Flight attendant shares secret for getting extra swag, drinks, travel status

Cierra Mistt/Youtube

‘Treat everything like it’s normal until you’re up in the sky’: Flight attendant shares secret for getting extra swag, drinks, travel status

‘last one makes me feel like I’m doing something illegal’


Jack Alban


Flight attendant Cierra Mistt (@Cierra_Mistt) posted a YouTube tutorial giving the low down on a little hack that fliers could use in order to get extra swag, drinks, and even a boost in travel status as they jet through the friendly skies.

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Mistt says that a little kindness goes a long way. As long as passengers are willing to grease the palms of one attendant dedicated to serving them throughout the flight, which will usually be the first person you say passing by you on a beverage/snack cart, Mistt says 99% of the time they will hook you up.

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She posted her clip via YouTube’s Shorts feature as the eighth part of her “flight attendant secrets” series.

Mist begins her video by stating: “Here’s some secrets on how to stand out for your next flight and get a lot of free stuff because of it. No. 1: Instead of getting a $5 gift card for every single crew member on your next flight, here’s what you’re gonna do instead. Combine that money from all those gift cards and put it into one.”

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It seems that giving a higher amount to a single, targeted flight attendant is the way to go about this. Forking over a higher amount to the main attendant who will be helping you out during your trip will make a bigger impression, according to Mistt.

She says its imperative to wait until you’re actually up in the air to perform the kind gesture. “Treat everything like it’s normal until you’re up in the sky and the first flight attendant that comes for the first round of service,” she says in the video. “That flight attendant will be your flight attendant for the rest of the flight. Once you realize what flight attendant is going to be providing you service, make sure that they are the ones who get that gift card.”

Mistt indicates that handing over the gift doesn’t really need to be accompanied by any type of verbal cues or a “wink wink” to suggest you want something in return. According to her, it’s best that you just tell them thank you for their work and go about your business on the flight.

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“You don’t even have to insinuate anything you can literally just say I just wanted to give you this to say thanks,” she says. “Over 99% of the time they will then make sure that you are the star passenger and they will cater to your every need. Include giving extra points to your status, extra miles towards your status, free upgrades, and even free drinks and food.”

One of the last “hacks” that Mistt spoke of pertains to the dark hour of flights where regular service is temporarily suspended during longer portions of flights. The attendant recommends that instead of calling for an attendant using the in-flight call button if you need assistance or want to get some extra snacks, there are usually goodies on display fliers can walk up to and grab for themselves.

“Speaking of free food, after the first service of giving you food and drinks the flight attendants will normally dim the lights this is not only for your chill time but our chill time also,” she says. “That being said instead of hitting your call button to ask for seconds, all you have to do is walk to the back of the plane and see a giant snack box sitting there for any passengers to get. The majority of all long haul flights have this feature.”

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YouTubers had some strong opinions on the airline hacks that Mistt shared in her clip. One individual said that while it’s great to show some love to airline workers by handing out gifts, people really shouldn’t be treating long haul flights as if they’re restaurants in the sky. “It’s important to remember that the primary responsibility of the cabin crew is your safety. An aircraft isn’t, despite the airline’s best efforts, a restaurant with wings. It’s great to show appreciation for the cabin crew, but do it for the right reason,” the user wrote.

Someone else said that the trick Mistt ended the video with, i.e. walking up to the pantry by themselves felt like it was “illegal. And another user was dubious as to the control flight attendants have when it comes to giving fliers points, miles, or any types of rewards. “How can a flight attendant affect a passenger’s status with the airline or add miles to their account? Sure they can relocate a passenger to a better class if there’s room, but that other stuff doesn’t seem accessible by a flight crew…?” the user asked.

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Another user on the platform was stunned that there were folks out there purchasing gift cards to hand off to their flight attendants in the first place: “Who’s buying gift cards for their flight attendants?”

While someone else thought this was a sad example of folks exchanging faux pleasantries in the hopes of getting a little something something for themselves. “This is so sad. Greed on both sides. Society is going downhill, and this is yet another example,” the user wrote.

There are those who are quick to say that Mistt’s suggestions for giving gratuities to flight attendants is yet another example of tipping culture getting “out of hand.” What does a dedicated airline publication like Travel + Leisure have to say about the situation?

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The outlet calls the act of tipping whilst on a flights a “gray area,” adding that after speaking with Delta, United, and American Airlines, all three of the businesses said that they discourage their employees, generally speaking, from accepting gratuities. However, Travel + Leisure did point out Frontier Airlines added a tipping option for its attendants in 2019, allowing passengers to give them a little something something for their efforts as they traverse the friendly skies.

Just how friendly are these skies? Well, earlier this month, a flight attendant shared a secret game allegedly played as you deplane. Apparently, the passengers who receive a “see you later” are the ones the flight attendants find particularly attractive.

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The Daily Dot has reached out to Mistt via Instagram DM for further information.

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