Five things every traveller should be thankful for

It’s the time of year when all of us are giving thanks.

And while being  grateful for friends, family and good health are standard operating procedure, travellers also  have plenty of other reasons to be grateful as well. Here are a few more  things you might want to add to your list this year:

1. Flight attendants who like what they do in spite of those travellers who make that difficult

My sympathy for flight attendants is exactly proportional to the pain I felt as the mother of toddlers. She just announced on the loudspeaker that today’s meal choices were chicken or pasta, she then explained that not everyone would get their selection and she was sorry, and then at every row in front of you she has repeated it: “chicken or pasta?” So why, oh why, grown man in the back row are you asking her to repeat it again? Because as soon as you boarded the plane you became two again. Eat your pasta and be quiet.


NZ crew

Loved this crew who took us from Australia to New Zealand on our year away

2. Pilots who aren’t Denzel Washington

Every time I’m getting off a plane I thank the pilot.  If those two words somehow mean that he’s feeling a little more appreciated and a little less inclined to indulge in some between-flight intoxication, I’m better for it. I mean, have you seen the movie “Flight?” (If not, the time before your next trip isn’t a good time. And never, ever on a plane! ) We put our lives in their hands every time we go up there. We’re lucky that most are incredible at what they do.  Next time you’re leaving, just give them a quick head nod/thumbs up/ thanks man for the next group about to board. Do not however attempt to go in and give a high five unless you are under the age of 10 and even then only with permission. That’s how people get tasered and I won’t be able to help you then.

E in the cockpit

Not everyone is welcome up here but you can definitely give a thumbs up as you pass.

3. Upgrades and the people who tell us how to get them

I love posts like this one over on Flight Centre and featuring my pal @dobbernation in that stretched out front of the cabin pose. My most memorable first class experience was in seat 1A on an Emirates flight (with shower!) to Dubai. I was a guest of the airline on a press trip.  It’s a seat my wallet would never allow me to book.  I’ve been riding in coach ever since. Trust me when I say that if people are offering you tips on how to get an upgrade, you should thank them.

4. Luggage handlers that don’t steal your stuff or slam your bag

For the most part I fly “carry-on only” these days. That year of traveling light made me realize how much better travel can be when you aren’t angry and cursing at the baggage claim conveyor belt.  Still, there are times when we need to check our luggage. Usually the reason  is some precious bottle of something that is more liquid than the 3.4 oz TSA  allows onboard the flight. And that’s when you need to be hopeful you don’t get one of these people
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had my bag damaged or lost on a flight but each of them left a sting. This Thanksgiving, I tip my hat to the handlers who understand that the coconut rum I bought for $4 in St. Maarten deserves to make it home too.

5.The view

It’s the number one reason I love a window seat.  Every single time I fly, no matter how crazy the check-in process or how horrible my  toenail-clipping seat mate, I take a moment to remember that I’m 30,000 feet above the ground, looking out above the clouds and pretty much floating to a new adventure. Travel is such a blessing in and of itself. That view is always a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for already.


The miracle of flight

The miracle of flight

Your turn: What are you thankful for?


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{ 9 comments… add one }

Randall Shirley October 13, 2013, 2:27 PM

Also a BIG FAN of the window seat! Have seen so many amazing things from 36,000 feet while other people watch movies.


Heather October 14, 2013, 8:14 PM

I’m a big movie watcher on flights but the view out the window as we soar above the clouds is my happy place.


Yashy Murphy October 15, 2013, 11:15 AM

BANG On! Having grown up with parents in the airline industry and friends who are pilots, stewards and stewardesses it can be a thankless job (these guys have craaaaazy stories) and treating them with a smile and thank you is the least we can do.

I’m thankful for all the points you mentioned and the fact that the aviation industry continues to invest in innovation – teleportation next is my hope!!


Heather October 15, 2013, 11:22 AM

So with you on the teleportation. Wonder if someone can develop “teleportation with a view?” ;)


Roni Faida October 15, 2013, 10:44 PM

I’m a baggage handler and I promise, me and my friends do NOT go in people’s checked bags. That is so nasty. I travel a bunch and I love a window seat, I never get tired of looking at the clouds and the skyline. It’s simply beautiful.


Heather October 16, 2013, 6:53 AM

I believe you Roni. A few bad apples in every profession wreck the reputation of the rest. Great seeing you in Ireland!


Mel October 24, 2013, 6:56 PM

I work as a flight attendant for a major airline. I’m thankful for loving globetrotters such as you and your family! <3


Heather October 26, 2013, 9:45 AM

Thanks for all you do Mel.


Nina Patel October 12, 2014, 7:35 PM

Thank you Heather for sharing these tips. As a travel consultant, I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to help people plan meaningful vacations and your list is a great addition to the tips I share with my clients about how they can make a difference while they travel.


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