HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hostile and aggressive passengers shoving, punching and throwing things at flight attendants. Ever since people started to travel again, there’s been an alarming number of attacks on planes. But for all the stories of violence, there are many more of appreciation and in Hawaii, that means sharing a little aloha with your flight crew.
Many who fly for a living said travel has changed and their jobs can be scary at times, but they said they still love what they do, and they are always surprised and touched by the generosity of others.
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Ono grinds of all kinds and boxes of pastries. Generous passengers have been showing their aloha to Hawaiian Airlines crews for decades.
Robyn Kam said she’s received lots of goodies from passengers in her 30 years as a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.
“Our local passengers are very generous and kind to us,” Kam said. “They bring us cookies and food and donuts, and anything that they think will make our day easier and make us happy.”
Food always hits the spot but they also get other gifts.
“I had this one lady who she she makes masks, and she would make them for the volunteers and the doctors and the nurses that come to any hospital. But I had her on my flight and she gave me a mask that she made. She said, ‘This is to keep you safe.'”
One of her most memorable gifts, was given to her by a Pearl Harbor military veteran.
“I had a veteran who was on the Arizona (ship),” she explained. “He gave me a pin, and he gave me a picture of himself standing on the Arizona before (it sank), before the war and after, when it was down in the water. I thought that was pretty memorable.”
But some of Kam’s favorite presents are from kids.
“The best gifts are the ones that the kids make,” she explained. “The little kids they bring their their sketchpad and their coloring crayons or pencils and they draw us a picture and they write thank you for a nice flight. That is precious. I still have some of those that I’ve had for decades in a folder that I have at home.”
Kam said gifts are never expected, but always appreciated.
Alex Da Silva, Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson, said gift-giving is most common on neighbor island and Las Vegas flights, but it happens on all of their routes.
The only thing the crew isn’t allowed to accept are cash tips.
Even if passengers don’t bring gifts, a simple smile and thank you go a long way.
“The crew members are really there for the safety of the flight. They have a very difficult job,” Da Silva said. “And I think anytime they are shown a gesture like that is, they really take it to heart, and it really makes their day. “
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“When they come on board and they hand us these goodies that they have of food or little trinkets, we’re very grateful, very, very grateful,” Kam said. “It makes us feel special. And it starts your day and we know that’s going to be a great flight. “