Flight attendant reveals secrets on ‘how to ask’ for free food, better seats and upgrades

This summer, many Irish people will be flying off on their first holiday abroad in over two years.

Anyone looking to make the experience a little more special may be lucky enough to get a free upgrade or better seats on their flights.

A busy flight revealed a few ways passengers can do this – but warned that going too far could have “the opposite effect”.

READ MORE: Are all-inclusive holidays to Spain, Portugal and more now a mess? Full list of rules and best places to go

Miguel Munoz told Express exclusively about the most effective ways to get things on the plane for free, including better seats.

He explained: “Sometimes people come to me asking for an orange juice or a snack because they say they are dizzy or have low blood sugar. We [the crew] automatically think they’re lying just to get something for free. And probably some people are lying.

“But I still think if you lie, the karma will come back for sure. But if they don’t lie and I don’t give them anything, it’s even worse.

“I have to, just in case. On the plane, the crew is responsible for helping the passengers, so we really have to trust them.”

Miguel said it’s actually a really good trick for getting free stuff on the plane, because flight attendants can’t question a passenger’s request when they claim they don’t feel not good.

However, the crew member said it also depends on “how you ask”.

Image of a friendly air hostess serving food and drinks on an airplane

“Most airlines don’t give anything for free, not even water, so when passengers come in saying they’re very thirsty, they need to take medicine, or they just ask for a glass of water , I have to officially say no.

“First, I always tell them that we sell bottled water. Normally I would give them away for free, but it all depends on how you really ask.

“For example, if after saying we charge for water, they [passengers] get angry saying things like “but the law says you have to give me water for free” or “it’s a human right” automatically, I’m not going to give it to them.

“Now if you say you don’t feel well or ask very nicely, I will definitely give it to you,” he said.

In terms of upgrading, Miguel said “it’s about being nice and honest” and explained what passengers should and shouldn’t say to get better seats on board.

The flight attendant explained, “If passengers come to me and say they need more space for some reason, I move them to the upper wings. [seats by the emergency exit with extra legroom].

“But you have to be careful what you say! Because if you say you have a bad knee, for example, I have to be careful with these people because the passengers sitting near the emergency exits are the ones who have to help the crew in case of an emergency.

“If you can’t activate the emergency exit because you have a bag knee, I can’t move you to the wings. So it won’t work.”

So what do passengers have to say to be moved to the emergency exit row?

Miguel said: “My advice is to be honest, don’t try to be dramatic. If it’s true that you have pain in your leg, that’s fine (even if you won’t be sitting in the wings But don’t lie about it because you probably don’t know, but it won’t help you.

“The other day a passenger said he had pain in his hip and wanted more legroom.

“Unfortunately, because of this, I couldn’t move it to the emergency exit but moved it to the last row which was completely empty.”

He suggested: “Just be honest. If you don’t feel any pain, just say ‘Hey, if you had any seats available in the emergency exit row, could you let me know? and I will.”

Miguel added: “That’s the trick: make it easier for the crew. Maybe say ‘Listen if you don’t mind me sitting in the wings if there’s space available, I ‘ve been sitting there before, I know how it works, I’m happy to be sitting there’, then I know that person is comfortably sitting there, activates the exit, knows that everything must be placed in the upper compartment, etc.

“So make it easier for the crew, basically.

“And of course when we have passengers who are very tall and need more space or people who ask nicely because they just want to be more comfortable. If the seats are free, I definitely moves them.”

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