From meeting the pilots and tours of the cockpit to help with the kids and free meals; experienced cabin crew reveal all the extras available on flights if only you have the courage to ask!
If you have any secret flying tips that we might not yet know about, please leave a comment below and share your best flight tips and tricks.
1. Be the perfect passenger
It doesn’t take much to be nice in life, but basic gestures such as smiling, making small-talk and always waiting patiently could make the difference between a miserable flight and a flight to remember. If you fancy being treated like royalty and offered secret treats, such as delicious chocolates or freshly brewed cappuccinos, sweet-talking the air cabin crew can work wonders. Do like this man who sweet talked his way into first class by presenting every crew member on board with a bag of sweets and notes of positivity! And avoid all of these mistakes that the world’s worst passengers ever have made.
2. Tour the cockpit
Have you ever spotted your friend sharing a fun pilot selfie on social media and wondered how they pulled it off? The answer is a lot simpler than you might think. Airline staff are, most of the time, happy to give passengers a tour of the cockpit and a chance to say hello to the pilots. The only rule is that you must ask after the plane has landed rather than before it has taken off, for obvious safety reasons. The best time to ask is when most of the other passengers have left the plane – just be sure to do it before the pilots leave too!
3. Get more from your airline meals
Most of us aren’t the biggest fans of airline food, unless you’re lucky enough to be sitting in First Class enjoying silver service. But when hunger strikes it’s often the only thing you’ve got to fill your rumbling stomach with, and sometimes the bite-sized portions just don’t cut it. If you’re after seconds then remember, many passengers choose to sleep right though overnight flights, so there are often a few surplus meals which can be secured by simply asking one of the friendly air stewards. You’ll have to be patient and make sure everyone on the plane has already been served, but once they have and you ask nicely, you’d be surprised by what goodies come your way. The same goes for drinks and snacks – you can always ask for more with a smile.
4. First Aid
Did you know there is a first aid kit on board every flight? If you are in need of anything, just push the call button above your head and ask the cabin crew for help. Don’t worry if it’s only something minor such as a plaster or even sanitary products, they will be happy to help in any way they can. If you suffer from bad headaches or motion sickness, it’s also a good idea to pack some painkillers in your hand luggage. On any international flights there is often a doctor on board, or if you’re a doctor yourself flight crews always really appreciate passengers helping out in cases of emergency.
5. Dress to impress
Whilst there are many factors that will affect whether you get that free upgrade or not (check out the full list here) looking nice will certainly help. If you are hoping to blend in in First Class, you’re going to have to dress to fit the part. Leave the backpack and hoodie at home and dress as if going to the airport is a real occasion. Even if you don’t get the upgrade, dressing smart will have other benefits. You never know who you might meet at the airport or even on the plane – flights can be the perfect place to meet new business clients or to form long-term friendships.
6. In-flight comforts
If you were so stressed trying to get to the airport and dealing with last minute packing disasters, fret not, because airplanes are usually stocked with the little luxuries you’ve forgotten! From ear plugs to eyes masks, headphones to blankets; simply asking nicely will get you much of the things you seek! On most long-haul flights you’ll be given a small comfort kit which includes flight socks, a blanket, an eye mask and even a disposable toothbrush and toothpaste in case you forgot yours. Some airlines, such as Emirates and British Airways can actually supply you with pyjamas so you don’t have to spend the night in your clothes. While such luxuries are usually only available in Business or First Class, if you ask nicely you never know what they might be able to give you. Find more ways of making economy flights feel like first class, with our 10 top tips.
7. Travelling with kids? Just ask for help…
If you’re travelling with kids, be it just the one or a family of five, most cabin crew will sympathise and do what they can to make your flight as enjoyable as possible. If you need anything, such as warm water, a bottle heated up, or even a holding basket for a baby, be sure to ask. Many airlines nowadays even have a stock of crayons, colouring books and children’s books to keep little ones occupied on long flights. Certain airlines like Etihad can even provide an onboard nanny on some of their flights, so the kids can be kept occupied while you get a few hours sleep. At the end of the day, no one wants screaming kids on board a flight so crew will do whatever it takes to make sure they’re happy!