What a Flight Attendant Taught Me about Business

flight attendant

Over the past few years, I have been traveling on airplanes a lot. I have been traveling so much that I started paying attention to the flight attendants because although they are taken for granted, they are actually pretty smart.

I learn from airline stewards too! Yes, check out these 8 business lessons I have learnt from flight attendants.

Here is what you can learn about business from them:

Customer service is important

When you first hop on a plane, you’ll notice that you are usually greeted. When you are about to take your seat and put away your luggage, the flight attendant is there to help you if you need it.

In addition to that, once the plane takes off, flight attendants give you beverages and light snacks to keep you happy.

And if that’s not enough, you can request almost anything from them without leaving your seat. All you have to do is push the “call” button, and the flight attendant will come to you and ask you how she (or he) may be of assistance.

What’s the purpose of doing this? Well, if you are happy, you are most likely to keep flying on that airline, right? Happy customers means repeat customers, which means more money for the airline company.

Customers aren’t that smart

Before the plane leaves the ground, what’s one thing that the flight attendant does? She gives you step by step instructions on what you need to do in case of emergency.

For example, she shows you how to buckle your seat belt and how to put on an oxygen mask in case the cabin pressure decreases. And just in case things get really bad, she shows you how to put on and use a flotation device. Now, although you probably already know everything the flight attendant is telling you, you can’t assume that everyone else does.

The same applies to your business. You need good instructions and documentation in case users are confused. This is a good way to make sure your customers are getting the most out of your product or service.

Options aren’t always good

With the beverage service, the flight attendant usually tells you what drinks are available. And although there are multiple options for you to choose from, typically they limit the number of them. For example, if you are interested in drinking juice, your options are orange or apple.

Here are the reasons flight attendants don’t give you hundreds of options:

  • More options equal higher costs – it’s cheaper to buy a 12-pack of coke than it is to buy 12 different flavors of soda.
  • Time is money – if you give people a hundred different options, it may take them a while to choose one. On the other hand, if you give someone two options, it’s a lot easier for him or her to make a choice.
  • Less is more – it’s proven that if you give people too many options, it doesn’t increase their satisfaction.

If you want to increase your profit margins and have customers that are more satisfied, don’t give them too many options. Some of the most successful businesses, like Craigslist, are very simple.

Sometimes you have to be strict

If you are a geek like me, you love to check your emails on your cell phone right before the plane takes off. You probably even try to text-message while you are in the air.

To top it off, you probably don’t want to wait until the plane reaches 10,000 feet before you can pull out your laptop.

If you try breaking any of these rules, the flight attendant comes over and tells you nicely that you can’t do it. And if you still don’t listen, she usually comes back and tells you again in a stricter voice. At this point, you’ll probably end up listening to her because you’re afraid of what’s going to happen if you don’t.

With your business, you can’t always let customers walk over you. Although you want to keep them happy, you need to understand that customers aren’t always right. And if you let one walk over you, there is nothing stopping the rest from doing the same thing.

The best upsell doesn’t seem like an upsell

I fly on a lot of airlines, but the one that seems to be the best when it comes to upselling to its customers is Alaska Airlines. Here are some of the things that the flight attendant upsells you on when you don’t even realize it.

  1. First class – flying in first class comes with a lot of perks, but it isn’t cheap. For example, first class passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight get free food and a portable movie player. If you happen to fly coach like me, you can also get food and a portable TV, but you have to pay extra. So, when they announce this on the speaker, they make sure that coach passengers know that first class passengers get a free meal and a portable TV, while the coach passengers only have an option to purchase them.
  2. Free trip – one of the most successful upsells that I have seen is a free trip within the continental US. To get this free trip, all you have to do is apply for an Alaska Airlines credit card. And although Alaska is giving you a free trip, it is making money on you because the credit card companies are paying it more money for each customer that signs up than the cost of the trip is.
  3. Free can convert into paid – on Horizon flights, flight attendants typically offer one type of beer or wine for free. If you want a better brand of alcohol, you have to pay six dollars. The flight attendant doesn’t really push you to buy the higher quality alcohol, but a popular trend I have noticed is that someone will drink the free, mediocre alcohol, and when the beverage cart comes around the second time, the customer will pony up the six dollars for the “good stuff.” Remember, when most people drink alcohol, they typically don’t stop at one drink.

If you are trying to upsell to your customers, be smart about it. Don’t just push them into paying you more money. Ease them into it. There isn’t anything wrong with giving your customers a trial of additional products or services you offer in hopes that they’ll purchase them.

It’s the small things that keep people happy

The best flight attendant I have ever met was on a JetBlue flight. From take off to touch down, he was entertaining and literally had almost every passenger smiling.

Right before the plane took off, he said all of the standard stuff that most flight attendants say, but he told us that our estimated flight time to Las Vegas, Nevada, was 2 hours and 30 minutes. The problem with that was that everyone on the plane was expecting to go to Los Angeles, California, and not Las Vegas. People started panicking, but when he said he was kidding, passengers started laughing.

To top it off, when we landed, another plane was still at our gate, so we had to sit in the plane for extra ten minutes. In most cases, passengers would have been angry, but the flight attendant started asking us trivia questions such as how many international flights leave Los Angeles every day. Passengers started to shout out random numbers, and within seconds everyone started to play along.

And to make things even worse (or better, depending on your point of view), right before the plane got to the gate, the power turned off for no reason, so the pilot had to restart the plane. Right when this happened, the first thing the flight attendant said was, “I’m glad that it didn’t happen while we were in the air!” Once again, everyone started laughing.

So, if you want to please your customers, you also have to focus on the small things. Having a perfect product or service is great, but that personal touch really makes a big difference.

Conclusion

Reading Harvard Business Review is a great way to learn about business, but it isn’t the only way. Look around you, the things you take for granted can teach you a lot about business.

You didn’t expect to learn anything from a flight attendant, right? I didn’t either, but I did. Don’t take people for granted as you can probably learn something even from a five-year-old.

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Comments

  1. Neil,

    I’ve been reading your posts for a while now, and I can honestly say that I’ve quit the rat race… Hopefully for good!!!

  2. Hi buddy, decent post, and I’m sure you mean well, but someone needs to tell you this:

    The term “stewardess” is no longer considered politically correct (“PC”) in this country, as it implies a somewhat sexist (and nowadays false) idea that *flight attendants* (the new term) are always female and there to serve you.

    Go read up on it, I realize that this may not be an issue in other cultures yet, but in the U.S. it definitely is.

    See here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_attendant

    • Thanks for the heads up. I just changed the wording to “flight attendant”.

    • Eric Itzkowitz :

      @Anon REALLY? Out of all of the valuable tidbits of info in this post you pull the ole “the term stewardess isn’t PC” crap?

      You know what’s not PC is your comment. But, Neil handled your comment with good customer service.

      To be fair, I would have been cool with your comment it if you had also pointed out a specific part of the post you found to be intriguing. That would have balanced out your comment in a much more casual way.

      To practice what I preach: I liked the mention of the casual up-sell. The Casual Up-sell has been huge off-line and online for as long as businesses have existed and is very powerful. A good example of the casual up-sell are customer reviews. Think about it.

    • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

      Good thing this isn’t a political blog. Using the word steward isn’t a bad thing… It also use to be a word that was used for people who “substituted” in place of a King until a new one was found. If a King died or was unable to “be King” they assign a Steward to act as King and it was their kingdom for the time being.

      What is a matter with saying that someone is a servant of the people. Most of the greatest people in our history have considered themselves servants… that’s what made them great.

      In a great marriage both the wife and the husband are servants of each other. There’s is nothing a matter with being a servant. On this blog Neil serves us with his time and help.

      In a few years we will probably be changing the word “flight attendants” to something else because it will seem sexiest so that we can be politically correct.

      And I hope that is not all you got out of this “decent post”. You missed a valuable lesson.

      • hahaha Yeah I agree… as long as you took more than the whole flight attendant thing, this was worth it!

    • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

      I posted a reply to this earlier, but haven’t seen it show, so I am redoing it:

      Out of all of the helpful info you only that and it made it a “decent post” because of that.

      For one, What Is a matter with being a servant. Most of the greatest people that have ever lived are all considered great because they were “servants”. They served people other than them selves.

      In a good marriage both the wife serves the husband AND the husband serves the wife.

      In a good business that is the same. You serve your customer. And your customer will serve you by returning and bring others with them. And if you aren’t doing that in your business then you are missing a huge opportunity to grow.

      Back in the day if a King was away or was unfit to be King because of sickness or something or died without an heir, a “steward” was given the kingdom until a new king was found. It was their Kingdom to rule over. So, how is a steward or that name steward bad. A good King should serve the people.

      Who knows when it comes to being politically correct, that term could change in a month, and “flight attendant” will be the wrong thing to say.

    • What’s funny is that on that Wikipedia article, there are like 10 photos and in none of them you can see a _man_ flight attendant xD

  3. ImJonTucker.com :

    Neil, I agree that it is the small things that count. With any experience with a business, if the staff can make your day a little bit brighter then you’re going to remember them in a good way.

    I’ve had plenty of experiences where the product might not be the absolute best in the industry (but it works), but the service / experience was absolutely great. IMO, service is usually the determining factor in getting referrals to your business.

    • Even if everything else is sub par, the experience you get from the staff can easily lighten the mood and change your perception.

  4. Flight attendant 🙂

  5. Neil,

    Thank you again for another insightful article. It goes to show, you just never know “what” or “where” life will teach you.

    Deyson

  6. David Siteman Garland :

    There really is business examples EVERYWHERE. Literally everywhere if you keep your eyes and ears open 🙂

    • Very true. Pay more attention to your surroundings and you’ll be able to see a heap of info to help you move forward.

  7. Amazing and it makes alot of sense now with the way the flight attendants do things.

    • Not all of them are that great, but the ones who are can really make your experience a blast.

      • pigeon forge vacation rentals :

        I think the same. some flight attendants can make your trip horrible. i remember the movie of adam sandler “anger management” somtimes. the flight scene 🙂

        • Neil Patel :

          lol… yeah that was hilarious. You’re right, sometimes you get 1 bad person and it ruins your entire experience.

  8. JackNguyen.com :

    “Customers aren’t smart” – This is true…..not saying that they’re dumb, but it means that your readers are not all at the same level.

    I tend to write about a topic on my blog assuming that everyone knows what I’m talking about. It wasn’t until recently when I got these emails asking me what this term meant, etc.

    So I started to write beginner level posts so that I know for sure that everyone understands what I’m writing about.

    Great Post.

    • It is said that you should always communicate to your readers from an 8th grade level.

      • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

        Be careful the flight attendant people might take that the wrong way… I don’t mean to be a butt, but I just don’t like all that political correctness (I think that’s a word lol) stuff anyway. In some cases it helps, but in many it’s stupid.

  9. Bradley Gauthier :

    Great post Neil!

    Some of my best business realizations I’ve had originated from observations like this one. Definitely reinforces the fact that learning can happen anywhere, at anytime.

    Thanks again Neil!

    • Yes, there’s no doubt in my mind that if you focus on something, you can learn from it.

      • Get Rid Of Cellulite :

        Isn’t that the truth. There are valuable lessons going on all around us all the time. One of the other things I like about this post is that you say it’s the small things that make people happy.

        …isn’t that the truth. When we are selling houses we add some little touches like fancy faucets, and fancy door handles or stuff like that, and people remember our house because of the little things that we do. It makes us stand out.

        In a relationship, there are probably people reading this right now that haven’t been taken on a date by their significant other in a very long time. I mean a real all out date. Something so simple like that could save your marriage and keep everyone happy. It’s the little things that make you stand out or show that you care. And those make huge impacts on success.

        • Exactly… sometimes people just need to stop in their busy lives and just smell the roses once in a while…. if you don’t, you might just miss out on everything.

  10. Neil,

    I travel across China a fair bit.

    One difference here is that the male attendants are above average height (6ft+) and get the luggage into the overhead lockers superfast.

    I don’t think that’s an accident. Every flight seems to have them.

    In Europe, the attendants don’t get involved with the luggage (unless you’re an OAP) which can be a killer if you have kids.

    A motivated work-force is the ultimate USP.

  11. Isn’t it wonderful how lessons can be learned in the most unusual and unrelevant situations? I’ve learned in life that every single being that I have ever interacted with had something to share that would broaden my experience of this journey through life. It makes for a wonderful ride, doesn’t it just?

    • It became apparent to me just recently. You can practically take a look anywhere and learn something about how something can be done better.

  12. Cookies & Java :

    Only the other day I was thinking how tough being cabin crew must be, long shifts, cramped conditions, uncomfortable customers, noisy atmosphere all while the back of your mind reminds you there’s a risk of crashing.

    For me travelling from the UK to Houston Texas is a 10.5hr flight and it’s a major event for me, for these guys it’s another day in the office. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that when one seems a little surly.

    The little things certainly do matter, I fly Continental myself because I believe US companies have a better commitment to customer service, however a lot of UK travellers will fly to America with Virgin. And they’ll rave about their Virgin experience too, why? The leg room? The food? An impeccable maintenance record? No, the ‘free’ goody bag you get with toothpaste and socks.

    • I love the virgin goodie bag too! It has stood me in good stead on many emergency camping holidays already, where I forgot basic stuff. Virgin Rocks!

    • hahah … it’s those little extras that can make someone happy even if the experience is a bit lousy. Good thing to know though isn’t it.

  13. Doink @ Designioustimes.com :

    Good insight! This is a proof that professionals have standards and can keep calm even in the tightest situations. Wish i could get around a school like they did.

  14. Fabulous article neil

    I agree with you, but due to very competition in today’s market it’s not possible to serve full service because people are looking for cheap, and you can’t serve them cheap if you push breaks on some services.

  15. Every article I read from you Neil is so true. When I can see the things the way you describe them it gets very clear. I don’t think I could have been able to see all this flight experience as a business lesson, but maybe if I would have been more in an airplane I would have observed it at a time 🙂 Anyway, it’s great that you can learn a lesson from every thing you do or see.

  16. Its interesting you pull an example from an industry that is struggling right now, but you you hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I especially like where you talked about needing to be strict. I was just reading a chapter in a book I am reading now on a similar topic this morning.

    Nice post.

    • Sometimes it’s just required. Some people just don’t listen and that’s when it’s time for you to lay down the law.

  17. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    Thanks, Neil! This is a great article to pass on to my web development students. The user interface of the websites they build will be the customer service to their client’s web visitors. I once was on a Delta flight after an exhausting set of meetings. I went to sleep. When I woke up, the flight attendant had placed my snack beside me. I was pleasantly surprised because I was starved too!

    Notice the careful new-fangled use of the word flight attendant. Do we get to use the word “stewardess” if we are past a certain age?

  18. This was an awesome study in innovative business, I like the emphasis on fewer options, stricter rules and upselling – must try that in my business 🙂 Cheers!

  19. Love the comparison here. And even more generally, there are valuable business lessons to be learned in almost any experience. Great read, thanks.

    Eric

    • You can find valuable and useful business lessons no matter where you go. All you need to do is look out for it.

  20. David Osajie :

    You never cease to amaze me Neil, I mean learning so much from little things that an ordinary man wouldn’t even notice in his entire lifetime.

    I actually love the up sell part, pretty interesting.

  21. Latest Technology :

    Awesome article. I agree in your article that customer service is very much important in all businesses. Because if the customers were satisfied in your services that you offer they will be happy and they will come back again and again…

  22. Great post Neil,
    I just found your blog while looking over blog sites that use Thesis, which I’m considering. Thinking I would just check over the design, I was hooked by your post, partly because my significant other is a long-haul flight attendant (thanks for correcting from Stewardess – that drives them crazy), and equally because of the insights you offer. I’ve met a lot of flight attendants and I’ve found that many feel under-appreciated, not so much by passengers as by the general public that (they believe) too often consider them glorified waiters and waitresses. When I see the training they get, I see a very different story. The insights you offer are not accidental – they come from hard work, focus and dedication. Good for you for showing us how to draw insights in our own pursuits from those of others.

    • It’s definitely not an easy job I’ll tell you that much. So very much appreciate all that they do. Some of them are very above and beyond to give an amazing experience.

  23. Franklin Philips :

    Neil,

    I read your blog all the time. As usual, great post. What you said hits the nail on the head. We always take flight attendants for granted until we see them from a business perspective. By the way, I signed up for your PRO version. Looking forward to more quality content!

    Frank
    samosa.me

  24. Hi Neil, this article was clever and spot-on. My wife has been a flight attendant for 15 years with United.

    She loves her job and her favorite part of it is what she calls an “in flight turnaround” — where she can a not-so-happy customer smiling and laughing.

    It is the small things that make people happy.

    I’m going to share this article with her and her colleagues — who will be proud to post this on the various message boards and Facebook groups.

    Cheers

    • That’s awesome! I think it’s amazing how you can get some who’s mad or upset to happy and excited. Good for her!

  25. I heard they get paid well too and get the hook ups with travel…… Always nice to have those perks!

  26. hey.. nice post… flight attendants are the best stewards in the hospitality business.. they are quite intelligent too…

  27. I believe in the same. Though I would say that ‘EGO’ always hampers one to learn from most of the people around you. But in order to achieve real success, the learning door should always be open.

  28. When it comes down to it, the only rule you need to really know in business is that you need to make the customer happy. All things you do in any profession should arrive at this point. I enjoyed the post, and the image reminds me of Catch Me if You Can.

  29. Get Rid Of Cellulite :

    Great post Neil. I was still stuck on the SEO post that I hadn’t read this one till just now. Nice observations. And of course you’re totally right.

    I found that as I was reading this post I kept going trying to guess what your “insight” was going to be after you told us what you observed. Funny. Anyhow, so right on.

    Customer Service Super Important
    Step By Step
    Less Is More
    Have rules (guidelines)
    Seamless Up sells
    Keep Customers Happy

    Those were my take aways 😉

  30. Scott@ Forex Robot :

    Those are some good analogies that you pulled just from a flight attendants line of work.

  31. best real estate :

    well,flying in first class comes with a lot of perks, but it isn’t cheap. For example first class passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight get free food and a portable movie player. If you happen to fly coach like me, you can also get food and a portable TV, but you have to pay extra. So when they announce this on the loud speaker, they make sure that coach passengers know that first class passengers get a free meal and portable TV, while the coach passengers only have an option to purchase them.Thanks

  32. picture to post, slops, from some movie, I’m not mistaken?
    generally quite interesting written .. I’m not English speaking and it seemed to me that the paragraph “It’s the small things that keep people happy” a little difficult to write

  33. link building services :

    These red uniforms are the best! I fly a lot, but I have never seen those.

  34. Neil, all these things are not what the flight attendant possessed but something which was taught to them by the airline.

    • Either way, that’s what they show and that’s what I was able to pick up from them. Some company’s do much better training than others…. just glad I was on the right plane.

  35. Inspiring piece of writing!
    You are so right about listening to 5 year old kids. I got some brilliant ideas from my little cousin :-).

    Cheers, Neil!

  36. Get Rid Of Cellulite :

    The best up sell doesn’t seem like an up sell… So, true… I have tested a lot of up sells, and the ones that we the most related and that seamlessly integrated with the existing offer always convert waaaay higher than the others.

    • Yes and that’s the type of info you find out from testing your products / services. Great job on having that already in play.

  37. It did go through, sometimes you’ll just need to be patient because it goes into the spam folder.

  38. you a have a great sense of making a new lessons in just simple experiences like this. I appreciate the way you make a learn share in this manner

    • Absolutely bud! As long as you learned something that you can apply, I know I’ve done my job!

      • Sir if you don’t mind do take a study or any other qualification exam just to learn this especially in your SEO area?

        is there a right knowledge of SEO which is concrete to the algorithm in Search Engine?

  39. Washable Dog Beds :

    Inspiring post. I like the idea – less is more. Sometimes people want you to help them to make the choice although they don`t want to admit that. Offering too many similar things can make the choice difficult.

    • Too many options can cause a lot of confusion which will ultimately mean no sales at all. You definitely don’t want that!

      • Washable Dog Beds :

        I totally agree that too many options can cause confusion therefore it is useful to help the customer to choose the right option. A good strategy would be to decide which products are best for different categories of people like “best for….” or “great for….”

        • Yes, using specific criteria questions will allow you to make a big difference with how you qualify what people can purchase.

  40. If you cannot even figure out how to start up then you should give up the idea now.For any business you need to at least have a clue how to start it – you obviously don’t.

  41. Yes, you are right. Too many options are not always good for customers, and research has proven that. Flight attendants go over their routine again and again, and yet there are customers who constantly ignore them…until accidents happen.

    The lesson for me too, is to pay attention to the basics and make a way for those who don’t think they need it to pass on it. In training downline members to do basic Internet stuff, we often wonder…”doesn’t he/she know this?”. Chances are, they don’t, until you make sure that you explain it to them.

    Thanks again,

  42. All business should be made like cashflow. Build it like an automatic engine. Not you doing all the work.

  43. From my experience, I have learned that flight attendants are also good in marketing. I usually take budget airline so I always meet those flight attendants selling food and drinks in the airplane. Nowadays, flight attendants are better and smarter than before. They are very flexible in thier jobs.

  44. seo, you must read some articles about neil patel first before commenting..hehe

  45. Baby England Kit :

    wow you obviously travel on 1st class….. I get on the plane and they say “Sup!” help with my bags!? hell to the noooooo, and the food only for 9 hour trips

  46. I do NOT recommend that you do anything shady as it results in short term gains and in the long run you’ll have a good chance of getting caught and potentially being banned from one of the major search engines.

  47. Running a small business isn’t easy! It’s hard to keep up with general administration tasks, stay on top of your finances, and even measure your marketing efforts. And lets face it, that’s just starching the surface… there’s a lot more that you have to do every day.

    • It’s actually extremely difficult which is why most people fail… your tenacity is what will separate you from everyone else.

  48. sell textbooks :

    the airlines have had many years to perfect the art of flying, although they are doing a royal job at making people not want to fly lately. But who can blame them they are just trying to make money like the rest of us.

    • They run a business so you can expect them to run it accordingly. It’s just been difficult due to the several challenging incidents that have occurred over the past few years.

      • sell textbooks :

        Agreed. there was a lot less that they had to worry about before 911. Now there is a lot more at stake so more security means the money has got to come from somewhere. Too bad it isn’t like the old days where you were treated like you royalty when you flew!

        • Yes and that’s really all for everyone’s safety, so you can’t blame 😉

          • sell textbooks :

            Have you heard the new information of the whole body scanners they have put into the airports? Pretty weird. I like the idea, but they say it is really does affect the privacy issue, and there is objection regarding the safety of the machines.

            • I’ve seen the machines that blow air at you, but not the full body scanners you’re talking about.

              • Email Marketing Resource :

                Yeah they have talked about setting one of those up in Toronto.. Many people are upset about the “invasion” of privacy.. overlooking to obvious benefit of safety.

  49. Most of my flying these days is done on European budget airlines and the analogy no longer applies. The attendants aren’t really bothered about giving good service, just getting you on/off the plane as fast as possible and whilst you are on it, taking as money from you as they can. This is company policy and comes from the top.

  50. The arka teks lyrics :

    Airlines keep customers coming thanks to service. If im going on vacation for somthing i want to be treated like a king not a second rate chump

    • I agree… sometimes to really get that experience though, you need to throw in a little bit more on the table. Chose your airline wisely.

  51. free forex demo account :

    Hi Neil, If you don’t want to be in a similar situation, you need to take your own jet i think 🙂

  52. kyra@forex cfd :

    Right! I like the idea that “customers aren’t that smart”. That is what I’m applying on my sites. Not all customers know what they wanted when they visit your site but with good information provides by your site, they can be able to identify what they like for a product. Such a great ideas there.

  53. you can learn something from everything…just open your eyes 😉

  54. Pes patches :

    Neil, I agree that it is the small things that count. With any experience with a business, if the staff can make your day a little bit brighter then you’re going to remember them in a good way.

  55. marcy hoffman :

    Good customer service/care can produce unexpected results. Fewer medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against physicians who spend more than 5 minutes sitting with their patients and even fewer when the doctors apologize for less than desired results. When surveyed, patients simply wanted their medical professionals to provide at the very least, the same level of ‘customer service’ that we expect from……well, a flight attendant.
    Neil, as ‘newbie’ blogger, I have learned a lot from your posts. Thanks.

    • I’m glad you found it useful Marcy! Let me know if there’s any advice I can give to help you.

  56. best real estate :

    I live in Canada and I want to become a flight attendant. But I want to become a flight attendant in Dubai because I am planning to live there, I am planning to learn Arabic in the future too.

    • Neil Patel :

      Good for you, let us know how that goes 🙂

    • No need to learn Arabic. None of the Western Crew need it. My suggestion for you is to make sure YOUR ENGLISH, both written and spoken, is easily understood and YOU also find it easy to understand what is being spoken to you. All airlines worldwide use English as their prime language but as DUBAI is so multicultural with a small percent speaking arabic, it is not worth learning it. You are best to do as much ENGLISH practice as possible if it is not your first language and if you are from one of the Indian or Pakistani countries, Hindi and Urdu is also recommended. But you MUST be fluent in English. Good luck, it is good fun

  57. The Options Aren’t Always good piece rings especially true after your website starts building traffic. You’re almost guaranteed to have a hundred people a month requesting a hundred different features, and if you built them all, they would be used by almost no one. That time is better spent on features that expand your brand or affect a wider breadth of your visitors.

    • Neil Patel :

      Yes, when it comes down to your time, it’s the most valuable asset you have, so use it wisely.

  58. Hi Neil
    I sitting here saddened yet with a huge cheesy grin as I am reading this article. I have been a First Class and VIP flight attendant in both Australia and The Middle East for many many years before having to retire on medical grounds 2 years ago. There are three different types of Flight Attendant out there Neil that I have come across in my career. The first type are the Elderly Ladies with United or Delta who have been flying for decades (i believe one or two have hit their 80s) and they have a small group to which no one will retire before the other. Not that they like the job…they hate it!! They have a game to win!???
    Then you have the second group of crew that JUST SHOULD NOT BE THERE. To all of you, and you know who you are, GO HOME and whinge and complain about how horrible the passengers are and how poorly you are being paid. Seriously, you are the type of crew that gives the remainder a bad name. That is the third group Neil….The group i fell in to on my first 5 minutes on the job. It is the crew that don’t see what they do as a job but as a way to get paid to do something so fun, so rewarding and a job that gets to make you feel so happy at the end of each shift. Sure we go through weeks and weeks and weeks of training-saftety and security and first aid are of paramount importance-but for the crew who are like me, we don’t need training to act the way the man you were very impressed with did that day during the delay etc and that we DO care and ARE genuine and ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHAT WE DO!!!

    • Neil Patel :

      Well that’s really all that counts Keight… if you love what you do, the hours of training and preparation are worth it!

  59. In Australia and the Middle East, (the airlines i worked on anyways) everything on board was free. Mind you though, in saying that there was a duty free cart on board and a good selling crew member may get some expemsive sales every now and then which would supplement her income. However I have to say I hated having to take that cart out. I would only take it if there was not another crew member qualified to do it instead of me. The reason for this is because i cannot sell something to someone I can tell they don’t want. Its not who I am. It would upset me to think I had lied them out of their money. But although I do not physically handle cash on board that aircraft, it makes me NO LESS a marketer, NO LESS a money making asset to my company. THE PERFECT FIT I HAVE IN MY JOB THAT I GIVE TO EACH AND EVERY SINGLE PASSENGER hence the high level of repeat first class clientele, word of mouth new passengers directed to me etc is my marketing tool for the companies I work for. I am as proud of the family/company I work for and I strive for them to be proud of me in return. This is all the salary I need. Sorry Neil, I just feel there is so much needing to be done in the industry to raise the standards again. Very frustrating!!!!

    • Neil Patel :

      I understand keight, sometimes it can be frustrating… but in the end, you just need to move forward and do what you love instead.

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  61. Inner Game :

    nice post, it is very interesting all the things you can learn from different and unexpected places , “options arent always good” that is very true, i mean all the post is good but that little part is the one sticking in my head right now
    thanks for the post

    and by the way , very nice picture

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    I’ve been reading your posts for a while now, and I can honestly say that I’ve quit the rat race

  66. Great post Niel…

    Service, I know myself, I will pay a little more for good service.
    I like to feel good after the transaction, as apposed to just getting the product/service and feeling like something was missing.

    • Yeah, sometimes, or maybe all the time, you’d like to get taken care of. It’s a luxury, but you still got to work for it.

  67. Mary Kitt-Neel :

    I’m new here, but have already put you on my bookmarks bar. I really appreciate the “Sometimes You Have to Be Strict” tip. I’m a freelance writer and just yesterday I had to let a client go (“fire” him? “break up with” him? I don’t know the official terminology for this particular relationship) because he was expecting the impossible from me on a regular basis. Thanks for reminding me that I’m worth more than that. Actually, I have several back-up clients (though this was by far my biggest client), and I have an entirely new venture up my sleeve at the moment, but in these economic times, it was a very tough decision. Thanks for the great site.

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    Rule of customer service is the customer is always right. If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your supervisor and let them work out. Then, somewhere in a private home or and cry, do not have a beer and a slide away. Makes me even more worried these days, if this is the way flight attendants have the courage to act. Fortunately, I think this is just an isolated case.

  69. Try travelling in British Airways and probably you will have to rewrite your article again 😉

  70. Costume Nation :

    Neil,

    This is an old article, but a very good analogy indeed! Your section regarding “sometimes less is more” definitely hits home in many facets of my daily life. I think that many people get caught up in the reverse, and until you realize this, you may have trouble finding success in any industry that you might live.

    After all said and done, I travel a lot and will never look at flight attendants the same. hahah

  71. i dn’t have much experience of traveling in flight

  72. This is very interesting Another few hours of reading…. studying and visiting your website.

  73. isabel de los rios :

    My fav part was in the last hour of the flight when a flight attendant announced to passengers on the intercom that exercise is good for blood circulation.

  74. Thanks for the post bro.

  75. HAHAHA! This remembers me 6 months ago when I had my first flight with AirAsia to Malaysia. The airline didn’t have it all, but it was a great first time experience. I enjoy your post very much! Thanks Neil!

  76. Hello Neil,
    I like way you have. After a deep think i also discover how we can learn from every movement of our life. AS you share your experience of learning.

  77. Erik Stafford :

    On one Southwest flight, the attendant said, “Here we go!” Of course, that was after the pre-flight briefing and Southwest personnel are known to have a sense of humor. My favorite announcement was at landing.

  78. Thank you again for another awesome article. Sometime we don’t know that at any moment and at any place ,we can have something very imformative which we don’t know even if we are champ of that field.

  79. At one time Southwest Airlines was the funnest airline in the sky. Every flight I took had either a singing or joking attendant on the pre-flight announcements and the attendants could fit down the aisle without knocking your shoulder off. I miss those days. Now it’s a constant sales pitch! I can’t wait for the standup seats to arrive. The upsell for the sit down seats will probably make a social media IPO stock % increase look like a day at the bargain store. Luckily I have had access to a corporate jet for the past year…..

    • Yeah, I miss the old days. That’s awesome that you have a jet now, no more lining up or waiting 🙂

  80. College textbooks :

    It is nice how much you can learn from the people you see everyday. I actually had a girl that recognized me from high school and is now managing a fast food restaurant, she told me I was the only one who was nice to her in school, and because of me she decided to be the same way no matter how mean people were. That is how she was able to get up the chain with her positive thinking and always being nice. Sounds lame but it works.

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  83. hey neil,
    Good thinking. you are absolutely right that surrounding is there to teach about business.”The best up sell, don’t seem like an up sell” totally agree with it.

    Thanks.
    Matt

  84. Great post Neil. I was still stuck on the SEO post that I hadn’t read this one till just now. Nice observations. And of course you’re totally right.

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