Home > Travel > 11 Things You Can Get for Free on an Airplane

Comments 0 Comments

It seems like airlines are adding fees for everything, like sitting together with your family and choosing an aisle or window seat. But, surprisingly, there are still some things you can get for free when you’re cruising at 30,000 feet. Here are 11 of them. (Note: Not all of these items are offered on every airline, so it’s important to check with your specific carrier about any additional fees for these perks before boarding.)

1. Extra Snacks

That tiny bag of peanuts may not curb your hunger. Assuming there is enough for everyone to get at least one snack, attendants will likely give you seconds if you ask for them, according to Business Insider.

2. Sanitizing Wipes

You may want to wipe down the arm rests or tray table once you sit down. If you don’t travel with Clorox wipes, your flight attendant might have some on hand, Business Insider reported.

3. A Whole Can of Soda/Water Bottle Refills

If the half cup of soda they provide during the in-flight service just doesn’t quench your thirst, most flight attendants are happy to give you the full can. And if you’ve brought your own refillable water bottle on board, they’ll likely top it off with fresh ice and water at no extra charge.

4. Blanket & Pillow

If you don’t have one of the neck pillows you often see clipped to many travelers’ backpacks, the in-flight service crew may be able to give you one. You may also request a blanket on some airlines. Certain airlines even have these complimentary comforts on the seats upon boarding, especially for first or business class passengers.

5. Wing Pins

If you’re traveling with kids, pilot wings (either as a pin or sticker) is a great freebee to inquire about. Forbes recently reported that American Airlines just brought back these collectibles.

6. Basic First Aid Items

SmarterTravel reports that most airlines equip their planes with a First Aid kit, so if you get a paper cut flipping through your magazine or newspaper during the flight, don’t hesitate to ask for a Band-Aid.

7. Swag Bags

Some airlines provide kits filled with things you can use on the flight, like ear plugs, eye masks, socks, chapstick and more. These are often given out on international flights, but sometimes you may get them when you’re catching a red eye, as with JetBlue’s Shut-eye Service.


Depending on which airline you’re traveling with, you may not have to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi service. JetBlue, for example, offers free in-flight Internet access on some of their planes, but you should check with your airline before you travel to see if they offer this amenity.

9. Cocktails

If you’re flying in first class, alcoholic beverages are often included for those 21 and older, but some airlines offer free cocktails, beer or wine no matter where your seat is. However, the caveat is that this usually only applies to international flights.

10. Headphones

You may remember a time when you had to use airline-specific headphones with a double plug on flights, but that isn’t the case anymore. If you forget your earbuds, some airlines will give you new ones you can keep and actually reuse later. (This may only apply to select routes or business and first class seats, so you may still want to bring your own, just in case.)

11. Checked Luggage

Another airline freebie you may be able to take advantage of is free checked baggage. While this is customary on very few airlines, you may still enjoy this perk if you have an airline credit card. (You can read about some of the best airline cards in America here.) For example, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express (which you can read a full review of here), gives cardholders their first checked bag for free.

Before you sign up for any credit card, it’s a good idea to check your credit score, as having good credit can help you qualify for better terms and conditions. To see where your credit currently stands, you can view your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

At publishing time, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card from American Express card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

More on Managing Debt:

Image: andresr

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team