Travel blogger Girl Tweets World has spilt some of her secrets for scoring airline freebies and services with travel search site Skyscanner Australia.
From complimentary celebration cakes, to free bus rides to Dubai and even shopping vouchers, here are some of the best freebies you can get when flying. Your next long-haul flight is about to get a whole lot sweeter.
FREE CELEBRATION CAKE AND CHAMPAGNE
Who doesn’t love free cake? If Singapore Airlines’ award-winning service wasn’t enough to convince you to give them a try, the freebies they hand out to passengers celebrating a special occasion certainly might.
This delightful tray of treats (featuring a fresh cream cake, champagne, strawberries and souvenir teddies) was presented to my husband and I on our way to our honeymoon in the Maldives. We were flying business class at the time but the tray of treats is presented regardless of class of travel.
You simply have to let Singapore Airlines know what you’re celebrating (anniversary, wedding, big birthday) before you travel so that they can load the extras on the plane. We notified them of our honeymoon by emailing customer service at KrisFlyer but you can also let them know via the Special Requests section on your online booking.
If you’re travelling long-haul on a route that involves a transit, many airlines let you arrange a free stopover in that destination — and some even throw in a few perks, like discount hotel stays and tours, too.
These are a few of the most popular stopover deals currently available:
• Etihad — offers two for one hotel nights in Abu Dhabi
• Finn Air — offers up to five nights free in Helsinki on international flights in transit
• Iceland Air/WOW Air — free stopovers in Iceland on flights between Europe, US and Canada
• TAP Portugal — one night free stay with hotel in Lisbon on international flights travelling from London or Manchester
• Qatar Airways — one night free hotel in Doha plus free transit visa for stays up to 96 hours.
Can’t decide between stopping over in Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Fly with Etihad and you don’t have to.
The five-star airline offers a free coach service to Dubai for economy passengers when arriving or departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport. (Premium passengers get a free chauffeur to take them anywhere in the UAE, naturally.)
Once you have an Etihad flight number you can book your coach ticket online anytime up to 24 hours prior to your arrival.
The service on the 75-minute ride is on a par with their flights and includes satisfying air con, water bottles, cold towels, USB ports and fresh breath mints handed out mid-journey.
It’s also a super convenient way to fly out of the UAE as you can check in for your flight and hand over your luggage at the Etihad Travel Mall in Downtown Dubai, meaning you’re hands free until your final destination.
Yes, you read that right. Another convincing reason to fly Singapore Airlines is that they hand out free money to passengers who transit through Singapore Changi Airport.
Between now and the September 30, 2017 passengers transiting through Changi on a Singapore Air, Silk Air or Air New Zealand flight are entitled to vouchers up to the value of $40 that can be spent at retail, food and service outlets as part of the Singapore Air Changi Transit Programme, which means you can go crazy in the food hall or book a cheeky massage completely guilt-free.
Passengers must be transiting through Singapore on both the outbound and return leg of their journey and can claim the vouchers only once, but that still seems like a pretty fair deal to us.
(CONDITIONAL) FREE HOTELS AND MEAL VOUCHERS
This one is not quite the great deal it sounds, as your airline is only going to hand out free hotel stays and meal vouchers if you experience a substantial delay.
Through several instances of bad luck my family and I have “indulged” ourselves at Sofitel London Heathrow, Premier Inn Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s transit hotel all free of charge because of faulty aircraft.
This is not necessarily a perk you’ll be going out of your way to receive, but if you do experience a cancellation or delay, it is worth bearing in mind that you are entitled to accommodation and meals vouchers appropriate to the length of your delay.
Always follow the airline’s instruction, stay calm and stay close to crew so you can be among the first to be allocated a room and vouchers.
This article originally appeared on Skyscanner Australia.