5 things to ask for free on board in economy class

Travelers on board an airplane. (Photo by Stella/Adobe Stock)

VVA – Visas and Travel. Nowadays, traveling in economy class is generally not the best experience. Food and beverage service is limited, to name just a few.

However, if you ask nicely, you can get some accessories to make your trip more enjoyable.

Here are 5 items you can request for free during your air travel, according to flight attendants interviewed by Travel + Leisure.

A basic amenities kit

On certain long-haul flights, Airlines may provide amenity kits for economy class passengers. Ben Whatman, Air New Zealand inflight services manager, explains:

In our economy cabin, we offer customers several options. (This may include) refreshment items such as toothbrushes, ear plugs and (eye masks).

Kits do not contain luxury hand creams as can be found in business classbut they more than get the job done.

Additional snacks and drinks

Economy class passengers are not always entitled to a full meal on short-haul flights. You can, however, order drinks and snacks if you wish. If you’re hungry after service, politely ask for a refill.

Remember, just because you ask doesn’t mean you will receive something. It all depends on the availability and ability of the hostess or flight attendant to assist you at that moment in the flight.

A pair of headphones

If your personal headphones are wireless but your in-flight entertainment system is connected, you can ask the flight attendants for headphones. Don’t expect to find noise-cancelling headphones like in business class. If they are free, they will be simple headphones. Some airlines charge for headphones, usually a few euros.

Bottled water

You probably know that you can (almost) always ask for a glass of water on the plane. Did you know, though, that some airlines will give you a bottle if you ask? Getting a bottle largely depends on availability, but it’s always worth asking around.

Blankets and pillows

The cabin temperature of some aircraft can be particularly cold, especially at night. Then you can ask the flight attendants if blankets are available. If you are traveling back and forth, you can even ask for a pillow to rest on.


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