A guide to the best gifts for flight attendants to brighten their day and show how much you appreciate their work.
I have a lot of travel experience under my belt and I’ve been on many flights in my life. Yet, when I think of taking a flight, my mind goes everywhere!
How do I navigate the airport I’m traveling through? What can I easily access in my personal item and carry on bag? What’s my seat number?
Collectively, it can easily become an overwhelming experience. Flight attendants handle all this day in and day out!
Because being a flight attendant can be a tiring job, I know I’m grateful to those who take on that responsibility and who are a key part of any pleasant experience on a trip.
And what better way to show your appreciation than with a gift to make a flight crew member’s day with a small surprise?
That’s where this article comes in–if you’re looking for the best gifts for flight attendants for the next time you fly or for a flight attendant you happen to know, I’ve got you covered. Just take a look below and show the first flight attendant you see on your next flight some love.
These gift ideas for flight attendants range from small items to larger travel necessities. Any of them will make flying that much easier for flight attendants and flight crew.
Want more aviation-related gifts? Check out our top gifts for pilots.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Box of Chocolates
Any person would be happy to receive a box of chocolates. It’s never a bad thing!
Chocolates can be shared among flight crews, saved for later, don’t take much space, and are cheap to buy–though I recommend purchasing a nice box if you can.
It’s a great gift to pick up while you’re in the airport, but you can also buy a box in advance easily enough. My favorite for gifting (and eating) is a classic: Ferrero Rocher. They’re individually wrapped, which makes them easy for the flight crew to share.
Assortment of Candy
Not everyone can eat chocolate. I’ve heard there are even some people who don’t like chocolate *gasp!*.
For those poor souls, a candy basket can be a great idea to satisfy their sweet tooth. And like a box of chocolates, candies are inexpensive gifts for flight attendants.
Most airports have candy shops or similar stores where you can buy an assortment of the best gummy bears, sour candies, peanut buttery goodies, and any other tasty gifts to make flight attendant gift bags.
Instead of a basket or a bag, you can also order a variety jar ahead of time.
Starbucks Gift Cards
Starbucks shops are in many airports worldwide and are a go-to for gifts.
Even if the flight attendant you’re gifting isn’t a coffee person, Starbucks offers a variety of other beverages, food, and snack items.
Because of the global brand Starbucks is, chances are the airports that the flight crew is traveling through will have locations to use this gift card.
Garnier Micellar Makeup Removing Towelettes
When I think about long flights, the first thing that comes to my mind is the way airplane air makes your skin feel so dry.
Most makeup wipes exacerbate skin dryness and can be abrasive on the skin, too. But micellar water, which is what these Garnier towelettes use, is cleansing and hydrating without the use of any alcohol or harsh ingredients.
These Garnier towelettes have 25 in a pack so a flight attendant can get extended self care out of this gift.
Lonely Planet: Where to Go When
Lonely Planet is one of the most famous travel guide brands, making any of their books a trusted go-to gift for travel enthusiasts.
If you know your flight attendant friend is excited about heading to a certain city or country, you can opt for a specified location guide.
However, since you probably don’t know where a flight attendant is heading next, why not get them a world-focused book?
A reliable option that covers all bases is the book Lonely Planet: Where to Go When.
This book not only provides information about amazing places throughout the world but also explains why they’re worth visiting.
Universal Travel Adapter
For a flight attendant who is constantly jetting all over the world, this may be the most practical gift out there.
I’ve used my fair share of cheap, faulty travel adapters, and there’s nothing more disappointing than technology failing you when you need it most.
Removing the worry of whether or not you’ll be able to use your electronics in any given country is a huge win. This universal travel adapter is small for easy storage so you can carry several of them to meet all your needs.
I know how hard it can be to find an outlet in an airport or on an airplane.
Sometimes, it’s like Lord of the Flies with airports having just a few outlets for the hundreds of passengers waiting to board a flight.
And on an airplane, it can be even worse with your cell phone draining extra quickly if it’s searching for a signal while you’re 30,000 feet up in the air. I’ve arrived at my destination dead phone in hand more times than I care to remember.
That’s why a power bank is a perfect gift! Let your flight attendant friend forget about whether their electronics will have enough battery life to last the duration of a travel day.
Portable Hotel Door Lock
When traveling the world, safety should always be top of mind.
A portable hotel door lock is one of those items where once you have it, you wonder why it took you so long to get it in the first place.
Using a portable door lock is simple and it doesn’t take up much space, which makes it easy to bring along for any trip.
Adding an extra layer of security always helps me sleep better in a hotel room or foreign space.
Bottle or Cup Holder for Suitcases
These bottle or cup holders go between the handles of a suitcase and help reduce the number of things you have to carry.
And no traveler will ever contest having fewer things to carry.
The holder is designed to adjust to any size bottle, making it a perfect gift that will suit a flight attendant on the go (or on the fly!) regardless of their beverage of choice.
Hydrating Tablets or Powder
Hydrating products are important when it comes to a long-haul flight. Especially since it’s hard to bring more than a bottle or two of water with you on a flight.
With how dehydrated I feel from a single flight, I can only imagine how it feels for a flight attendant to be on an airplane all day.
Getting a variety pack of Nuun or Liquid I.V. could help hydrate a flight attendant during your long-haul flight and save them the time of needing to stock up.
Lunchbox + Ice Pack
Though airports have food options, the quality is debatable, and prices can be insane.
For this reason, many flight attendants prefer to bring their own food with them during the workday.
A proper way to store food is in an insulated lunch box. Pairing a simple but quality lunch bag with some ice packs will set your flight attendant up for success.
Lunchbox + Portable Food Warmer
Appliances in the galley of an airplane are meant to be used for taking care of passengers, not the flight crew.
And unless it’s an especially long flight, flight attendants often eat during their free time between flights.
But depending on where they are, there’s no guaranteed access to a microwave.
This lunch box comes with a portable food warmer. It also has an extendable shoulder strap, meaning one less thing to carry.
Portable Silverware Kit
When it comes to eating food on the go, it’s not realistic that you’ll always be able to find eating utensils.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve forgotten to ask for utensils before jetting off to my gate or getting on the plane. For flight attendants, utensils are something they need to remember for every meal!
This portable silverware kit comes with every utensil you might need and a carrying case to fit them all. Another perk is that this gift is eco-friendly!
Travel Coffee Cup Thermal Mug
Contigo is a well-known brand, and I can firsthand attest to the quality of their mugs. I never buy a travel mug from anyone else!
I use my Contigo mugs when I drink my coffee or tea, but they can securely carry any hot or cold beverage.
Any Contigo travel mug would be a great gift, but this one specifically is a classic model and has a ton of color options.
When I fly, I get a bit cold on the plane. You may not realize that the galley area (where flight attendants and flight crew are working) does as well.
I’ve heard from actual flight attendants about how helpful hand warmers can be in a chilly galley.
This hand warmer is rechargeable, making it eco-friendly and easy to bring on the go.
It’s an item not everyone may think of when it comes to gifts for flight attendants, but it would make a small and mighty tool!
Most airlines allow flight attendants to wear whatever jewelry they please, so long as it fits within size requirements (one pair of earrings, no bigger than a quarter).
Considering the fact that flight attendants have to wear a uniform, their jewelry can be an outlet for expression.
Ultimately, anyone who is a flight attendant is passionate about the aviation (or at the very least, travel) industry. So, good gifts for flight attendants could be airplane-themed jewelry.
Whether you’re gifting a plane-shaped necklace, earrings, or cufflinks, these gifts are an extra nod to their passion. And if a flight attendant happens to be someone special to you, jewelry can be the best gift for your flight attendant, girlfriend or boyfriend.
Airplane jewelry also comes in a variety of price ranges depending on the quality of the metal you choose.
Very long flights require flight crews to rotate shifts. This is why there’s a crew bunk area, so flight attendants can properly rest when they’re off-duty.
It makes sense then that most flight attendants would find a flying sleep kit to be a special gift.
You can make it a creative gift with items like an eye mask, moldable earplugs, and lavender sleep spray.
Just remember to keep whatever bottle you gift under 3 oz so that it’s TSA-compliant.
These kinds of gifts for flight attendants will make sure they’re getting the proper rest they need for the remainder of their flight, or make them feel like they’re traveling in first class.
Scratch-Off World Map
When it comes to cool gifts, a scratch-off map is the first thing that comes to my mind.
One of the best perks of being a flight attendant is the opportunity to travel the world as a built-in part of your job.
Scratch-off maps are perfect gifts for any travel lover, especially new flight attendants, as they begin their country checklist!
It also turns the experience of flying into a sort of game of how many destinations you can check off, making flying that much more exciting.
Similar to scratch-off maps, travel journals make perfect gifts for new flight attendants because it gives them the opportunity to log their experience in each place they visit. If you’re looking for a gift for a flight attendant graduation, a journal would be a long-lasting keepsake.
What I like about this travel journal is that it has questions about each place but also free space for journaling.
So, whether your giftee likes to answer quickly or spends time writing longer notes, there’s room for both.
Personally, I have a short attention span, so I like that there are direct questions to fill out quickly.
Travel Notebook and Map Combined
This specific travel journal is more like a notebook since it’s made up of mostly empty lined pages.
The cool thing about this journal is that it comes with a color-off map (similar to a scratch-off map concept) where the giftee can color in the countries of the world they’ve visited.
Plus, the map can easily be stored in a bag that’s attached to the journal.
One thing I like about this feature is how the US states are outlined, which makes it more of a checklist than having to color in the entire country.
This makes domestic travel just as exciting as international travel.
This journal also comes with additional page inserts, so it’s easy to extend the length of the notebook if needed.
Additionally, the brown vegan leather cover makes it very versatile in terms of aesthetic style, and your giftee won’t have to worry about it getting marked or beaten up.
For flight attendants who move around all the time that’s a major plus.
The flight attendants I know are often very dedicated to the airline they work for. After all, they’re representations of the airline and are in a branded uniform day in and day out.
If your flight attendant friend is someone who really loves the company they work for, get them a sweatshirt with the airline logo on it.
This could be an easy thing to throw into their carry-on luggage so that they’re always covered when it comes to chilly airports or plane rides.
No matter what trip you’re packing your bags for, a reliable personal-size bag is vital.
This bag checks all the boxes: pockets for any and all travel accessories, a USB plug built in, and a band on the back that allows it to slip over luggage handles.
Plus, the size of this bag meets airline requirements for placing it underneath the seat or in the overhead compartment.
This bag has backpack straps as well, making it a two-in-one style. Your flight attendant friend will love it!
Customized Wine Glass
Honestly, who doesn’t want another fun wine glass? This one pokes fun at arguably one of the most dreadful parts of flying: flight delays.
I love when someone gets me a gift related to my interests, hobbies, or job. It makes me feel even closer to my friend.
This wine glass does that in a very personalized way because you’re able to customize it with your giftee’s name or even as a set.
I will be the first to admit I typically don’t replace my luggage until I absolutely have to (we’re talking ripped fabric or broken wheels).
Flight attendants have no time to waste when it comes to making sure the bags they’re traveling with are versatile and intact.
Flight attendant gifts should be good for any length of stay because the duration of their travel legs can vary.
This bag is completely adaptable to any length of trip because it can be expanded to three different sizes (holding up to 55L, 76L, or 90L).
Luggage can be a very personalized gift, but that’s why this simple black piece is a safe bet to give anyone.
Black luggage doesn’t get marked up easily and can be customized with other gifts and accessories like a handle wrap, ribbon, or luggage tag.
Crew Luggage Handle Wrap
These crew luggage handle wraps make great flight attendant gifts because keeping track of your bag is much easier when it’s identifiable.
This is especially the case for working flight attendants, who may not be able to be physically near their bags at all times like passengers are.
This luggage handle wrap says “crew,” immediately setting flight attendant bags apart from the rest of the passengers. It also has customization options in terms of color and script for their name.
If you’d rather not have the word crew, and instead only their name or a different word embroidered, that’s a possibility with this product too.
Anything you pick will help make a new reference point for any suitcase.
LANEIGE Hydrating Skincare Kit
In my opinion, self-care gifts are always welcome and appreciated.
This is especially the case for people who have busy jobs (like flight attendants) where they may not always remember to take time for themselves.
The brand Laneige is well known for its hydrating products, and this water bank set has all aspects of hydration covered.
It comes with moisturizer, toner, eye cream, and a serum. Naturally, they’re all airplane-friendly as travel-sized products.
Some airline uniforms require flight attendants to wear shoes that look nice but are uncomfortable.
If your flight attendant friend has a comfy pair of shoes that they like to put on once they’re off the airplane, the question becomes where to put their uniform pair.
Getting a travel shoe bag is a solution that not everyone thinks of.
I like traveling with shoe bags because of how dirty shoes can get. I’d rather not have the bottoms of my shoes touch the rest of my belongings.
These travel shoe bags are a practical gift, and I prefer these canvas ones because they’re easy to throw in the washing machine.
I even find myself using them for items other than shoes when traveling!
Can you give gifts to flight attendants? And should you?
Yes, it is okay to get thank-you gifts for flight attendants.
Some gifts, like cash, should be avoided. Due to aviation industry rules, flight attendants often are not allowed to carry cash, and the appearance of a bribe can make what you might think is a great gift rather uncomfortable for the flight attendant.
A gift card would be a much better idea.
Whether you should is a matter of personal preference. Most passengers don’t give gifts to flight attendants, but just a token of appreciation can go a long way. It’s truly a nice gesture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monroe Dziersk is a twenty-something American who has lived in the USA, Italy, and Czechia. A self-proclaimed Europhile, she has a passion for international education, traveling, and becoming a global citizen, having visited more than twenty countries. You can often find her accompanied by a good book and her calico cat.
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