FBI Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar of my Hunt for Jack Reacher Thriller Series travel all the time on less than a moment’s notice. For them, price is hardly a factor. But for many of us, we appreciate a good freebie!
Air travel can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding what exactly you are paying for when you book that plane ticket. It seems like plane tickets come a la carte these days. We’ve heard rumors that the airlines will soon be charging us for carry on baggage. When I travel with my little schnauzer, Miki, I must pay to take her in the cabin with me — and I’m not allowed a carry on at all. Miki is considered to be my carry on!
But there may be small bits of good news: you might be entitled to a few perks when you buy those tickets.
Here are 10 things that you might be able to get for no extra charge when you’re flying:
- A Full Can of Soda
After paying hundreds of dollars for a round trip ticket, you would think we passengers would be entitled to a can of soda, wouldn’t you? Turns out, you can probably have the full can. When the flight attendant pours your small plastic cup full, simply ask if you can have the whole can. Apparently, if the flight is stocked with enough soda, they will often happily give you the whole can.
Again, just ask.
First Aid Items
From bandages to antacids to painkillers, your crew might have you covered. Not every airline is allowed to give out medicine, but some are, so it’s worth asking. And you can always ask for ice, too, if you need to nurse an injury. And this one could come in handy for Otto and Gaspar, eh?
A Tour of Singapore
None of the characters in my books have gotten to take advantage of this one yet, but if you have a layover in Singapore, you can take a free tour of the island. It takes two to three hours, so you’d probably need an extra hour to spare on either end. Knowing my characters, they’d need to spend any extra free time catching some Zzz’s! But good to know that this offer exists.
If your travels are stressful, free booze might help take the edge off. Free wine, beer, and liquor are offered on a lot of longer flights, especially international flights. Of course, boozing it up is not a great idea if you’re on a job that requires intense accuracy, like Otto and Gaspar on their hunt for Jack Reacher. But if your travels are part of a celebration, it might be fun to have a free champagne toast! Just be sure to ask for water too, since the air on a plane is extremely dry.
- Travel Advice
Flight attendants are often willing to give recommendations about what to see, do, and where to eat at your destination.
- Extra snacks
Unless airlines are running low, they’ll probably be happy to give you more than one or two packs of peanuts or cookies.
- A Tour of the Flight Deck
Think heightened security means the cockpit is off limits to passengers? Think again. As you board the plane, ask the flight attendants if you can take a peek at the flight deck or ask the pilot a question. The answer might be yes. “Pilots usually enjoy talking about the aircraft — and the crew knows that even a brief chat can help put fearful fliers at ease.” –AARP
Are you a germaphobe? If so, this one’s for you. Planes often have extra sanitary wipes on board in case the water goes out in the lavatory. Take advantage of that and wipe down your tray table when you board.
- Reading Material
Oftentimes when passengers disembark, they hand over the newspapers and magazines to the crew. If you left your paperback in your checked bag or if your e-reader is out of battery, you might be able to score some good reading material by simply asking to read what’s leftover from a previous flight.
Want to make sure you stock your e-reader or carryon bag with great mysteries and thrillers before you board? Check out several award-winning options HERE!