March 22, 2023 | 9:40 a.m
I tipped my flight attendants $130 at starbucks and I think it was worth it. #travel #travelhack #flying #airlines #airport #appreciation
A traveler believes he has found a way to get special treatment when flying.
Jeremy Maclellan, 26, recently tried a “hack” he saw on TikTok that involved buying a Starbucks gift card and giving it to flight attendants in hopes of getting perks in return.
In his own video posted on the platform, Mr. Macclellan said he bought $130 worth of Starbucks gift cards and gave them to the crew aboard his long-haul flight from New York to Abu Dhabi.
“They said ‘are you a flight attendant on another airline?’ and I said, ‘No, I just thought I’d show the love, spread the appreciation, you know, it’s been a long trip and I appreciate you,'” he explained.
“Then I went and found my seat at the very back of the plane.”
Mr Macclellan said there was already another passenger in the window seat he had booked in advance and he was sitting there comfortably with his shoes and socks off.
As the passenger left his seat, he said not long after a senior member of the crew pulled him over and offered him a seat in an empty emergency exit row, which also meant more legroom.
“I think it’s worth $130. It’s not business class, I didn’t get a full lay down flat seat but I think it was worth the gift card to get a whole row to myself,” he said.
“And they were very kind to me the whole flight. I took a short nap and when I woke up there was a little goodie bag (with) what looked like a mom-packed lunch on the seat next to me with a bottle of water, a sandwich and some snacks.”
Mr. Maclellan said a lesson in life is to be kind, show appreciation and respect for others.
He said inside who also gave him a bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand lotion and an upgraded pair of headphones.
And while she’s hoping for a free upgrade to business class, she said if she doesn’t get anything from giving away gift cards she’ll still be happy to make the flight attendants’ day.
His video was viewed 2.8 million times in six days and garnered nearly 300,000 likes.
Some TikTok users suggested the “hack” failed because booking the same seat with extra legroom would have been cheaper than spending $130 on gift cards.
But others praised the idea saying it was a kind gesture either way.
“I am a flight attendant and I will definitely give you all I can when you bring us nice gifts,” wrote one woman.
“Flight attendant here … if you’d just say, ‘Hi’ back to me when I greet you (you wouldn’t believe how often we get ignored) I’d give it my all,” added another.
“As a FA if you bring an SB gift card most will do ANYTHING to make your flight good. We need $5 coffee more than you know. Promise,” said the third.
One TikTok user joked that the trend was “definitely started by flight attendants” with a comment that garnered more than 17,000 likes.