As a hard working FA
myself, it is always nice to go that one step further and try to make individuals flights the best they've had. You can't do it all the time unfortunately for a number of reasons;
It could be that you are swamped and the flight crew have managed to shave of 20 - 30 mins off the flight time and not told you, it could be that none of the customers on board have actually showed anyone else on board common courtesy, but think they are the most important person and the only person on board !!! Which happens more and more these days.
Fortunately there are times when you can do it, and it gives you a good feeling knowing you have done something extra for someone and you know they really appreciate it. It makes you want to do it again and again.
We used to regularly fly a middle eastern Arabian princess and without fail she always bought the entire crew a gift, just because she could. I have accepted tips before, particularly from American customers who insist they will be offended if I refuse to take it (I split it with all the crew and put it towards a round of drinks downroute).
Then the are the flights we operate into YYC
. Every single time we land and the doors open, the ground agent boards the aircraft with 3 boxes of assorted doughnuts !! 1 for the flight crew, 1 for the forward galley and 1 for the rear, this is every time we land here, not just at Christmas or other holidays. He pays for them out of his own pocket and the entire crew really appreciate it, we don't expect it and it is always a surprise that he has "done it again".
What I am trying to say is that if you can surprise anyone at anytime it will be appreciated by the other person.
It need not be a gift, it could simply be an understanding that the world of travel has changed dramatically for lots of people and common courtesy goes along way. Whether you choose to give a small token of appreciation to the FA
who serves you on board is up to you. It is not a glamorous job anymore, it is bloody hard work and very underpaid for what we are trained to do, BUT most of us love the job and do it anyway.
The best gift anyone could give me on board is for customers to be nice to each other. An amazing things is when Princess Diana died, for a few long haul flights afterwards, there was a weird calmness and niceness about everyone during the flights, people were SO nice !!
It is not about presents it is about understanding and thinking of others besides yourself, sharing in the holiday spirit and learning not to be selfish.