Making the most from your airfare


Christmas is on it’s way. Let me help you enjoy your travels.

Now, before I tell you this I would like to state that I am aware of how much airlines like to pride themselves on excellent service. Therefore, I am sure they will be much happier knowing how happy they made me with their little offerings of fun rather than dwelling on how much I took.

While washing up a souvenir from the aeroplane this morning I thought to myself, ‘wow, you should really congratulate yourself for getting back approximately $60 of the $3,000 that the flight cost you in crap that you’ll never use again.’ Pat on the back, Chloe.

How did you do this I hear you ask? Well, my little traveller enthusiasts, I shall enlighten you.

Before boarding a long haul flight, mainly at Singapore, Dubai, and Bangkok, as these are the airports that I have recently encountered, you will find a happy looking newsstand at the gate that is screaming out “take me.” This is where you stock up on the should you get board emergency newspapers, and the unlikely to read but like to keep the options open magazines.

As you get on to the plane (Thai Airlines for sure) there is a stack of good quality mags right by the Business Class curtain. By good quality I mean Vogue and Vanity Fair, the ones that are an affordable, PAHA, $20 here in Auckland. There is no sign saying, “DO NOT TOUCH, these are for the wealthy clientele and not the riffraff that we force to bow through Business Class to get a whiff of wealth.” Because of this, I believe it is ok to take one of the quality magazines quickly from the side. They won’t stop you, of course they won’t, because they want the line that is oh so slow getting onto the plane to carry on moving. There is $20 in your pocket right there, $40 if you take two (but that’s greedy – share the wealth).

Airlines are so eager to make you happy while boarding as demonstrated at the truly amazing War Memorial Museum in Auckland. They have a fascinating exhibition on celebrating 75 years of Air New Zealand and you can play a game to test the ways the airlines has experimented getting you through the gate on to the plane. I believe offering you a Conde Nast mag is the way forward.

Now, when you sit down and the stewards are staring questioningly at the passengers who think seat A is seat C when all along they were supposed to be in F, you start to plan your inflight disco and mile high cinema club. You watch EVERY single film that you can squeeze into a 24 hour flight. These are recent films. Some of them you might have even wanted to see on your return at the cinema. Well, no my friend, there is $15 right there in your pocket.

The obvious one, in moderation, is to take the offerings of wine whenever the cart comes your way. I did press the call button a few times, mostly in the night when all those who don’t care for making their airfare back are asleep. It got to a stage on the second leg of the flight where the steward just looked at me and passed me a glass of wine. I did not feel so great when I landed, though, so I don’t recommend this as a way of earning your money back. You can, however, make sure you take every offering of peanuts, ice cream, chocolate, and crisps.

On some airlines, but not all, they do offer a lovely teaspoon with your breakfast coffee/wine. #JustSaying

Finally, you can make the most of your toilet visits. I would like to point out that for someone with ADD it is quite difficult catching a flight that takes 27 hours. So I have to find something fun to do and it just so happens that on this trip I thought it would be fun to see how much I could make back… so I took a toothbrush, a sanitary towel (they’re engraved with the airline emblem it’s quite something), tooth paste, mouth wash, and a comb – from Singapore Airlines anyway, and Emirates. You have to ask for these on Thai Airlines… All super fun things.

I don’t take blankets or pillows. I don’t want to deprive someone else of their warmth and comfort.


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