Flight Attendants Share Their Favorite Airline Hacks For Savvy Passengers

Flying used to be a grand experience that people dressed up for. It was fancytime in the skies, a moment of luxury and excitement... Now, not so much. Now it's stressful, crowded, and often the furthest thing from luxury or comfort. If there's anyone who can help improve the experience, it's the people who do it the most - air stewards. So one Reddit user asked:

what are some secrets that passengers can take advantage of during a flight?

Take notes, people. We're about to make your flying experiences at least marginally less atrocious.

Aisle Arm Rests

All aisle arm rests can go up. There is a button or latch underneath towards the back of the arm rest. It's useful if your tray table is down and you need to get up.

A Parent's Relief

Let's say you're traveling with a child who has to use the bathroom. Now let's say there's not enough room in there for you both in case they need help. They close the door on you and latch it. If they can't unlatch or need help, you can find the emergency door latch on the outside of the door under the No Smoking placard.

Tomato Juice

You should try tomato juice while flying, even if you don't normally like it. Science says it's more delicious at high altitudes. Seriously, Google it.

International Underaged Drinking

Generally speaking, the airline will enforce the drinking age of the country that the flight was registered in.

Swag Bag

As you exit an international flight, if you walk past the business class section and see a cute little bag(often with a name brand) take it (assuming that section already deplaned). It's a care pack that many business class travelers don't use or want. It will contain socks, eye mask, lotion, toothbrush, lip balm etc

Bathroom Dibs

Vegetarian entrees get delivered first. Order that and you can make your way to the bathroom first.

Bribe The Crew

If it's a long flight, bring a package of cookies or chocolates as a thank you gift for the crew. They will love you for it and do whatever they can to make your day.

Picking The Best Sleeping Spot

If you're planning to sleep (and you're traveling alone), get a window seat so you have something to lean on. BUT before you select your seats, do a test and see if you are most comfortable sleeping with your head resting on the left or right side. If you sleep with your head tilted on the left, choose a left side window seat and vice versa. Careful though, sleeping while seated is not the same as sleeping while laying down- so it might be different.

FAA Tickets

If the FAA is on your flight, they can fine YOU, that's right, the FAA can give passengers tickets for getting up when the seatbelt sign is on. I just witnessed this. So please try to be aware of the seat belt signs, I know it's a little annoying but ultimately it is for your safety. I have heard way too many stories of flight attendants/passengers being severely hurt during turbulence.

Also, when a Flight Attendant tells you that the seat belt sign is on/you have to go back to seat, it's not because we are trying to be annoying. We are required by the FAA and the company to tell you. We are also subject to a fine as well if we don't make it known. I am an informer, not an enforcer, so the choice is ultimately yours. Don't say I didn't warn you!

The Mirror Realm

There's a button underneath the mirror in all aircraft's lavatory, press that, mirror will swing out and you'll see how we hide them extra toilet rolls and boxes but please don't take all of them on a full flight :(

Pilot Potty Breaks

Brothers a pilot, if there are seat belt lights on for turbulence and there is no turbulence, the pilots have turned on the lights so they get a free toilet and don't have to wait

Free Loveseats

If you're flying as a couple book the outer two seats if you're flying on an aircraft with a 3-3 seat layout. The middle seats are always filled last by the airline so chances are you'll end up with three seats between the two of you. If the middle seat does get filled one of you can move meaning you get to sign next to your travel buddy and the person who was assigned the middle seat will be more than happy to suddenly get an aisle or window seat. The free third seat trick works for us probably 4 times out of 5.

The Whole Can

When the flight attendant is going down the aisle for drinks ask for the whole can. That way you get more of it, and they dont have to carry around 1/4 filled cans with them. It also makes their job easier because they don't have to pour it into a cup either


If you feel like you're gonna stink up the bathroom, ask the Flight Attendant for a coffee bag and take it in with you. We have a ton of them in the galley, and they really take the edge off of toilet smells. You can just throw it in the trash in the bathroom when you're done. Saves you embarrassment, saves our nostrils.

Free Booze For Delays

If a flight is delayed due to the airline whether mechanical or other issues, but not weather, flight attendants usually give free booze. You have to ask for it though. "Due to the delay, are you offering free drinks?"


If you're still hungry, you can ask for seconds. After the meal is served, there are usually a couple of extra entrees leftover. You have to ask nicely and don't expect to have a choice in what you get, but they're usually be able to accommodate you.

(on international flights where meals are still included)


There are usually USB ports on planes and you can totally play your media on the little screen or charge your devices off of it. If you're not sure, just ask. They usually have a little bin of compatible chargers and cables to give you a good experience.

Open Rows

Before you board ask the gate attendant if there is any unoccupied rows of seats. I have gotten lucky a couple of times and had three seats to myself.

Magic Words

This sounds obvious, but saying 'please' and 'thank you' to the flight attendants when they serve you goes a long way in how they treat/respond to you.

There's A Closet!

If you have a large coat, or a nice jacket, you can ask the stewards to hang it in the closet. There's a small closet with hangers on nearly every plane.

H/T: Reddit

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