5 of the Best Airline Perks
Remember the days when food and drink was free on seemingly every flight? And checked luggage was included as standard? Well, those days might be gone, but there are still some decent perks to be had, if you know where to look. Here's a selection of our favourites…
Free champagne on Air France
The French take their food and drink seriously, that much we know. But did you know that Air France serves free champagne to all passengers (regardless of cabin type) on its long-haul flights? That works out at roughly a million bottles of bubbly every year. Not just any old rubbish either – last year the airline signed up Paolo Basso, the man named World's Best Sommelier 2013, to help choose its wine.
Free Istanbul tours from Turkish Airlines
If you've ever spent more than an hour so waiting for a connecting flight, you'll already know this: time passes more slowly in airports than anywhere else on earth. It's science or something. So hats off to Turkish Airlines, who've come up with a nifty way round this problem for anyone transiting Istanbul – free city tours for anyone with a stopover of 7-10 hours. No advance booking is required, just a valid ticket and sufficient amount of time to complete the tour.
Free access to the fastest internet in the skies
Not so very long ago, the idea of using the internet on a plane seemed vaguely preposterous. How times have changed. Loads of airlines now have Wi-Fi in place, but if you're flying within the US, get yourself on board a JetBlue plane to see how it's really done. The airline's Fly-Fi service is free and, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can even stream movies and TV shows.
Slip into something more comfortable with Japan Airlines
We love travel - so much so that most of us here at Travelzoo will happily get on whatever plane we can find, providing it's heading in the direction at the right price. However, we do appreciate that some people find the process of long-haul travel a tad uncomfortable. Hats off to Japan Airlines, then, who now give out slippers (in blue, pink or yellow) and bamboo massage sticks for soothing the soles of your feet, to all passengers.
Bypass baggage reclaim with American Airlines' Delivery Service
OK, so you have to pay for this one (and it mostly applies to North American destinations), but it's worth knowing about. American Airlines runs a bag-delivery service whereby you check your bags in as usual, then, instead of picking them up at the carousel, head directly to your final destination (anywhere within 40 miles of the airport) where your bags will be delivered within four to six hours. Prices start at $29.95 for one bag, $39.95 for two. Click here for prices and destinations covered.