Airline tickets aren't cheap, so when you've shelled out the big bucks, why not get your money's worth? As it turns out, there are a few items you can snag for free every time you fly—that is, if you're not afraid to ask.
1. A refill on your soda, or better yet—the full can. When you're on a long flight, the small soda serving size might leave you still a bit parched. But, if you ask politely, most flight attendants are more than happy to give you the full can. If they're running low on beverages, you should at least be able to get your cup topped off.
2. Sanitizing wipes. Yes, airlines are supposed to clean the plane after all the passengers leave, but research has shown some very nasty bacteria are capable of living on things like the armrest, tray tables, window shades, and leather seats. Give yourself some peace of mind and just wipe down your area before settling in. Your body will thank you.
3. Free babysitting. There's nothing worse than traveling alone with a little one. What happens if you need to go to the bathroom? Again, if you ask nicely, most stewards and stewardesses will kindly accept and hold your kid or grandkid while you take a trip to the bathroom. Heck, they've even been known to comfort a baby or two.
4. A tour of the cockpit. Whether you're interested in popping your grandkid in the co-pilot seat to snap a picture, or you yourself want to get a bit more know-how straight from the pilot, if you ask after the flight has landed, you might get to explore the cockpit.
5. Hot chocolate. Not everyone is a soda drinker, but it seems like the only other beverage options are sugary juices and coffee. Some airlines offer hot chocolate, which can be the perfect warmer-upper if you're craving something rich and sweet.
6. First-aid kits. Did you run to catch your flight and now you have a blister? Well, your airline should have bandaids for you to patch yourself back up. Maybe flying gives you headaches but you realize you've left your medicines at home? Just ask for an ibuprofen. If there's an emergency on the flight, the crew is the first line of defense, so chances are they'll have the small first-aid items you need.
7. Airline pins. If you're an airplane enthusiast or you have one in your family, ask a flight attendant if the airline gives out free airline pins. From far away, they look just like the ones the crew members wear.
8. Water bottles. When you'd rather not chug your water, or you're trying to avoid tap water, ask your flight attendant if they stock bottles of water. If they do, you can stay hydrated through the entire trip.
9. More snacks. Let's face it, one small bag of peanuts just isn't going to cut those hunger pangs. As mentioned time and time again, if you ask nicely and your airline has leftovers, you can usually snag another bag of pretzels or those addicting shortbread cookies.
If you find yourself on a plane anytime soon, try these simple hacks to get the best bang for your buck!