Have You Thanked an Airline Employee Lately?

Thank a random pilot or flight attendant sometime. They deserve it. (photo borrowed from Rand Peck’s excellent blog at randpeck.blogspot.com)

Even at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, there’s a buzz at Incheon Airport … the kind only found at a major intercontinental airport. I walk the concourse just to bask in it awhile longer.

I wind up walking next to an airline pilot. He’s close to 60, sports a bit of a paunch. He wears a “here we go again” expression on his face.

“So where are you headed tonight?” I ask.

The pilot’s expression transforms. He tells me he’s headed for a city in China – he’s more specific, but it’s a city I’ve never heard of. And then he’s bound for a few more just like it. He asks about my trip. I run him through a four-sentence synopsis of my last few weeks.

As we walk, we reach a hallway – and it’s clear that’s where he’s headed. So I wish him a good trip and tell him “Hey, thanks for flying and getting us all around the world.” He thanks me, smiles, heads off to get to work.

The Travel Class cabin of an Asiana 777

A long-haul cabin – it’s where I love to be.

I hope he remembers this the next time someone crabs about late flights, cramped seats and bad food. I can tell my words surprised him – but in a god way. So next time you have a chance, thank a pilot or a flight attendant … and it’s even better if it’s not one from your own plane. Let a random airline professional know that you have some appreciation for their role in opening the world up to you.

I’ll go first – if you work for an airline, thank you. You’re not perfect – but neither am I. And if not for you, I wouldn’t see Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Asia and many other incredible places to come. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Have You Thanked an Airline Employee Lately?

  1. flight attendant HQ

    Yes I totally agree with you, we should be thankful that we arrived safe after a long and stressful journey, and that someone takes good care of us while were on board.

  2. Rand Peck

    Thanks for using one of my pics on your blog, I was very pleased to see it when a friend passed it along. Now, that wasn’t me that you referred to with “a bit of a paunch” was it?

    This is a two way street though, we as airline employees also need to thank our passengers too. After all, they afford me the lifestyle that I’ve grown accustomed to.



  3. WanderingJustin

    Rand, thanks so much for dropping by. And I promise you are not the paunchy pilot I mentioned!

    I wish everyone who has harsh words for airline employees would drop by your blog. It would open their eyes to the professionalism and enthusiasm that is common throughout the industry. Happy flying!

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