A Reddit thread asked flight attendants about secret perks passengers should be taking advantage of on flights. We consulted that thread and did some of our own research to create the following list.
From free alcoholic drinks to ibuprofen, here are 10 things you should ask for on your next flight.
1. The entire can of soda
Flight attendants generally dole out half a can, which, combined with the quantity of ice they dispense, simply isn't enough to quench our thirst. Next time, order a whole can. Flight attendants are often happy to oblige, or if they've run out of cans, they'll be happy to return to refill your cup.
2. Hot chocolate
As an alternative to coffee or tea, most airlines also offer hot chocolate. Etihad Airways and Southwest Airlines are two that offer hot chocolate in economy. Qantas even has hot chocolate made with Cadbury chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth.
3. Temporary babysitting
For parents traveling with children, it’s great to have a helping hand when you need to step away for a few minutes. Many flight attendants will be happy to briefly assist you with your kids. Etihad Airways offers "flying nannies" who can organize everything from arts and crafts to hand-puppet games and magic tricks for kids, while Gulf Air has its "sky nanny" who can assist you with boarding and disembarking.
4. Sanitizing wipes
Airplanes are dirty and carry a lot of germs, which is why you want to wipe down surfaces like the tray table to avoid getting a cold. If you forget to pack your own sanitizing wipes, ask a flight attendant since they usually have them on hand.
5. Grooming kits
On longer flights, some airlines tend to stock items like earplugs, pens, combs, and playing cards that they're happy to give away. Virgin Atlantic gives free amenity kits on economy, while Etihad's complimentary amenity kits on longer flights include socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and earplugs.
6. Extra snacks
The complimentary snacks offered on flights are tiny and can often leave you hungry. Simply ask for seconds — if there are leftovers after all customers have been served, flight attendants will happily give you an extra snack.
Since airlines are basically charging passengers for everything these days, most assume this applies to alcoholic beverages as well. However, many airlines do still offer free booze. Lufthansa offers a selection of free champagne, wine, and beer on its flights, while Finnair has complimentary beer and wine. Etihad also offers passengers a complimentary bar service, with a range of beers, wines, and spirits to choose from.
8. Basic medications and bandages
While it depends on the airline's regulations, most flights are equipped with basic medications like painkillers and antacids as well as Band-Aids. These are free if you ask.
9. Wing pins for kids
While wing pins, which are small plastic wings with an airline’s logo, seemed like they had become an amenity of the past, some airlines like Delta still offer them on flights. Forbes recently reported that American Airlines brought kids’ wing pins back, starting with flights from Charlotte to Orlando, where kids often travel to destinations like Disney World and SeaWorld.
10. Bottles of water
Whether you're in need of more water or want to avoid airplane tap water, airlines will usually have small bottles of water on hand that they can supply to passengers who ask for them.