In my efforts to promote and advocate for our flower farmers, I fly a bit.
I always answer, “more than some, less than others.” The answer has to be relative.
I have learned a lot of “tricks” from my air travel experience though; like wear slip-on dress shoes, have a pair of Bose headphones and avoid the security line that involves a stroller. However, the most valuable tip I can share from all my air miles is to travel with flowers. It doesn’t always work out for me to bring along a bouquet, but since I’m often leaving an event or a farm, it just works perfectly to take one with me.
My plan… give it to the first flight attendant that greets me on the plane.
The results…always predictable. Super surprised, super appreciative…stunned really.
So, what happens next is predictable too and Southwest flight attendants are always the best about acknowledging their appreciation of flowers. I captured this fun “flying with flowers” moment on a Southwest flight from this summer:
Maybe a complimentary beverage isn’t your thing, but I believe there are three reasons why flying with flowers is a good idea.
1. The Audience
There is a tremendous amount of exposure that happens when you travel. The airport shuttles, terminal, security, the gates and of course the plane. You pass a lot of people. Now, flying with flowers does involve taking them through security, but it’s worth it. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve had to discuss what I do, who I work for and why buying American Grown flowers is important. People see you with flowers and they just have to ask, “who’s the lucky lady?” “Is someone in trouble…?” “Did you win an award?” I’m always happy to talk to those who make the effort to talk to me. When they hear that I know the farmer personally and I tell them where that farm is — in a community nearby — it makes the connection that many people have never before considered. They learn that they have a choice where their flowers come from and they’ll pledge to buy locally grown flowers. Why? Because origin matters.
2. The Benefits
So far, I’ve not received a 1st class upgrade for giving flowers to a flight attendant. However, 90% of the time I bring flowers on board and give them away, it gets mentioned during the preflight preamble. One of the times the response and mention by the flight attendant was so great and went on so long that I got uncomfortable because I was “that guy.” However most of the time its a light, friendly and fun mention of appreciation that makes the effort worthwhile and probably gets some fellow passengers thinking about buying some flowers before they get home!
3. Just Because
I’m around our flowers a lot. And it’s easy to take their beauty, their effects and their value to others for granted. So, flying with flowers helps me keep it real. Taking flowers to the airport helps me connect with consumers, with flower lovers, with people… You see how much they love flowers, want flowers, notice flowers. Its a good reminder. It also reminds me that its important to give flowers to others, “just because.” Imagine if you were a flight attendant having a long day, dealing with rude passengers and then one of them hands you a bouquet of flowers and says thank you for what you do… It’s then you see the difference flowers can make.
I’ve learned that “Just Because,” is always the best reason to fly with flowers, give flowers or receive flowers. Try it!
Do you have a flying with flowers experience to share?
What other “Just Because” opportunities are there that are like flying with flowers?