There isn’t a person around who has spent any time at airports over the course of their lives, who doesn’t know how completely boring those terminals are. The exact same thing goes for actually being on the plane. It’s a tedious time during which you are scrambling to find something for entertainment.
However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are actually lots of things that we can get for free that will help pass the time (heck, even make it enjoyable). It doesn’t matter if you are at the airport waiting for a flight or sitting on the plane, just biding your time with three or four hours (or more) left until your destination. All we have to do for these perks is simply ask someone.
The goal here today is to shed some light on some of these things so that you’ll be more prepared when the time comes for your next flight. Did you know that you can actually change your seat with a simple verbal request? Or maybe you weren't aware that you can actually get a second in-flight meal if you've finished the first yet your stomach's still rumbling. If there are any left, you’ll get one for free!
Today you are going to learn about a whole bunch of things you can get for free just by asking. Go ahead and give it a try!
20 On The Plane: Free Special Menu With Notice
If you have a trip coming up and you already have purchased your plane ticket, you can order a special meal, if you do it ahead of time. Take the time before the final twenty-four hours and give your airline a call and politely ask about the options available to you and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll hear. Most of the airlines today offer you a choice of kosher meals, vegetarian meals, children’s meals and even special dietary dishes.
All you have to do is ask ahead of time for them and the best part is there is no charge for these at all.
19 On The Plane: Free Hot Chocolate
How many times have you boarded an airplane in a chilly city and felt that cold biting deep in your bones? A lot of people out there don’t like coffee or tea, so in that scenario a nice cup of hot chocolate would hit the spot quite nicely. Previously this wasn’t available on most airlines but now it is, and it's absolutely free, all you have to do is ask!
It could also be an effective way to warm up your body if you are preparing to land in a cold-weather city.
18 On The Plane: Free Items For Your Comfort
Let’s face it; flying just isn’t very comfortable in most cases. You’re crammed into a small seat so that the airlines can maximize their revenue on each flight. However, you don’t have to be as uncomfortable as they want you to be.
All you have to do is ask and you can get some pretty cool stuff that will go a long way in helping make your flight a lot more pleasant. Go ahead; grab a blanket or a pillow or even a sleeping mask if you need one. Just ask the flight attendant nicely and you shall receive.
17 On The Plane: Free Snacks And Soda
A lot of airlines are pretty stingy when it comes to included amenities. As far as they are concerned, they're giving you a ride from one destination to another, and there isn't a whole lot of concern apart from that.
They'd probably prefer you not to know that there are plenty of things that you can get for free if you just ask for them. Snacks and soda are a couple examples of what's on offer. Even if they aren’t offered on the flight, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any. Go ahead and ask them, you just may be in luck!
16 On The Plane: You Can Request More Comfortable Seating For Free
A lot of people think that the seat you are assigned to is written in stone. The fact of the matter though, is that you can easily change your seat to a more comfortable one.
There are two ways to do this. Firstly, when you buy your ticket, go ahead and ask for a more comfortable seat. That way it’s taken care of right away and you won’t have to worry.
The second way is that you can ask when you actually board the flight. Chances are much lower that they will be available but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Some airlines charge for this and consider it an upgrade but some don’t, so go ahead and inquire about it.
15 On The Plane: Free Medication And/Or Bandages/Band-Aids
When you are in the air there isn’t much that can be done if something happens. If a medical issue comes up, no matter how major or minor it is, it just isn’t easy to bring an airplane down quickly from thirty thousand feet up in the air.
For this reason, each plane carries a lot of medical equipment onboard, so if you need anything at all you can just ask for it. Painkillers, ibuprofen or just regular aspirin are a few of the things you can get for free if you just ask. Don’t suffer from a headache on your flight just because you didn’t know!
14 On The Plane: You Can Get A Second Meal For Free
If your flight is long enough to offer you a meal, it is always included in the price of your ticket. But did you know that you can get a second meal for free? Yes, the meals they offer are small at best and often leave you wanting more.
Every passenger doesn’t have the same eating habits though and there are almost always extra meals on a flight. If you ask a flight attendant nicely, you may very well get a second meal for free. The more you eat, the less they have to remove from the flight later so you’ll find they’ll be willing to accommodate you if there is anything extra.
13 On The Plane: Free Entertainment
Some flights are really long and when they are, even the most relaxed person will get bored. It’s hard to fight this off when there just isn’t anywhere for you to go. It’s not like you can stroll out to the porch and get some fresh air. So having things to entertain you is of the highest importance.
There are plenty of things to do on flights and while you may know of some of them (movies, videos, etc.), there are a lot more available than just the obvious. Books and magazines can be read if you inquire, or maybe you’d like to listen to the radio on your flight. Just ask and see what your flight has to offer.
12 On The Plane: Free In-Flight Babysitter
Traveling on planes is much different now than it was, say, twenty years ago. Kids fly alone a lot more now and we've all experienced the screaming baby a couple of times mid-air.
If you make an early request you can have a bassinet put into the seat next to you. If you’re traveling with your kids you can ask the flight attendant to watch them for a few minutes while you take a bathroom break. It’s something you might want to keep in mind for your next flight, if you just need a break from the little ones, even if you don’t have to go to the bathroom!
11 On The Plane: Take A Tour Of The Cockpit For Free
Yes, if you’d like to know more about the plane you are on, you can ask the flight attendant politely if it’s possible to take a tour of the cockpit. There is a small chance it could happen before your flight takes off and there is zero chance of it happening when you are in the air.
Once you land though, chances are pretty good that it can happen if you ask nicely. You’ll never hear this service offered during the pre-flight announcements but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. As long as you don’t cause any problems, chances are pretty good that it could happen.
10 Airport: Free Seat Changes
If you are one of those people who like to sit near a window so you can see what’s going on outside of the airplane, but you got stuck with an aisle seat, don’t worry at all. When you check in just ask the staff if you can change your seat.
Whether you like to sit window-side, over the wing, or at the back of the plane, if you aren’t happy with the allocated seat, you might be able to swap it at no extra charge. The key is to ask nicely. If you ask and get denied due to a full flight, at least you took the chance.
9 Airport: Free Seat Upgrades
We all know that most of us don’t get to sit where we want to on airplanes. You purchase your ticket and are told where to sit and most of us just agree and do as we are told. However, before you board, if you ask the person at the desk, with a smile, you just might find yourself sitting in a better seat, for free!
Now, there is no guarantee that this is going to happen, so don’t expect it. However, it does indeed happen from time to time so why not take the chance and ask?
8 Airport: Free Food Vouchers
What traveler hasn’t been stuck at an airport at least once in their life while their flight has been delayed or even canceled? If it has ever happened to you then you know that it can be an expensive wait to finally board. You have to find something to do and in a lot of cases, people will turn to food to pass the time.
There isn’t an airport restaurant in the world that boasts being affordable, so you can put a serious hurting on your wallet with just one delayed flight. However, if you ask someone who works for your airline, they will normally give you some free food vouchers to make up for the inconvenience caused.
7 Airport: Free Access To VIP Lounges
If you have a flight that is delayed or even canceled, it can be a very boring and stressful time at the airport while you wait for a fix. One thing that a lot of people don’t realize that they can do is to head on over to the nearest VIP Lounge and get a drink or snack to help ease the stresses. Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone but if you can convince someone that you’re a VIP and deserve the chance to relax while you wait, well, you can enjoy the exclusive, even if for only a little while.
Bonus points if your credit card is linked with an airline, as that can certainly help with access to VIP lounges.
6 Airport: Free Money
Have you ever been to the airport before and found out that your flight had been overbooked? The first and most obvious question is how can this possibly happen? If there are sixty seats on the plane, sell only sixty tickets. Problem solved.
However, as we all know, the easy and intelligent are not always applied when it comes to airlines. If you face a situation of an overbooked flight, just volunteer to take a later flight (if you aren’t in a rush) and the airline will compensate you for your troubles. Usually they'll offer a low amount to start, but it will continue to rise if nobody volunteers to get off the plane immediately, so don't always jump at the first offer. It’s not a bad way to make a couple of hundred bucks!
5 Airport: Free Baggage Protection
Some people are extremely picky about the luggage they bring on a flight. For good reason, they are worried that their precious items may not be looked after by the airline employees as they would do themselves. We all have heard at least one unfortunate story about damaged or even completely lost luggage.
If you have valuables in your luggage you can request baggage protection for them. Your items can be wrapped in a protective plastic wrap to help ensure the safety of whatever you have in there. It will also be a nice added insurance when your luggage goes to Paris and you’re in Houston, Texas.
4 Airport: Free Libraries/Books
If you get to the airport a little early, or if you have a flight that’s been delayed, it can always be tough to find something to do to pass the time. Did you know that a lot of airports have libraries right there inside of them? If you take a moment to ask someone, you could find yourself reading the latest best seller in a matter of minutes while you wait. You can also gain access to newspapers, magazines or just about any other type of literature that you might want to read. Reading is a great way to pass the time and get your mind off the wait that you are facing.
3 Airport: Free Hotels
If you have even been dealt the bad news that your flight has been canceled or is looking at a very long delay, you know just exactly what kind of bad day, or night, that can be. They may not come right out and tell you, so you may not know this, but you can get a free hotel stay while you wait.
Just ask an airline employee and they will get you taken care of pretty quickly. In some places, this isn’t even an option. This is because it’s a requirement in some areas and for some airlines that if a flight is canceled, a hotel must be provided until a new flight is ready to go.
2 Airport: Free Phone Calls
Have you arrived at the airport late because the flight was delayed at takeoff? Is your phone out of battery because of this wait time? That certainly can be a frustrating experience to have to deal with. If you can’t call someone because of a flat phone, or any other reason, don’t get all stressed out about it.
In most situations, if you ask someone at the desk politely, they will let you make a call and not charge you for it. They do ask that you keep the calls to five minutes or less but the option is there for you to take advantage of if need be.
1 Airport: Free Blockbuster Movies
One of the best options to have when you are waiting for your flight is to be able to sit back in comfort and watch a blockbuster movie. That sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? You may not be aware of it, but at certain airports, this is indeed an option and the people who travel through these airports take advantage of it and love every minute of it.
Portland International Airport is one of the airports that offer this feature and it’s certainly something to look forward to if you are ever passing through there. You’ll always know there is something to do to pass the time if the need ever arises.