Gifts for Flight Attendants

cardboard gift box with postcard on table

Flight attendants, crew members, and other folks that work to ensure our flights are safe and comfortable are under appreciated and undervalued. In addition to a simple “thank you,” some people bring small tokens of appreciation to gift to their crews. So, what can you give to flight attendants? What are good gifts for flight attendants?

Your creativity is the limit, but there are some things that are better gifts than others. If you want to bring something along to thank your crews, read on! And don’t forget to put your name or seat number (or both) on your gift so crew members can thank you.

(Sometimes small tokens of appreciation have been reciprocated by flight crews for special goodies or even seat upgrades. But giving gifts to the crew should always be done out of generosity, not wanting something in return.)

assorted gift bags with cords on brown background - perfect for gifts for flight attendants.
What can you give to flight attendants? You can always make up little gift bags with multiple things from our list!


Giving flight crews some cash as a tip might feel like a natural answer (especially if you’re American where tipping is common), but flight attendants aren’t allowed to carry cash (per Reader’s Digest). So as nice as giving cash might seem, do refrain.

A Flight Themed Notebook

Journals and notebooks really come in handy for jotting down ideas on the go, or locking adventures into memory. Notebooks like this one (which I actually designed) highlight the special nature of a flight attendant’s job. What could be better?

Gift Cards

Denominations of $5 or $10 (or more if you’re particularly generous) in gift cards for places like Starbucks, Subway, Amazon or other common places are welcomed. Gift cards do not fall under the “no cash” rule and they’re easy to pack away to quickly grab for crew members.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of flight crew members might be different. You can check with your airline with your flight number and they’ll tell you how many members to plan for.


Individually wrapped candy is a good bet. You can them out into individual baggies or hand the whole bag/container to the crew. After all, everyone could use a sweet little pick-me-up. In my experience Lindt chocolate truffles, Hershey’s kisses, and Ferrero Rocher are winners. Sweets are the perfect gifts for flight attendants!

Please don’t bring homemade candy or treats. Crews aren’t supposed to accept homemade treats for safety reasons.

Hand Sanitizer

Everyone can use more hand sanitizer, especially right now and in the regular flu season. If you can tuck a few mini hand sanitizers into your liquids bag, these are handy (pun intended) gifts they’re sure to appreciate.

Hand Lotion

In the same way that hand sanitizer is always welcome, lotions are too. When you’re constantly washing or sanitizing your hands, spending time in dry airplane air or working with your hands, your skin takes a beating. Small hand lotions are a great way to thank crews for everything they do.


A flight attendant told me that pens are something they’re always happy to receive. They use, lose and use up pens frequently, yet aren’t always something people think of as gifts for flight attendants. So, jot that down!


You don’t have to spend a fortunate to make flight crews feel appreciated. A simple, handwritten card means the world. If you just write down your thanks for crew members, you don’t know the difference you could make in their day. Plus it’s something they can share with other flight crews as well. Why not make everyone feel appreciated?


Published by Amanda Finn

Founder of Dream Suitcase, Amanda Finn is an award-winning travel, theater and lifestyle journalist.

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