What Feeling Do You Bring on Board?

During every flight, at least one crew member serves as a boarding attendant. She or he stands at the aircraft door and welcomes the passengers. The great thing about this particular role is that you get the chance to make contact with practically all the passengers – to look them in the eye. Are they happy? Are they nervous, tired, or wound up? Very often, these feelings lead to special conversations later on.

1. Madly in love

I recognize them immediately – sparkling rings, a continuous stream of kisses, and hands tightly held – newlyweds. Even with both pairs of feet firmly on the ground, they’re already in seventh heaven. Recently, during a flight, I got to see photos of a beautiful wedding including an equally beautiful wedding gown. At moments like that I feel honored that, just for a moment, not only am I part of their honeymoon but also part of their most special day.

Valerie Welcome onboard

2. Scared to death

During a flight to Bangkok, I received a couple who appeared quite happy at first glance. There was very little of that happiness left at the time of departure. The woman’s breathing was fast and shallow. She was in a state of panic. Her partner had to explain that she was deathly afraid of turbulence. It was a fear that I understand because I have experienced it myself. I’ve learned a great deal about controlling panic in the event of turbulence. By using that information, I was able to reassure her. I was able to explain to her what causes turbulence and just how much turbulence an aircraft can actually withstand. It helped and she was able to relax. At the end of the flight, I gave her a small present from KLM – a protective arm band – in the hope that she would feel better during her next trip.

3. Sad

Some time ago, I met an elderly couple on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Not very long ago, the woman had been operated on her hip. Halfway through the flight, I met her in the galley and I asked her how the flight was going. She burst into tears. She and her husband were on their way to Indonesia to spread the ashes of their son. He had been killed in a traffic accident. I hugged her and listened to her story. She showed me a photo of a piece of art that she had made – a statue of a head, rendered in clay, of her son. When we arrived at our destination, she gave me her address in case I happened to be in the neighbourhood. In the time that followed, we remained in contact by postcard until I received a different postcard – with the announcement of her death. I believe that she is now together with her son in a beautiful place.

Valerie Bluey bib welcome home

4. Baby’s first flight

Family ties are special. People fly around the world just to see one another. Different people, different opportunities. Weddings, birthdays, surprise parties, funerals. So, for instance, we regularly have tiny passengers taking their first trip to see grandma and grandpa. To make the flight of someone so young a little bit more special, I sometimes write on our sweet little Bluey bibs, “My first flight,” including the date and the final destination. For parents who have just adopted a child, I’ll write, “Welcome Home!”’

Valerie Welcome drinks

5. Not entirely OK

Every year, we receive training to help people with illnesses. That can come in extremely handy on board. And, very often, we are confronted with the same things, whether directly or indirectly. It helps us to understand why some people react in a less friendly way. Or ask out of the blue what time they will be eating. For instance, my father has diabetes. I know that he can get a bit grumpy if his insulin level fluctuates. If you travel with us and you have diabetes, please let us know. We can take that into account and make your flight that little bit more pleasant.

6. Love makes the world go round

Very clearly, love is an important reason to fly. I could write an entire blog just about that. Love stories around the globe, happy or sad. One time, I brought a Wannagive – a gift that you can order online or on board and give to a passenger at a later moment – to a beautiful blond woman in flight. She was startled when I said, “Ma’am, I have a gift for you.” I gave her a bottle of champagne with two glasses and a card attached. It read, “My dear future wife, have a good flight to your new home. On arrival we’ll toast our future together.” With tears in her eyes, she told me that she was emigrating from Germany to South Africa to be with the love of her life. Very clearly, it did her good to be able to share that with me. As you can see, even if you travel alone, you don’t have to feel lonesome.

Valerie DareSheGoes Kid onboard

Dare to share

Why am I writing this blog? As a passenger, you might want to have a talk with someone, maybe get a hug, or hear some comforting words. Feel free to share if you feel there is space for it. By unburdening your heart, you can make your travel more pleasant and create a sense of safety.

I look forward to welcoming you on board.

Very best regards,


For more on my flying life, follow @dareshegoes on Instagram.

Posted by:   DareSheGoes  | 
Join the conversation Show comments

willem heitlager

hen i get onboard of the blue bird i come back to life
that is my home in the sky


What a great compliment Willem! Thanks for reading my blog and your comment. Have a nice day, Valerie

Terje Hitsoey

My feelings when i fly with KLM,is very good.The crew,waitresses are very clever.I have get flights with KLM several times,and i enjoy it.Have a nice day,all of you.


Wonderful to read Terje! Thanks for flying KLM! Have a great day yourself. Kind regards Valerie

Bryan Schleipen

Nice blog and great attitude, Plesman would’ve been proud of you.


Thank you Bryan :)


Thanks Valerie for the great flight and the awesome pictures of Len! Len is very proud and so are we.


Hi Ilse!

Wat leuk dat je de blog gevonden hebt :) Het was fijn jullie aan boord te treffen en ik met jullie leukerd Len op de foto mocht!

Lief jullie reactie en hopelijk tot een volgende keer!
Liefs en knuffel voor Len,



Ik heb al zoveel mee gemaakt tijdens al mijn vliegreizen met de KLM (al ruim 45 jaar), maar dit verhaal doe ik even in het Engels. On Sunday September 9th 2001 I was on board the KL 643 to New York in Business Class and while we were taking off I was saying to the stewardess that was sitting oppisite me you are probably going to Macys to shop. She said no we are going to Century 21 which is our favorite store to shop. They were probably there on Monday morning (Sept.10th). I knew that they flew back to Amsterdam on Monday night and arrived on Tuesday morning and of course on Tuesday morning (USA time) it happened. During that week my only thougts were if I were to go back to Amsterdam on Saturday night and how. Anyhow on Saturday I went to JFK and saw that the KL643 (my original flight) was arriving from Amsterdam. I checked in and was told that the flight would arrive at 9;30pm and that the departure would be at 1;30am Sunday. I decided to go to the KLM LOUNGE for a while to relax. From the lounge windows you could see planes arriving and departing. And indeed at around 9;30pm I suddenly saw a blue plane taxing to the gate and I started crying because I knew that I was going home. During the flight I was thinking of that crew from the KL643 on Sunday that shopped at Century 21 on Monday and everything was gone on Tuesday, wondering what was going through their minds when they heard the news. Een lang verhaal maar heel indrukwekkend. P.S Ik ben degene die altijd mijn FLY THE DIFFERENCE KLM t-shirt/sweatshirt en pet met al de KLM speldjes draagt tijdens een vlucht.

Pedro Gutierrez

Very nice post, I always fly home with you guys and you cabin crew guys do always an amaging job and I always fly with KLM with ease of mind because I feel that even the slightest detail is taken into consideration.

Dare She Goes

Thanks for this wonderful comment Pedro! Wish you many more flights with KLM and maybe we meet sometime on board. kind regards, Valerie


I live in Mexico but when I fly to Asia via Amsterdam, which is quite often, my 2 favourite moments are stepping aboard the blue bird and off course the “mind your step”, the unmistakable sentence of Schiphol. .

Dare She Goes

haha yes “Mind your step” a real “classic” and thanks for your comment. It’s nice to read you feel happy while boarding the blue bird!

kind regards, Valerie


Without doubt, this is one of the nicest, warmest and most interesting KLM blogs I’ve read in a while. It is full of compassion, understanding and going above the call of duty to make the lives of others better, even for a few hours. Thank you for the great job you do, and the awesome person you are.


Hi Mathieu, well thank you for this wonderful comment. :)

kind regards, Valerie


Love to read your stories and enjoy your photos here and on instagram.
Keep up the good work.
We will meet again in the air one day.


Thanks Philip!

See you on board,

kind regards Valerie

Linda Gatzke

I have flown with quiet a few airlines but none can compare to KLM.It was a dream flight .Thank you


How beautiful Linda! A dream flight wish you many more and thanks for flying with KLM,

kind regards,



When we fly to Barcelona (Spain), we try to fly on KLM. Thanks to flight attendants like you, we enjoy fantastic flight experiences. We will be going to Barcelona in January 2017 and we are already looking forward to our flight. We know it will be great and that is because of you and your colleagues. Thank you.


Ola James!

It’s nice that people like you take the time to write a really nice comment like this. Maybe I’ll see you on board someday. And Barcelona…wow great city! Enjoy!



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