GETTING the most out of a flight is very important for passengers, but it seems like some of you might not know what you’re entitled to.
There are always perks that you can make the most of, be it experiences, upgrades or things to keep your kids entertained.
But we’re not mind readers and will be pretty busy with our own jobs, so you just need to give us a heads up and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
For the last decade I’ve been working as a flight attendant and this week, as part of my series of weekly blogs for Sun Online Travel, I’ll let you know what extras you can expect to get on board flights, as long as you ask nicely.
Firstly, yes you can see the cockpit, even if you’re not with your child.
We know a lot of people who ask to go with their children are just using their kids so they can go and have a look themselves. That’s fine.
It’s at the captain’s discretion who they let in and who they don’t, but generally, if someone wants to see it, they’ll let them.
However, if you do want to see the cockpit, it has to be done while the plane is on the ground.
Back in the old good old days it would have been done during the flight, but times have changed.
It has to be done on the ground now, with everything disconnected and all the power off. That way there’s no security risk.
But it also means you can have a picture in the pilot‘s seat and some of them will even let you wear their hat if they’re not precious about that. So there are some perks to it being done before takeoff.
If your kid is keen on flying and they’ve already seen the cockpit, there are other things we can do for them.
Our airline, and a few others too, have got packs with a little journal, so kids can put down the flight details and then they can get the captain to sign off the flight and stamp their journal.
We’ll happily give this to anyone on board flying with a little one as a fun way for them to get interested in flying and to document their adventures.
We often have some kids on board who have flown almost as much as us cabin crew members.
There are regularly two or three year olds whose journals are completely full because their parents are frequent flyers, so it’s a lot of fun for them to get their books stamped and signed by the pilots.
Little ones aren’t the only people entitled to free stuff however and we will try and provide anyone with extra perks, especially if there’s reason for it.
For instance, we often get birthdays on board the plane and while we can’t light candles in the cabin, we aren’t above getting a few members of the flight crew to sing happy birthday.
It’s not quite a TGI Fridays level experience with a big slice of cake, but we will do what we can with the tools we have on board, you just need to let us know and we’ll sort out whatever we can.
Similarly if you’re on a honeymoon or travelling for a big anniversary or whatever, it’s at our discretion, but we can give you an upgrade or provide you with freebies – again you just need to let us know.
What I would say is that the best people to tell are at the check-in desk because they’re responsible for allocating seating.
If they know that you’re travelling for a special occasion, they’re the people who are most likely to give you an upgrade if there’s spare business or first class seats available.
But it also can’t help for you to let everyone airline staff member you come across know the reason for your journey just in case they’re feeling more generous than others.
If we can’t give you an upgrade, there’s no reason why we can’t bring you some champagne from further up the plane, or offer you something else to make your trip feel more glamorous.
At the end of the day, gestures like that often end up on social media, so it’s beneficial for airlines because it makes us look good.
If there’s something we can do, we often will for that very reason.
But the rule for passengers is a simple one. You won’t get it unless you don’t ask, so don’t feel shy and try us – you never know, we might be feeling very generous and you could end up in first class.
Meanwhile, this is how some sneaky passengers manage to get into first class without having to pay for it.
And these six tricks could increase your chances of getting an upgrade free of charge.