a handicapped passenger in going to the lavatory, the passenger was so thankful and after landing he called the cabin crew member and handed him the cheque! Now this is what I call a nice thank you :D. Please check local rules before doing this.

Last but not least, go easy on the service call button, this is also a way of thanking the cabin crew ;)

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Some airlines let you do the commendation letter thing online, eg BA Well Done –  Gagravarr Sep 28 '13 at 18:24
    
@Gagravarr this will be a good idea –  MeNoTalk Sep 28 '13 at 18:48
    
@HaLaBi, this is very helpful advice, thanks. Can you clarify why you say tips are "unacceptable"? It would never occur to me to give a (cash) tip, but I would assume that a small amount wouldn't be a problem in most cases? Or is it against airline policies to accept it? –  Andrew Ferrier Sep 30 '13 at 0:56
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@AndrewFerrier Cabin Crews are usually paid good, and it is really not common to tip cabin crew. So your tip will be kinda awkward. Plus, it could be not allowed by the airlines. Try to tip a cabin crew in the middle east or Asia and they won't accept it :) I guess the same in EU as well. Not sure about USA. –  MeNoTalk Sep 30 '13 at 8:33
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