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With airlines charging for everything under the sun, you always have to be on the lookout for little things you can do to make your flight more comfortable. These little hacks will make your next visit to the airport a better experience.

Also: The 5 best backpacks for every vacation type

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Know when to ask for an upgrade

There’s a time and a place to ask for a free upgrade, and that time is most certainly not at the check-in counter. As you are checking in, the airline is attempting to charge you for every extra they possibly can, here an upgrade is a paid premium option. On the other side of security is another story. The agents at the gate have more flexibility to move seats around free of charge on flights that aren’t full. This works best for moving up in the plane to the ‘Premium Economy’ or exit row seats, but it’s still tough to get into first class. 

Bring your own booze

$7 for a tiny bottle of alcohol on a flight, are you kidding us? TSA rules allow you to bring your own alcohol in carry-on bags as long as it’s less than 3.4 ounces and fits in your little ziplock liquids bags. The catch is FAA rules don’t allow you to actually drink your own alcohol on the plane so, partake before take off. (An exception to the rule is JetBlue, where passengers can request a flight attendant serve them any alcohol they brought onboard and the flight attendant can choose to do so at their own discretion).  Just drink in moderation please, nobody needs to see you drunk at 30,000 feet.

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Be nice, it actually works

Sometimes flattery will get you everywhere, or at least an open exit row seat, or better yet a free drink. Flight attendants are used to being treated poorly as unpleasant passengers try to shove over stuff carry-ons into un-accepting overhead bins. They are tired of showing inattentive passengers how to put on a seat belt. Show them some love and you’d be surprised what you get back. It’s not uncommon to get an under-the-table little bottle of liquor for the flight, or the option to trade in your knee crushing seat for something a little better. Even if your attempt in kindness doesn’t end in freebies you’ll likely have an interesting conversation because believe it or not, flight attendants have pretty unique lives. An easy flight attendant icebreaker: “Is this your first flight of the day, or are you on your way home?”

Stay hydrated on the cheap

Let’s be honest, those little cups of water they bring around on the flight aren’t going to cut it. Instead, pack an empty reusable water bottle in your carry-on bag. Restrictive rules don’t allow more than a few small sips of water to make it past security, but on the other side, refills are free. Locate a water fountain and fill the empty bottle you brought (searching by the restrooms is your best bet). It’s important to stay hydrated because the air on planes is extremely dry and can add to dehydration and a lack of water can add to the feeling of jet lag which is a terrible way to start a trip.

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Snap a picture of your parking space

We’ve all been there, at the end of a long trip there is nothing worse than searching aisle after aisle, trying to remember where you left your car. A simple shot on your smartphone of the row marker in the parking lot will save time and the perceived embarrassment of wandering up and down the aisles.

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog

7 thoughts on “5 free airport hacks that will elevate the way you fly”

  1. The tip of having people bring their own booze on to “sneak a drink” is suggesting they violate Federal Aviation Regulations. That in turn can come with a nice fine, name in the data base, paperwork filed with the airline and FAA and a possible arrest. I wholely suggest one not go down this road. Your suggestion is irresponsible.

  2. GREAT idea you two. Encourage ILLEGAL alcohol consumption, especially on the plane!!!!
    I’d imagine airlines, their staff and the TSA might have a differing view on that.
    I wonder of all the return to the gate and inflight diversions are alcohol related and you two boneheads tell people to bring their own?

  3. It is also against FAR’s to board someone that is under the influence/appears to be intoxicated!
    Love the one about Be nice. Yes, it does work but why wouldn’t you always be nice, especially when confined to an aluminium tube at 37000 feet?

  4. How did this asinine article get past the editors, and your legal team. As a commercial pilot I can assure you that any passenger caught smuggling their own booze on the plane will be removed, arrested and fined. 37,000 ft is not the same as a football stadium. If people start getting rowdy or intoxicated, we will land at the nearest suitable airport.

    P.s the other tips were good.

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