If you don’t ask, you you won’t get. That’s a common sense approach to anything but with the implementation of smaller airline seats, reduced leg room, cheaper in-flight amenities and other cost-savings measures for airlines, the need to ask for things is crucial.  So, for those who dare to ask, they may be surprised to learn that airlines are not the cheapskates that they appear to be.   Take a chance and giving “asking” a try.  Here is a list of 10 easy asks for your next flight. 

Airline wing pin
Photo:  Christine Cavalier

Wing Pins for Kids Who can say ‘no’ to a child?  Although some airlines have done away with free food and snacks, most still have trinkets for the little flyers to help them celebrate their flight.

The Whole Can.  As with everything else, the cups that beverages are served in seem to get smaller too (while the ice cubs seem to get larger).  Instead of accepting a small cup of soda or water that is sufficient for just a few swallows, ask for the entire can.

Basic Medicines and Bandages.  All airlines have first-aid kits and other medical equipment on board.  Because of this, flight attendants can provide basic medications and supplies like bandages to their passengers.

Water-Bottle Refills.  In addition to asking for an entire can of soda, a passenger can ask a flight attendant to refill their empty water bottle. This service is often needed and necessary to keep travelers sufficiently hydrated through the long flight.

Locating a medical professional.  When there is a medical emergency on board, a passenger can request assistance from a doctor that an attendant has found on the plane.

Second Helpings  Flight attendants are given specific amounts of food to serve to passengers but sometimes there is extra portions. If your famished, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for seconds since the leftovers will likely be discarded anyway.

Help Moving Seats  When you and your travel partner and separated or when you don’t think you can make the flight with the obnoxious person you’re sitting next to, it is OK to ask a flight attendant to help you switch your seat.  However, in most cases you may have to wait until everyone has been seated before requesting a change.  Sometimes a flight attendant will move a passenger to First Class.

Short-Term Babysitting  I feel sorry for parents who are traveling alone with children without a partner.  Imagine trying to juggle boarding and children alone.  Because a parent traveling alone will need help, flight attendants can step in to provide short-term babysitting, e.g. when parent needs to use the bathroom.

Cockpit Tours  This little goody may be surprising to some because of all of the security concerns.  However, if a passenger asks, many pilots will provide a cockpit tour at the end of the flight. In fact, some pilots love to share their offices with passengers that have an interest, specifically the children.  One thing is certain, you will walk away with a greater respect for the work a pilot does after you see all of the buttons, gear and other equipment he/she has to juggle to ensure a safe trip for everyone.

Sanitizing Wipes  These germ-fighting wipes are a staple because of all of the germs people share today.  The wipes are along good to clean your tray table with.