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4 Airline Services You Never Knew About

airline-perks
Chris Osburn
Written by Chris Osburn

It may seem that airlines are cutting back on amenities and services but maybe you’re just not aware of all that’s available or which ones you should be asking for. We did some digging around to discover a few of the better (if lesser known) services that many airlines provide their passengers.

Have a look at what we found. We hope it helps you to better enjoy your next flight.

Flying on a Special Day

Champagne on a plane

Up in the air about how to celebrate your birthday, anniversary or another significant date? Well, if you actually are planning to be in the air on your big day (or traveling with someone else on theirs), inquire with your airline about what sort of special occasion services it has for its passengers. Practically all of them offer something for customers. A few of the nicest perks are the customized cake and champagne services from Emirates and Cathay Pacific. Charges vary and it’s definitely wise to look into what’s provided well ahead of your flight.

Oh and obviously no guarantees but … there’s at least a slightly better chance than usual that you could get upgraded if you request it on a special occasion such as your birthday or anniversary. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask. Good luck!

Having a Laidback Layover

laidback-layover

About to embark on a long haul with a layover? Plenty of airlines allow you to turn it into a free stopover and a few even throw in freebies and discounts for your stay. Some of the better offers out there include the following:

  • Etihad can help you with a two-fer deal on hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi.
  • Finnair allows customers to stay up to five nights free in Helsinki on international flights in transit.
  • Both Icelandair and WOW Air offer free stopovers in Iceland on flights between Europe, the US, and Canada.
  • TAP Portugal gives passengers a free one night stay at a hotel in Lisbon on international flights traveling from London or Manchester.
  • Qatar Airways does a one-night, free hotel offer in Doha as well as free transit visa for stays up to 96 hours.

Enjoying the Flight with Your Kids

Cute kid on plane

Fortunately for families on the go, a number of airlines go the extra mile to accommodate the needs and interests of their youngest passengers. Some of the best examples of kid-friendly services are as follows:

  • Children flying with Air New Zealand become members of its Jet Cadets, receiving a Kids Pack with activities to keep them focused on fun as well as special kid-friendly meals. The airline also has introduced its Economy Skycouch that converts three seats into a small bed at the push of a button.
  • Emirates has a Fly with Me Monsters program with magazines and collectible plush toys, blankets and more.
  • Etihad’s “Flying Nannies” are dedicated crew members trained at Norland College in England that specializes in in-flight childcare. Services include accompanying families from gate to seat, puppetry, arts and crafts and bottle-warming.
  • EVA Airways up the ante with full-on Hello Kitty themed flights featuring everything from Hello Kitty pillows and toilet paper and more.
  • Kids flying with Asiana may find themselves treated with entertainment such as magic shows, face painting or a cooking baking class. The airline also offers a “Pre-Mom” service with priority boarding, golf cart rides to the gate and in-flight amenities.

Not Missing Your Connecting Flight

Rushing at airport

A recently launched service from Star Alliance aims to cut down on missed connections and your distress when trying to catch a connection in a pinch. The new Star Alliance Connection Service works to alert staff as soon as a connection is at risk who then meet delayed customers on arrival and take the necessary steps to ensure that customers and their bags are expedited and reach their onward flight ASAP. If a connection cannot be reached, customers are assisted with re-booking. The service was rolled out in September 2017 at Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Star Alliance carriers include United, ANA, Lufthansa, Swiss, Air Canada, Asiana, among its total of 29 member airlines.

Got any more tips for airline services? We’d love to tap into your travel expertise to share with our readers.

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About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.

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