It’s a shame that travelers tend to be unfamiliar with the many perks they’re entitled to, even if they’ve booked cheap airfare. They think air travel is simply boarding a flight and landing at their destination. Airline perks are those cool, extra services offered by most airlines for a small fee or are complimentary. They can make a long or short flight more enjoyable, comfortable, and stress-free. Depending on the airline, aircraft, and travel class the perks will vary, but knowing how to get them and which are available to you can make a better in-flight experience.
Here are some airline perks you probably didn’t know about and the carriers that have them!
Free booze… it’s what every (adult) passenger dreams of! But we’re sorry to say, most airlines only offer free spirits to passengers sitting in first-class. However, some carriers such as Lufthansa and Emirates do offer complimentary alcohol on long-haul international flights to passengers in all cabins. And United Airlines, American Airlines, and Air Canada are known to offer free beer and wine on select international flights.
Wifi at 35,000 Feet
We’ve all been through the struggle of scrambling for books and creating playlists in preparation for a long flight with no internet service. But you can put those entertainment worries aside as in-flight wifi is becoming a common amenity of many carriers. Wifi is available to passengers at an affordable rate or may even be complimentary. Some of the many airlines who include this perk are Emirates, Norweigan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and China Eastern.
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Stay Charged the Whole Way
Leave the portable chargers at home when you take off with these airlines! While on the aircraft, check under and around your seat for an outlet (which can be of the traditional electrical or USB variety), many airlines have installed this feature on their flights so passengers can keep their devices charged at 100% for the entire flight. You can find this perk on select flights on carriers such as Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines.
Controlling Onboard Chaos
Nervous about traveling with cranky and restless kids? Well, some airlines have figured out a way to keep children settled and parent’s stress-free while soaring through the clouds. A brilliant perk on British Airways is they feed kids first on flights. Etihad Airways has a flying nanny who assists parents with restless children by entertaining them with games and books. All of the nannies are trained from the UK’s early development colleges and programs. Asiana Airlines provides a ‘Happy Mom Service’ (a reservation is required in advance) that includes infant baby seats, slings, and nursing blankets. Also on Asiana Airlines, pregnant passengers and parents with young children are offered front row seats for easy restroom access
On most flights, you’ll probably be served with a variety of food and beverages, but you may be required to pay. Some airlines offer interesting onboard dishes that you won’t see on other flights. Austrian Airlines business class offers a complimentary gourmet meal along with premium coffees. Virgin Atlantic offers meals designed by The Cooking Channel’s celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale on upper-class long-haul flights. Air New Zealand has installed induction ovens on select flights which allows them to cook burgers, eggs, and steaks all onboard the aircraft.
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Skip the Baggage Claim
In a hurry or just hate waiting at the baggage claim carousel for your luggage? Well, American Airlines offers the perk of a baggage delivery service to wherever you’re going after the airport for all U.S. destinations and select international cities. The cost starts at $29.95 per bag and takes about 4-6 hours from landing for luggage to arrive. United Airlines also has a baggage delivery service, called BagsVIP, but it’s only for flights landing within the U.S. The delivery service is limited to within 100 miles of the airport and delivers within 4-6 hours.
Have you booked cheap airfare and know of any other cool airline perks? Tell us about them in the comments!