5 Cool Airline Freebies You Might Not Have Heard Of

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Here are five cool free perks you may not have heard about but do yourself a favor – read up on them, then take full advantage.

First things first: Always compare airfares to find the cheapest flight.

5 Cool Airline Freebies

1. Free food in economy

  • Delta: Look for free meals on several long-haul domestic Delta flights (beginning March 1) and we're told more routes will be added in the future. Offerings include turkey or veggie wraps, breakfast sandwiches and fruit & cheese plates. Learn more here.
  • Hawaiian: Free meals for economy passengers on flights to Hawaii might include a hot ciabatta sandwich or ginger chicken and a guava cookie. Learn more here.
  • International routes: Flying a long-haul routes to Asia or Europe usually means a free meal in economy, such as Virgin Atlantic’s loaded beef chili melt which is described in its sample menu as “maple syrup glazed potato wedges loaded with a rich ‘n’ spicy beef chili, jalapeno peppers for extra kick and melting cheddar cheese”. Dieters might want to think twice about this one. Learn more here.
  • Exceptions to free food on international flights: Discount airlines such as Wow Air only serve food-for-purchase but a free meal seems less important compared Wow’s current deals, like Boston-Paris for $460 roundtrip. [deal found March 1, 2017]

2. Free bidding for first class

  • Hawaiian: You don’t need to join anything to bid for first class on some Hawaiian routes, so that's free – though if you're successful, you will have to pay whatever you offered for a better seat. But who knows? You might get a super-seat for very little money. Learn more here.

3. Free WiFi

This is just a sample of what we found.

  • JetBlue: The popular airline claims it’s the only U.S. carrier with free high-speed WiFi at every seat (and I can’t find anything to contradict that); it also brags that its service provides a ‘robust online experience’ which I suppose means you don't have to sit there counting the seconds before the cat GIFs start moving. Learn more here.
  • Norwegian Air: Free WiFi is available on most of its flights in Europe and flights between the U.S. and the Caribbean; it is not yet available on international long-hauls. Learn more here.
  • Emirates: The website says, "It’s free to blog, post, or tweet from your seat on all of our A380s and most Boeing 777 aircraft. Enjoy 10MB of free data (that’s enough to search, send emails, and update Facebook). You can also pay just US $1 to use up to 500MB, meaning you can stay connected throughout your flight." Not bad. Learn more here.

4. No-fee wine transport

  • Alaska: If you travel certain routes in California, Oregon and Washington and visit a vineyard, take home a case of souvenirs because Alaska will transport those bottles of wine for free. Learn more here.

5. No-fee ticket changes

  • Southwest: Changed your mind about flying? Or just want to move that trip forward or back a few days? On many airlines around the world, that’ll cost you a significant change fee (up to $200 on the big airlines in the United States, and up to $400 on transatlantic flights). Southwest, however, has no change fee – not for its U.S. flights, not for its flights to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America. Learn more here.

If you know about good freebies we didn’t mention, we’d love to hear more.


Updated: March 3, 2017