Six surprising onboard requests

Think you know all there is to know about flying? Think again. Even we were surprised at some of the ‘extras’ you can request on a plane. 

1. Seconds
Most airplanes are very well-stocked, because once you’re up at 35,000ft, well, let’s just say you can’t exactly nip up to the corner shop bar to grab more milk.

So, if your first meal didn’t quite hit the spot, you could ask very nicely for seconds. Your response may vary, but as long as you’re not on a cut-price carrier, the attendants will generally allow you another serve or at least an extra bag of munchies.

2. Medical aid
If you have a nasty hangover, screaming headache or your knees are aching, you can request aspirin or non-aspirin pain relief. It won’t be prescription grade, but it will be enough to see you through. You can also ask for first aid items, such as bandages, Band Aids or whatever other bits and pieces you can find in a decent first-aid kit.

To prevent becoming sick, you may wish to wipe your armrests, seatbelt and tray table with a sanitising wipe. Your cabin crew will be happy to oblige because you’re doing your part to keep the plane clean!

And if you’re ever in need of more urgent medical assistance, you can ask for a doctor. Most airlines offer bonus points and incentives for any medical staff to identify themselves when they board so, chances are, there’ll be some kind of health professional onboard your flight.

3. Your last Will and Testament
If you feel like you’re at death’s door (touch wood, no) you can request the pilot to come and hear your last Will and Testament. Whatever dying words you say to the captain would be legally binding and will stand up in court.

4. Water bottle refill
It’s always a good idea to stay hydrated when flying, and if you bring along your own water bottle, you can ask your flight attendant to refill it for you. That said, see if they can refill from bottled water because airplane water can sometimes be dodgy.

5. Help with kids
If you’re a brave grandparent who’s taken on the daunting task of travelling with grandkids, then you’ll love this tip. If you speak to your flight attendant, you’ll find that they’re quite accommodating to children. From colouring books, crayon, pencils and puzzles, to kid-friendly meals and amenities, such as bassinets and chair fixtures, and special kids activity kits which include gifts and bits and bobs, many airlines are well prepared to make flying a fun experience for the young’uns. Some airlines have trained nannies on board who will even look after your kids so you can take a quick sanity break, use the bathroom or just stretch your legs. 

6. Birthday cake
Not all airlines off this special treat, but on Emirates and Singapore Airlines you can surprise your partner, friend, family member or yourself with a birthday cake. You just have to let them know 24 hours in advance.

Were you aware that you could ask for these things? What’s the strangest request you’ve made on a plane?

Related articles:
10 things cabin crew hate about you
Befriend your flight attendant
What your flight attendant wishes they could say to you

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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