A frequent flier's views on flying and travel

Does your FA like you ?

How can you tell if a flight attendant likes you?

I have been asked this question more than once, and the person asking has invariably been a much more junior (read 20-something) male traveling companion. So I thought about it, and I asked some FA’s for their inputs (maybe some were bribed with wine ?), and I came up with this point scoring system.

wine glass

Please feel free to do some gender swapping as needed to fit your situation, but I think these guidelines are 100% universal.


During boarding you see the FA you like standing at the entrance and you greet her by name (If you don’t remember her name, score yourself -5 pts and restart). The best situation is that she obviously remembers you because she says something like “Hello Jack, nice to see you again!” That’s a good point score, a +7. She remembered your name, and considering how many Pax an FA sees in a month, that is no small feat.

A bit lower on the scoring is if she might remember you, but doesn’t remember your name. You will know if she smiles and says something like “Good Morning, nice to see you, and thanks for flying with us again”. Score that one a +3, she probably doesn’t dislike you, but you obviously are not that high on her list.

There is an opportunity here for some bonus points if she did not remember your name at boarding, but during seat belt check she stops by your seat and says hello to you by name. That means she did remember you, but not your name. She was interested enough that she went to the galley, checked the Pax list for your seat, and read your name. Give yourself an extra +3 and change that 3 into a +6.

If she frowns in reply to your greeting during boarding, points to your seat, then wipes her hands on her uniform: You are in trouble. Deduct a full -10 points for that.

Super special bonus points are available (+10) if before takeoff the FA lands herself in your lap and gives you a hug. Full disclosure here: This has only happened to me once, and it was with a very good FA friend on our first flight together after 9/11. A few weeks ago, when we met for a dinner, she told me in 20 years of flying that is the only time she has ever done that. The Pax in the next seat was… well the best word is “shocked”.

In flight points… When she is working the cart down the aisle, her hips bump into your shoulder a lot more than turbulence might suggest a cause for. That’s a +6.

The first time coming around with drinks, the FA stops, looks at you and says: “Do you fly this route often? I feel like I’ve seen you before.” It might be a pick-up line, it might be real, but either way give yourself a +7 (and a pat on the back).

You didn’t ask, but a nip of your favorite cocktail appears on your tray, in coach, where you are supposed to pay for drinks. That’s a +7. Same score if she offers to “sweeten up” your coffee with a free Baileys.

You go to the galley to get a coffee, and end up spending 10 minutes talking with each other, and she is asking you what you have been doing since the last time you flew together. That’s a +6. If she proceeds to tell you that she just broke up with her boyfriend, score that one a +8, and ask for her phone number. Go to +10 if she gives it to you, and deduct a -5 if she doesn’t.

But if she gives you a pat on the head and a set of plastic airplane wings… Sorry, you lose, and that’s another -5.

ARdpb wings photo II

You ask for hot coffee with cream and sugar. You get a half filled cup of warm coffee, no sugar, no cream, the cup has a small leak in it, and it drips all over your shirt. Pretty obvious -5 score for that FA. Sorry buddy.

You spill some coffee on your shirt. She helps you clean it up in the galley, and offers the name and address of a dry cleaner she knows in the city you are heading towards. That’s a good solid +7.

Prior to landing, she stops by your seat with an air-sickness bag that is bulging and clinking from the nips of Bailey’s and Courvoisier she liberated from First Class. Give yourself a +7 on that one.

4 bottles

If the airsick bag is bulging from a deposit made by a sick First Class Pax, score a -10.

The trip is done, you are leaving and she’s by the jetway exit. You say “Goodbye Julie”, and she not only smiles, but extends her hand and says “Don’t be a stranger Jack, hope to see you soon”. Good solid points here, at least +7. If in her hand she has a piece of paper with either her phone number or her Email, then bump that up to a +9. And if it has the name of the hotel she is staying in, that’s a +10.


Laughed when a DL friend slipped me this note mid flight JUN//SEA

Last and perhaps most important. She is not flying the next day and she lets you hog the bed sheets. She’s a 10, and why are you even reading this blog?

–Extra links, if you want the perspective of real FA’s, I suggest starting with these:

Slightly Cheeky, but CondeNast Travel interviewed an FA on how to pickup an FA…

5 comments on “Does your FA like you ?

  1. FATravelWriter
    September 3, 2013

    Ha. That about sums it up. I particularly love the -10 point scenarios. 😉


  2. abbieunger
    October 25, 2013

    If she hands you a cocktail napkin with the words: “Marry me, fly for free” written on it. +10


  3. Nathan
    May 30, 2018

    My cousin dresses nice and brings a box of chocolates or other treats to give to the FAs when he flies. He’s had some pretty good experiences as a result, getting free drinks, bumps to first, etc.


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This entry was posted on September 1, 2013 by in Passenger thoughts and tagged , , , .
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