If you’ve been on travel TikTok long enough you have most likely seen one of @Jeenie.Weenie’s hilarious cabin crew videos. With over 4.5 million followers, Sanda Jeenie Kwon has won the hearts of travel starved folks everywhere. She gives a glimpse into the lives of crew members in the sky thanks to her experience as a crew member, but also thanks to the many others who have lent her their stories to share.
In her more than two years as cabin crew, Kwon learned a lot about the industry as well as travelers in general. When it comes to future passenger advice she had some top tips to share, including what cabin crew wants you to know.
Be Kind to Everyone
Seat upgrades aren’t easy to get, but when they’re available the crew is more likely to give them to people who are nice to them, Kwon said.
“I've seen people get upgraded just for being kind, I've seen it with my own two eyes,” she said. “This gentleman came and gave a box of chocolates to the crew and was like, ‘thank you so much, I’ve flown with you guys several times and I know how hard you work.’ He was being sincere...and [the cabin crew] did have to upgrade someone so they chose that person.
“Be kind. It gets you a lot of stuff in the air. I've done a lot of things for people without them asking just for being nice because, actually, it's hard to get that kind of reaction from people.”
Know Your Flight Compensation Rights
Don’t accept the voucher if you’re forced off of a flight due to overbooking.
As per Kwon’s video, airlines are required to find you an alternative flight and you are entitled to up to $1,350 cash based on ticket price and delay.
“I've also shared the tip about compensation which went super viral,” Kwon said. “People were like ‘that's a lie!’ [But] it's not, it's on the government website.”
Every place you fly to has a different compensation standard, so Kwon suggests bookmarking [or screenshotting] the information so you know what you’re entitled to even if you’re half a world away.
Always Be Hygienic
Even in non-pandemic times, it’s important to remember good hygiene whenever you fly. Cabin crews and cleaning crews do their best to keep the aircrafts clean, but you have to be reasonable for your own health.
“Planes are not the cleanest places,” Kwon said. “Another tip for you: bring wipes. I bring wipes, [and] sanitizer every single time I travel...some people travel with seat covers, [but I] usually wear a hoodie so nothing touches my hair. I bring my own pillow, and I wipe everything down. I've seen cleaners and they literally just do the quick wipe down because imagine doing 500 seats in like 20 minutes.”
Kwon acknowledges that the cleaning practices she’s seen took place when she worked as cabin crew over 10 years ago and she’s been told by current crew members that cleaning is a longer process now. That, in addition to less frequent flights, means cleaner airplanes.
Look Out for Error Fares
This is the major recommendation from Kwon. She said every major city has some kind of airline glitch website to track error fares. Because of these error fares, Kwon has gotten some ridiculous airfares in the past out of her home city of Vancouver.
“Every city has one, so find which one is yours and subscribe to their emails,” Kwon said and added that jumping on the deals fast is important because they don’t last long.
Because of these kinds of deals, she’s flown directly to Korea twice and even scored a roundtrip to Japan for $450 CAD (approximately $354 USD).
You usually have a two to six-hour window to decide on the flight. She said once she found a last-minute, roundtrip flight to Korea for around $350, but by the time her friends checked in to see if it was still there the price jumped back to its original $1300.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Cabin Crew for Help
A lot of passengers have anxiety about asking their cabin crew for assistance and Kwon says there is no reason to be afraid to speak up. Cabin crew can’t read your mind when there are hundreds of passengers to take care of.
“A lot of passengers feel like they can't ask us anything like they're scared or something, or feel bad,” she said. “I don't know why, but I get that a lot. We're there to help you. That's our job to help you and give you a great flight. So, if there's anything you need. Just ask us!”
Be sure to check out Kwon’s TikTok for more tips, tricks and ridiculous stories from the air.