They say few things in life come free, yet some of them can be found on long-haul flights. According to international aircrew, inflight freebies are available on request. Skyscanner spoke with them to find out what they are.
First things first: it pays to be nice. A smile is worth a thousand miles. If you want to score free things on a plane, you won’t earn them by whining, complaining or being annoying. You’re far from being the only passenger on your flight, so treat the cabin crew nicely and you might find them slipping you treats like premium chocolates or even champagne!
1. Seconds? Yes, please!
Didn’t think it was possible to go for “seconds” on flights? On some of them, you might! The trick though, is to be patient and ask only after everyone has been fed. How successful you could be depends on the timing of the flight, of course. Skipping meals happens frequently during red-eye flights, since many passengers would rather sleep than eat a late supper or breakfast. And if there are no meal options left in economy class, the crew often obtains uneaten meals from business or first class.
2. Overnight kits
What if you don’t feel like wearing shoes throughout your flight but don’t fancy padding around barefoot either? Ask for a pair of socks! Some airlines give out slippers too. Don’t forget to ask for eye masks and earplugs, if they help you sleep better. And if you need a change of clothes, pyjamas are usually available too.
3. Cockpit visits
Passengers are officially not allowed in the cockpit, so don’t board your flight expecting to be let in there. Instead, wait until all passengers have disembarked before asking, as pilots won’t be in a hurry and are more likely to oblige. Bonus tip: ask to view the cockpit on behalf of the kids!
4. Basic medical supplies
According to the law, flight attendants are prohibited from dispensing medication, so don’t forget to pack painkillers in case you get a headache mid-flight. If you feel very unwell, however, there is a first aid kit, sanitary products and sometimes, a doctor on board. Help the cabin crew solve seating or medical call issues and you might be rewarded with champagne or duty-free items!
5. Snacks on the house
Starving and can’t wait until the next meal? Ask the cabin crew for nuts or pretzels politely and they would gladly oblige once they’re done serving beverages.
6. Complimentary toiletries
There are few things worse than arriving at your destination with bad breath and food stuck between your teeth. Toothpaste kits are available on most long-haul flights so simply ask for them and you’ll have fresh breath by touchdown!
Bonus: Inflight nannies
Need assistance with keeping the little ones quiet? Most flight attendants would gladly lend a hand on long-haul flights, especially if you’re flying alone with kids. On Etihad, you might even find an on-board nanny who entertains children and help them get to sleep. Most airlines also offer kid packs to keep young minds occupied – simply enquire.
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