It doesn’t take much to make a flight a little more comfortable, but it can quickly transform your journey when you’re able to properly unwind.
We’re talking simple factors like a snug travel pillow, filling snacks, a good book or even downloaded series on your gadgets to pass the time.
But that’s not all.
There are a few in-flight perks that you could bag from cabin crew, even if you haven’t paid for the extras.
You’ll need to ask very, very nicely but usually they are happy to accommodate when they can, especially for passengers who are polite and patient.
To help you out, Skyscanner caught up with members of cabin crew from a host of airlines to find out what extras you can try for – including extra food, cockpit tours and even a few First Class treats.
Of course there’s no guarantee you’ll definitely get these, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
1. First Class treats
Just because you’ve paid for an Economy ticket doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of the perks that come with First Class, such as treats like a cappuccino or even a cheese platter.
Some members of cabin crew will offer these out to passengers who ask very nicely; there are no guarantees, but you’re more likely to win favours by being nice than being that Annoying Passenger in seat 38.
2. Extra in-flight comforts
Airplanes are usually well-stocked with those little luxuries that can help you sleep on a long-haul flight; think eye masks, ear plugs, socks and sometimes even slippers!
However, the most under-used air travel extra gas got to be the airline pyjamas; change into the comfy lounge wear and keep your clothes fresh!
They’re usually only available in Business/First Class on airlines like Emirates or British Airways , but if you happen to spill your food down your top, there’s a good chance the crew might take pity and hunt out a spare pair.
3. Extra meals
Getting hunger pangs and forgot to pack snacks?
It’s always worth enquiring about a second helping of breakfast or dinner as some passengers skip meals in favour of sleep – so there may be a surplus.
Be patient, wait until the cabin crew have served everyone, then politely ask if there are any spare in-flight meals left over.
Naturally, you shouldn’t expect a ‘yes’ every time, but no one likes wasted food, so it’s always worth a go.
Alternatively, if you’re peckish before dinner is ready, you can ask for a top up of peanuts or on-boar snacks they may have going.
4. Tour of the flight deck
Always wondered what goes on in the cockpit? Ask nicely and you may able to see for yourself.
Security has become a lot stricter in recent years so an in-flight tour is unlikely, but some do offer tours before take-off and after landing.
It’s worth noting that each airline has a different policy – some ban tours altogether, and some are happy to accommodate.
5. First Aid
There’ll always be a first aid kit on board your flight in case of emergencies, so do ask if you need a plaster, sanitary products or feel unwell.
It’s wise to pack some basic painkillers in your hand luggage for things like headaches, as cabin crew are not permitted by law to dispense any medication.
6. Extra help with the kids
Whether you just need an extra pair of hands or your little one’s throwing a bit of a tantrum, most cabin crew will sympathise and try to help.
This can including holding your baby while you store hand luggage, keeping kids entertained with colouring books and crayons and even provide designated childcare.
(For example, Etihad provide an onboard nanny on some of their flights!)
Ask about kids’ activity packs when you board, as some domestic and short-haul flights are starting to offer these as well as long-haul airlines.