I don’t know about you, but I admire flight attendants. I see them as some sort of heroes without capes. They can heal us, they can hurt us, they can drag us out from a burning aircraft if needed. Just check out their job description! This is why I decided to write about the best gifts for flight attendants, no matter if it’s for your mother, father, girlfriend, or husband.
I have never been good at choosing gifts for people around me. I can see something in a store and buy it on the spot if I feel it’s calling me, or I can spend 2 weeks before Christmas almost having panic attacks and infinitely scrolling Amazon just to find a basic idea of what to get people.
But for this gift guide, I put in the work now, so I don’t have to do it again. I loved researching things to buy for the special flight attendant in your life, and some of the ideas might even apply to other travel addicts you may know (we all have that one friend, right?).
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Gift ideas for flight attendants at a glance
For the ones of you that need a very basic list of ideas, here are a few, based on various criteria. I will provide more information for each of these items below, but this list may help you have a better overview of what is out there.
|Best gifts they want||Best gifts they need|
|Travel books||Samsonite luggage|
|Magazine subscriptions||Foldable water bottle|
|Online classes||Hand sanitizer|
|Travel stationery||Compression stockings|
|Maps||Healthy snack box|
|A whole trip||Sunglasses|
|Travel gear||Revolut credit card|
|Best gift cards||Best aviation related gifts|
|AirBnb||Anything from Airportag|
|Best for her||Best for him|
|Thermal water||Toiletries bag|
|Make-up palette & brush set||Packing cubes|
|Purse & Jewelry organizer||Cables bag|
|Hot water bottle||Touch screen gloves|
|Best budget gifts||Best mid-budget gifts||Best luxury gifts|
|Pocket mirror||Whiskey glasses||Watch|
|Plug adapter||Doormat||Wall art|
|Lunch box||Cessna keychain||Coffee table|
Best gifts for their soul
For me, gifts come in two main categories: what people need and what they want. And if I don’t know specifically something that they need, I will most definitely go for what they want. That’s why I choose to start with gift ideas that your beloved flight attendant wants.
As far as I know, they tend to do a lot of reading. No matter if it’s on a long haul flight or just waiting around for things to happen, sometimes their job is mostly made by waiting. And since you cannot watch Netflix on a flight to Japan, you’re better off offering him/her something to read.
For this purpose, travel books are always a hit, as is a magazine subscription for their favorite place. What I highly suggest is that, instead of a hardcover book, to offer a Scribd or Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription, so it won’t weight down their luggage. Check out the options below:
- Travel books
- The Lonely Planet travel literature
- The Atlas of Beauty, by Mihaela Noroc
- Cruising Attitude, by Heather Poole
- Dear Passenger, by Elizabeth Calwell
- Air Babylon, by Imogen Edwards-Jones
- Planely Speaking, by Bobby Laurie
- The Flight Attendant Survival Guide, by Sarah Keagle
- Flight Attendant Joe series
- Magazine subscription
If they’re interested in taking classes or just reading eBooks about different other topics, Ultimate Bundles is the solution for you. You just get to their site and see if they have something coming up that might interest them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a huge bundle of eBooks about gardening or self-care?
Also, some of your flight attendant friends might be interested in writing their adventures, or sometimes just to take notes on restaurant recommendations and other cool things they find out while on a trip. For this, a cute notebook or journal might be a great gift. Check out these options:
As a passionate traveler, I adore maps. I would think most flight attendants do as well, as they work in a field where they can travel the world SO easily. A scratch map like the one below or a wall design map can be a cute gift, and they will work on it for their whole career.
If they’re just starting, they’re probably broke and will work every holiday. This might make them a bit sad due to missing out on things, and will be even worse if they’re a big Christmas person. To help ease this feeling, I suggest organizing a trip for them after the holiday season, when they’ll have some free time. Check out the following resources:
And let’s be honest here, flight attendants tend to travel a lot even when off duty. I mean, they have flight benefits (it takes one to know one), so it would be a shame not to use them. So, why not buy them a great travel pillow for these trips? If it’s in the family, you can also use it if s/he is willing to share.
Best gifts a flight attendant needs
I know, it’s nice to think of gifts that cater to the emotional needs of people around us. We love giving people gifts that make them smile. But at the end of the day, we all have things we need, and getting them as presents might just make us smile the same.
The first thing you need to know about flight attendants is that they tend to have major issues with hydration. The air in the aircraft has a humidity of around 20%, and sometimes we can feel this as passengers as well. Still, they fly way more than most of us so they are particularly sensitive to this subject.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that most flight attendants are almost germophobes, so they use the harsh airplane soap and plenty of hand sanitizer. If you’d see the disgusting things they see (some passengers should not be allowed in public), you’d disinfect your hands more often as well.
To treat this, I can recommend buying them all the hand lotion and lip balm under the sun. My personal favorite is Neutrogena, but anything with shea or coconut butter should work. And don’t be shy, you can buy them a full set, they won’t go to waste. Here are some ideas, to get you started:
- L’Occitane hand cream set
- L’Occitane shea butter hand balm
- Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream
- Honey butter beeswax lip balm
The next thing in this area would be some eye drops, as the dry air can be very uncomfortable for their eyes. Of course, don’t buy anything more than fake tears, as any other product may harm their eyes. If unsure, look more into it from other colleagues, or try to find out if they already have a preferred brand.
And, of course, a water bottle is always a good idea. I love my Chilly bottle, but maybe for them, a collapsible one would be better. It will take up less space in their luggage, and we all know that’s a win in any case.
The next thing you need to know about flight attendants is that they tend to get sick more often than most people. They interact with so many people so they’re exposed to all kinds of germs. Also, airports and airplanes are like germ factories, and all sorts of bacteria are just waiting to be carried by a nice lady or gentleman with a beautiful smile.
To keep your loved ones healthy, the first thing you can buy them is some hand disinfectant, and try to find one that is less harsh with the skin.
The next thing on your list should be a pair of compression socks. All of us should wear them when flying, but the risk is even higher for them as they fly so often. I know it doesn’t sound like a beautiful gift, but I think it’s always nice and thoughtful to think of people’s health.
And because they tend to eat on the go or the crappy airplane food, a healthy snack box can be a great gift as well. These snacks are individually wrapped, so it’s easy for them to take a pack to go.
And in case they do get sick, or they want to take some vitamins to not get sick, this small pillbox is the perfect way to store them. It doesn’t need a lot of space but it can hold a decent amount of pills. It pretty handy to organize jewelry sometimes, but that’s another level of needs, right?
Now, I’m not the one to recommend credit cards. I come from a culture where credit cards are the absolute evil, and I’m sticking to my idea of trying to spend only the money I have. Revolut is not a credit card though. It’s a debit card (so you cannot spend more than you have), and you can easily top it up with as much as you want.
The cool thing about it is that you can have accounts in multiple currencies, and the exchange rate is the Forex one at the precise moment when the exchange is taking place. This is how we avoid exchange fees while traveling, and we can forget about exchange offices and paying attention to not leaving the country with cash not spent.
Revolut is super easy to use, it has a friendly mobile app where you have a great overview of everything you need. And when you’re done with one account, you can just transfer everything in a currency you’re using and close that account. If you need it again two months later, you can open it again. No fuss!
There’s a saying in the aviation world: you’re the only one being gentle with your luggage. This is why you should always invest in good quality luggage, even if the price tag may seem prohibitive. In the end, you’ll pay more if you have to buy them often, so you might as well bite the bullet and get some sturdy ones to begin with.
For this purpose, I am recommending Samsonite. They have a 10-year guarantee and if you show them your broken bag, they will replace it with a new one. Also, they’re very easy to handle, so your back will thank you. As for the price tag, they sometimes have discounts for older models and you can get some real gems in this way.
Now, I’m going to quote my husband on this one (don’t tell him), but there are a few things you need to take care of in life. One of them is your vision, and wearing high-quality sunglasses is part of this. Now, I cannot say from personal experience, as I wear prescription sunglasses that are custom made, but my husband swears by Oakley.
He has a pair of Oakleys since before we met, and this was more than 5 years ago. They’re still intact! I mean, you see the wear, but the lenses are still in perfect condition, and he’s not the most careful person out there with his glasses. He even bought Oakleys for snowboarding, and that’s something. Here are some good options for her, and some for him.
- For her:
- For him:
Long haul flight attendants have very unnatural sleeping patterns, as they might work a 12 hour day shift today and an 11 hour night shift in two days. To help them regulate their sleeping behavior, I recommend two things: a sleeping mask and a coffee mug. My motto: if you cannot fix it, at least make it work until you can fix it for real!
As I mentioned when it came to “wants”, flight attendants tend to do a lot of reading. For this, an eReader is perfect. I use reMarkable and I’m kind of obsessed with it, but most people will find a Kindle better for their needs, especially since it also comes in smaller versions that are easier to carry around.
And last, but not least, they need to wear a watch. If you choose this, I would either buy an elegant and high-quality watch (as it has to look good with the outfits they’re usually wearing), or a Fitbit or Apple watch that automatically adjusts to the time zone.
Best gift cards for flight attendants
Sometimes, you may know briefly what they’re usually using, but you may not know exactly the item to buy. In this case, a gift card is a perfect choice. Less stress for you, more fun for the gift receiver, as they get to choose their gift.
If there’s one thing I know about flight attendants, is that they go through shoes and pantyhose like crazy. They tend to stand for a big portion of the day, so they need good quality shoes (your feet is another one of the most important things to take care of in life, next to your vision). This is why it’s a great idea to buy them a gift card for their favorite shoe store. They will use it sooner or later, don’t worry.
The next good idea is for a gift card for their favorite cosmetics store. You might not know the exact shade of red you should buy her, or the perfect aftershave he uses these days, but Sephora probably has it. You just have to wrap it up nicely and you’re done for this year!
And in any case, a gift card to his or her favorite coffee shop is always a plus. Even if they don’t use it while at work, they probably go out with friends from time to time anyway, so that’s not a waste.
We all know flight attendants are avid travelers, but sometimes they might struggle to get that dream trip they’d love. Check out the following gift cards you can buy that might help them plan the perfect vacation.
Do you still think you cannot find a gift card that matches your favorite flight attendant’s needs or uses? Take a look at this list then, and I’m sure you’ll find at least one option for every person.
Best budget gifts (under 20$)
The budget category for gifts is usually one of the most looked after. We don’t always have a budget as big as our will to give, but you can make a nice gesture with less money nowadays.
One of the best budget gifts you can buy is aviation related jewelry. It doesn’t have to be the fancy type, it can also be something simple, but it’s always a nice touch I notice at flight attendants. I still remember the nice lady with the airplane brooch I saw a year ago.
Another simple gift you can give is a pocket mirror. They always have to look nice (and they always do, to be honest), and I’m sure this cannot be possible without the option to check out your appearance from time to time.
As for things they need, I have three options for you: a plug adapter, a portable charger, and a cooler bag. The first two I’m sure they need them, as they’ll need to charge their phones in various countries with various plug types and also on the run, but the cooler bag might come in as out of the blue.
Well, the cooler bag is for their lunch. Instead of eating all the crappy food in the world, having a cooler bag can help them have a decent meal. This can also be paired with a lunch box, if you wish. It’s not a big thing when you first think of it, but it goes a long way for them.
Best mid-budget gifts for flight attendants
While I was searching for budget gifts, I also found gifts that were a bit on the pricier side, without them being luxurious either (I have a deluxe category below as well, if you can afford a splurge). Take a look at the list below and choose your favorite:
- Airplane jewelry
- Airplane cufflinks from Walmart or from Etsy
- Whiskey glasses (https://www.etsy.com/shop/EnFEngraving)
- Departures and arrivals doormat
- Aviation wall art
- Airport coasters
- Wooden bow tie with airplanes
- Cessna keychain
Deluxe gift ideas for flight attendants
If you’re the sort of person that can afford to go a bit over the top, and especially if you’re celebrating something special, you might want to look into more luxurious gifts. I’m not saying they’re not expensive, but in some situations, maybe you can invest more for the happiness of your loved one.
For these cases, I have chosen 4 gifts: a special piece of jewelry, a high-quality watch, and, my all-time favorite, a special type of wall art that’s made out of real airplane parts, and a coffee table that would go great with the wall art. It doesn’t get any cooler than that!
But wait, there’s more. I have forgotten a pretty interesting gadget that I love, that might be right up his/her alley. If they’re more the adventurous type, a GoPro will probably be a thing they want. Now, I know it’s on the pricier side of things, but some of you might have forgotten an anniversary at one point so maybe you can splurge this one time…
Best gifts for her
I have avoided this part on purpose until now. I tried to choose mostly gifts that will go for either him or her or to find alternatives where I couldn’t. But sometimes, you just have to deal with this segregation thing as well. OK, I’ll do it, but for the record, you can buy anything from this for everyone, I won’t judge, and neither should other people!
OK, so let’s start talking about make-up. I’m not the best person to give you this talk, as I rarely wear make-up (the joys of working in IT), but I know the basics. In any case, you can ask a more experienced person for help as well.
The first thing you can buy her is thermal water. In case you’re lost, this is used to either refresh and rehydrate your skin midday or to properly set up your make-up in the first place.
Then, a good make-up palette is also a hit. You can choose this one, as it has nude colors that work for both blondes and brunettes, and they can be combined to create plenty of looks. You cannot get it wrong with something like this.
A good set of make-up brushes is also a good idea, and try to choose the ones that take up less space. If they take more, they will be tempted to not carry them, and this would be a shame to not be used.
And if you’re in this area, you can DIY a cosmetic care package for your beloved flight attendant. Just buy a gift basket and throw some face masks, hair care products, lip balm and hand lotion, foot care products, bath salts, and some other cool things, and you’re good to go. You can mix and match products and she can see what she likes in the end. Or you can buy an already made one and or even an advent calendar to make life easier for you.
Another good gift for her is a hot water bottle. It may sound like your grandma is talking to you right now, but believe me, when she has those 3 hours of sleep while on a long haul, she’ll snuggle that water bottle like it’s Brad Pitt before Angelina took it from all of us. And don’t even get me started on how helpful it is while she has her period.
If you know she’s not very organized, there are two great things you can get her: a jewelry organizer and a purse organizer. I cannot even remember how much time I spent untangling jewelry since I started traveling. And my purses are a mess anyway, I have given up on that. But maybe she didn’t, so try buying her one of these things and she might thank you sooner or later.
- Purse organizer from Walmart or from Etsy
- Jewelry organizers from Walmart: classic and hanging
- Jewelry box and organizers from Etsy
Best gifts for him
I don’t know about you, but I can rarely think of gifts for men in my life. I sometimes struggle to find a gift for my husband, and I’m supposed to know what he wants (spoiler alert: he still wants me). I’ve tried to put on a good list for the male flight attendant, but please let me know in the comments if you have other ideas as well.
The first thing I could think of was a toiletries bag that can also be hanged. This can be an easy way of both transporting and keeping your toiletries while on the run. In the same area, I would add also some small packing cubes. They don’t have to be huge, but it helps to at least separate dirty and clean clothes while on a trip.
Similar to a toiletry bag is a cable bag. I’ve been wanting to get me one for some time now, as I always have like half of my backpack full of cables and various plugs. A bit of order wouldn’t be that bad, to be honest. Check out this cute option below!
And I know most women think of men as children trapped in a bigger body, but come on, how can you not love a multifunctional tool? The more things it can do and the smaller it can make itself the better! Look at some of these things, they’re like a full toolbox with the size of a napkin!
But nothing will beat this up: gloves he can text in! If you have to stay outside and wait for stuff, or even in the aircraft with the door opened, some warm gloves can be very helpful. The texting thing is not only for social media, but it’s also because sometimes they use tablets or other touchscreen devices for work, so it’s a good idea to buy some of these.
Aviation related gifts
You must think I’m crazy by now. But I can say for sure that most people working in aviation are big, die-hard aviation fans. You cannot live like this if you didn’t love the field! And for this reason, most things aviation-related will be a great hit.
Now, I’m not saying you should give them a sleeping mask from the company they’re working for right now, as they’re sick and tired of seeing those. But an ’80s poster with a plane? Bring it on! It’s cool and awesome and you know it!
So take a peek at these awesome aviation-related items I have put together. Some of them are from a cool vendor that makes only aviation related gifts. They can personalize anything for you, and if you also work in aviation you can create an account and you’ll have a 15% discount for all of their products. If not, you can still have a 10% discount if you use this link, so shop away!
- baggage tag
- phone cases
- passport covers
- wall art
- airplane models
Helpful resources for choosing the perfect gift
In the unlikely case of an emergency…sorry, wrong channel. In the unlikely case in which you have NOT found something by now, take a look at these sites. You’ll find plenty of other cool things you can buy for your loved flight attendant. It was impossible for me to link to all of them.
So please, browse away! And let me know in the comments what you have decided for. I’ll add the product to the list so other people can benefit from your work as well.
Best gifts for flight attendants – the takeaway
I hope this gift guide has helped you in your decision. And I hope you have plenty of ideas to keep your life simple for a few birthdays and Christmases from now on. But I will add up to this post once I have more ideas, so pin it for later and circle back to it once you’re looking for the best gift ideas for flight attendants again.