Boeing 737 door not included.
Most air travelers are fixated on the things they’re not allowed to bring on a flight when checking in at the airport — however, there are some sweet and lesser-known freebies they’re entitled to when on board.
Beyond the complimentary chips and protein bars, several airlines have signature, easter-egg-like souvenirs that customers can receive if they simply say the magic words.
While some of these items are more like keepsakes, others can improve a flight and might actually come in handy once you reach your destination.
Here are five things to ask for the next time you’re preparing for takeoff.
Delta trading cards
When you fly Delta Airlines, it’s worth approaching the pilot for some “fan-favorite” holographic cards of the many jetliners in the airline’s fleet.
“When they’re not operating some of the coolest jets in the skies, Delta pilots love this special opportunity to share their passion of aviation with our customers using these collectible trading cards,” an airline spokesperson told Nexstar TV stations last month.
“When they’re not busy preparing for flight, or flying our customers to their next adventure, our pilots carrying these fan-favorite cards are more than happy to hand one out to any customer that asks nicely; as they look to add to, or begin, their newest favorite collection,” the rep added.
Wings n’ things
Several airlines, including Delta, maintain the pastime of passing out wings to new flyers. American Airlines brought this popular tradition back in 2016.
For its part, Alaska Airlines’ wings are made of metal instead of plastic, per ThePointsGuy.com.
“Keep in mind, only about 20 are provisioned for an aircraft that may fly several legs, so we apologize if we run short,” a rep for Alaska Airlines told the outlet.
Southwest Airlines also has a goodie bag for kids containing “fidget spinners, wings, activity books, little crowns, mini playing cards,” a spokesperson told ThePointsGuy, advising passengers to “just ask” for the fun amenity.
A homey surprise
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is known for its free Delft Blue miniatures houses — a “true collector’s item” available since the 1950s, according to its website.
Each Netherlands-representing house — complete with a backstory and all — is filled with Dutch gin to be enjoyed by business-class patrons traveling intercontinental.
104 models have dropped so far, with a new house released each year in October to celebrate the airline’s birthday.
Salt and pepper shakers
Virgin Atlantic pokes some fun at the highly desired, plane-shaped salt and pepper shakers that are available to first-class flyers.
While a so-called perp might think they’re as sly as a jewel thief pocketing the cutesy kitchen tool, the shakers have an inscription on the bottom that lets customers know the joke is on them.
“Pinched from Virgin Atlantic,” the message reads. Virgin even posted about this in good fun on X last year.
While the more elite tiers of airplane classes have earned a reputation for receiving luxurious amenity kits filled with skin creams and other swanky items, those flying economy should feel empowered to speak up as well.
“In our economy cabin, we have a lot of options available to customers, including pieces to help you freshen up such as toothbrush kits, earplugs, and eye shades for sleep,” Ben Whatman, Air New Zealand’s in-flight service manager, told Travel and Leisure last year.
Several other airlines commonly offer versions of that basic package, too.