It's the small gesture that is going to change your long-haul flying experience.
A New York-based author has revealed the secret to a pleasant flight - purchasing a large bag of sweets (he prefers M&Ms) and sharing them prior to take-off.
'I take somewhere between 200 and 250 flights per year,' Peter Shankman writes in his blog. 'And no matter what airport I’m in, no matter whether I’m flying 200 miles to Boston or 12,000 miles to Singapore, I won’t get on the plane without stopping at the convenience store in the airport and buying a big bag of M&Ms.
'I walk onto the plane and find the lead flight attendant. I hand him or her the bag, and simply say "These are for you, but you have to share with your co-workers, OK?" Then I smile at the lead flight attendant and walk to my seat. That’s it.'
Peter believes it's not about sucking up for an upgrade or ample drinks - it's about a 'brief moment of joy' that filters down from pilot to flight attendant to each of the plane's passengers.
'When you walk on, no matter how much the flight attendants smile, there’s a subconscious wall of protection that goes up, and it’s subconsciously noticeable by everyone else. It’s not intentional, it’s just what it is, from years of FAs having to put up with abuse, and years of passengers feeling abused. It’s a vicious cycle, that won’t ever stop,' he writes.
'The payoff is huge. The flight attendants are happily munching on candy for the entire flight, they’re smiling, and their good mood is infectious! They’re joking with the passengers, they’re cheerful, for possibly the first time in a while, they don’t feel like every passenger is out to get them!'