The idea of perks is always a fun thing to add to the traveling experience. Most people associate amenities offered to the experience with hotel stays, but it extends to other aspects of traveling. The flights to and from your destination will usually have some level of amenities offered. Airplane trips can be time-consuming, boring and annoying to deal with for those that wish they get around faster than their flight times. Most airlines offer amenities ranging from outstanding perks to little bonuses to improve the process of flying.
There are quite a few amenities that are 100% free, either when flight attendants offer it to you or you request it personally from the staff. Other amenities are available at a small cost but are still considered a solid bonus since you don’t have too many options available to improve your experience in the air. We will look at the range of amenities offered and how productive they are to help your flight become a more fun time. Some are simply pointless, disappointing or not worth using. Luckily, there are some that are worth taking advantage of.
Find out which perks are truly perks for you when flying. These are ten airplane amenities travelers should stay away from along with ten worth using.
20 Stay away: Headphones – Pointless and inferior to the ones you bring
Headphones have become a more important part of our daily lives. Most people travel while listening to music on their phone. Airlines have offered headphones as either a free or cheap amenity for your years going back to the days when people wanted to listen to music or watch movies offered to them.
Many airlines still offer free headphones today with the use of them becoming more significant throughout the years. The problem is they offer the lowest quality and cheapest headphones possible. Many are even recycled and will no longer work when you try them.
It is almost certain that your own personal headphones will be much better than wasting your time with a complimentary set.
19 Take advantage of: Meals – Cure your hunger
One of the most common perks to flying on a flight past a few hours is getting a free meal. Most airlines will ask you to list any allergic reactions or food preferences when booking your flight. It ensures you’ll have a meal available to you during the flight regardless of if you want it or not.
Most people do get hungry on a long flight and it is wise to always accept the free meal. Even if you’re not hungry in the moment, there’s a chance you’ll be hungry later in the flight. The worst case is you pick at the meal and get a few bites before quitting on the rest of it.
18 Stay away: Adult beverages – Don’t make a mistake in the air
Free or cheap alcohol may sound like a great idea in theory, but not everyone is able to drink on a flight and have a pleasant experience. The variables in the flying process can see longer delays than expected, rocky moments of turbulence and other negative things that you’d rather not be under the influence for while witnessing.
There have been countless stories of passengers causing issues with the flight attendants, annoying people sitting next to them and generally being a pain to deal with.
Don’t risk being the cause of a terrible experience for others around if there’s any chance of you acting a fool after having a few drinks.
17 Take advantage of: Soda or water – You can get both
The better drink choice to opt for when the flight attendants are passing out beverages is soda or water. It is almost always free to get a drink and you get a choice each time. Soda is a wise choice if you’re looking for a sweeter drink while water is the standard and easiest option to play it safe.
The best idea is to get a drink even if you’re not thirsty at the moment to make it easier for the flight attendants. You can drink it as the flight goes on rather than waiting until your moment of thirst twenty minutes later. Most airlines allow you to get both if you're indecisive or just want two drinks.
16 Stay away: Junior wings – Outdated concept
A former popular tradition of the past would see younger kids receive complimentary junior wings when flying with respective airlines. There are some still many airlines that will provide the wing pins for your children, but you must ask the flight attendants for it.
It often ends up being an awkward experience with the flight attendant having to go get the junior wings to bring to you. Most kids today will forget about the wings minutes after getting them. The pin is basically pointless these days and it doesn’t make as much sense to request them even if available for free.
15 Take advantage of: Sanitizing wipes – Better safe than sorry
One small yet important thing offered by most airlines are sanitizing wipes. The idea is that you can wipe off the little tray that pops out in front of you before using it to place your meal and drink. Airplanes easily transport germs given the countless amount of people that fly on them.
A free cost means there’s no risk involved in ensuring your area will be cleaner than it was before using the wipes. Cleanliness is more important to some people than others, but everyone should take advantage of the free sanitizing wipes offered as an amenity by airlines.
14 Stay away: WiFi connection – Too slow and unreliable
The Internet has become a bigger part of our world than anyone could have imagined. Most people check their phones within minutes to see what’s going on with the latest news or what is on their friend’s social media feeds. However, the Internet is trickier and less likely to cooperate when accessed in the air on your flight.
Many airlines now offer WiFi connections for the use of wireless internet while in the air. Quite a few airlines show it as free in the WiFi network options, but you then get suckered into having to pay when setting it up. Even if it is free, the connection is usually absurdly slow.
The best bet is to just download movies or books before the flight for entertainment, rather than using a slow airline network.
13 Take advantage of: medication – Don’t be embarrassed to request it
Most airlines carry basic medication items for passengers that may need them during a flight. You can never predict when a headache, an upset stomach or general pain will strike. The flight attendants will provide the basic over-the-counter options that one would want when dealing with such issues.
Pain relievers and antacids are the main sources of medication you can get during a flight. If the unfortunate timing sees you in need of one of these items, don’t be afraid to ask your flight attendant since that’s what it’s there for. Band-aids are even often supplied if someone has a small cut.
12 Stay away: Motion sickness bag – Bring your own bag if this is a common problem
The fear of flying can lead to many people getting motion sickness during a flight. Most airlines still provide motion sickness bags available in the back of your seat. While the intent is nice, most of those bags are too small and will not be much help in dealing with your problem.
Anyone that suffers from motion sickness and is at more risk of throwing up during a flight should opt to bring their own bag. It is just easier to be prepared rather than depending on the airline’s weaker overall option for you.
Don’t risk making a mess because of a tiny airline supplied motion sickness bag that may struggle to open.
11 Take advantage of: Blanket – Find comfort for a nap
Longer flights will see more amenities offered and have more importance when flying. Many people try to sleep or take a nap during overnight flights or long flights in general. Quite a few airlines will have amenities available for free to improve your experience in this regard.
Blankets are a great perk that you can get for free if looking to find relaxation on your flight. The addition of a blanket typically makes it easier for you to fall asleep and experience more comfort. Getting a free blanket can make a huge difference in having a better time on your flight.
10 Stay away: Grooming kits – Just wait until you land
One rare and surprising amenity offered by a few airlines gives you the ability to shave before landing. Some guys like to shave daily, and longer flights can mess with a person’s schedule. This led to the idea coming up that a couple of airlines would supply grooming kits for those that request it.
Only a few airlines like Emirates have made this an official amenity, but it seems like a bit over the top. The average person does not trust their airline enough to use a grooming kit. It could also become a risky moment if turbulence strikes while shaving. The best bet is to just wait until landing and getting to your destination.
9 Take advantage of: Crayons and coloring books – Fun for the kids
There are often activity packs available for parents bringing their kids on a flight. Airlines take into account that people of all ages will be on their flights and offer fun little things that will make flying easier for younger children bored or afraid of the experience.
Most activity packs include crayons and coloring books. It gives the kids something to take their mind off flying or cure the boredom. Other little knick-knacks like stickers, games and puzzles are sometimes included in the activity packs. If you’re a parent, don’t fret about asking and accepting the free fun for your kids.
8 Stay away: Earplugs – Respect your ears
Earplugs can be a great thing to have when flying, especially on a longer flight. The purpose would be to block out all surrounding noise and attempt to take a nap with as much silence as possible. However, you can never be too sure about the quality of an item offered for free by an airline.
Many earplugs of lower quality can harm your eardrums or just provide even more discomfort than the surrounding noise. It’s best to avoid the earplugs offered by your airline and plan ahead. Bring your own earplugs to block out the noise or listen to a calming sound effect with your headphones instead.
7 Take advantage of: Air vent control – More important than you think it is
The air vent above your seat on an airplane is important than the average person assumes. There is a belief that it’s pointless and there’s no reason to use your ability to turn it on or off. However, it is highly suggested that everyone turns their air vent on for proper safety on the flight.
The tiny vent helps by allowing you to avoid contact with microorganisms that lead to people getting sick. If you’ve ever gotten sick or know someone that complains about getting sick during a flight, the air vent could have been a big difference. The luxury of getting to turn it on or off is something you should use to your advantage.
6 Stay away: Free music – Utterly pointless
Airplanes offering music used to be a great perk many years ago as a rare option of entertainment. However, we have too many options today to risk listening to the music channels offered by most airlines. The music ranges from various stations playing music you can’t control to generic instrumentals that you likely will get sick of after a few minutes.
Most people have music they love available on their phone, tablets and laptops at all times. It makes no sense to risk listening to unappealing music offered by an airline when you have guaranteed entertainment of your choice right there with you.
5 Take advantage of: Water bottle refills – Ask later in the flight
The drinks offered by an airline can often be fun since you get soda and/or water for free. However, some people can get more than a small cup or mini-bottle of water depending on the airplane. It has become very popular to travel with a reusable water bottle for both comfort and environmental purposes.
Many airlines will allow you to refill your water bottle by using the water available to give you enough for the rest of your flight and possibly beyond. The most respectful way to do this is to wait until after the flight attendants serve drinks and ask if there’s enough water left for a refill. If there’s enough left to spare, you’ll likely get a full bottle refill.
4 Stay away: Magazines – Bring your own reading material
One common theme for amenities offered on airplanes is that many things are outdated. Times have changed and the options for entertainment are drastically different from the past. Older days saw magazines serve as important reading materials offered when flying since there weren’t too many other reading materials.
The ease of downloading books on tablets, phones and tablets today makes it pointless to read the magazines offered by airlines. No one wants to suffer through articles they no longer care about when the option to read fun books takes up less space in one’s luggage. Most magazines are viewed as lower tier reading material as well, which just makes it something most people avoid in general these days.
3 Take advantage of: Snacks – Ask for more!
Snacks are more popular than meals with passengers on most airlines. Full meals are not always part of the flight process, but almost every flight will see small snacks offered. Some flights as short as 45 minutes even provide snacks depending on the airline.
Small serving sizes of cookies, pretzels and potato chips are typically the snacks of choice offered when flight attendants walk by. Most airlines will indulge if you request another bag of snacks if still feeling hungry later in the flight. Don’t be afraid to ask for another serving as snacks are plentiful. The worst-case scenario is a flight attendant kindly stating there’s none left to offer for the flight.
2 Stay away: Airline movie apps – Rarely ever worth it and often a scam
Most airlines will inform passengers about their service that allows you to watch movies and television shows. It is usually explained as downloading a free app for your phone or tablet to use when on the flight. While the app is always free to download, movies usually cost extra money before you get access to them.
The free movies that are available are often limited in quantity and quality. Much like other themes on the list, the best bet is to bring your own viewing material by downloading and getting them prepared before your flight. Don’t trust the airline movie and television show viewing apps that are free to download but rarely worth it.
1 Take advantage of: Pillows – Always find the most relaxing method when flying
Pillows are often available for sale at shops before getting on the plane. Neck pillows are a popular item, but normal pillows are usually an item you can get for free on longer flights. Airlines understand that many people want to sleep or nap on flights that are overnight or just long in general.
Many flights will see pillows offered by flight attendants. If not, you can always ask and will get a pillow supplied most of the time. Pillows almost always will make the flying experience more relaxing. There’s no reason to turn down a free pillow on your flight.