With flights costing a pretty penny, it’s good to know there are free things at airports to take advantage of. These aren’t things that will make you go ooh, but it’s nice to know that some little freebies can help assuage the budget impingement. Next time you fly, be sure to make the most of the free things at airports.
1. Luggage Tags
One of the first free things at airports that you’ll probably notice whilst checking in for your flight are luggage tags, and although they may not be the most thrilling thing on offer, they are certainly one of the most useful. If you’ve ever stood at the luggage carousel watching ten different bags that all look like yours go by, or grabbed someone else’s luggage by mistake, then you know how important it is to have some way of quickly distinguishing your bag from the others!
2. Fragile Stickers
Fragile stickers are another of the airport giveaways that can save you a lot of money and a great deal of heartbreak if you’re transporting breakable goods like alcohol or souvenirs. There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than taking the time to pack your valuables, only to arrive at your destination with alcohol leaking from your bag, or your treasured souvenir in pieces. Do keep in mind, however, that attaching a fragile sticker to your bag does not guarantee the safe arrival of your prized possessions.
3. Prayer Rooms
One of the free things at airports that have become more or less common place in recent years are prayer rooms. Whether you want to participate in one of the organized religious services or are just looking for a little quiet time to get in touch with your spiritual side, prayer rooms can be a real oasis hidden within the hustle and bustle of most airports.
4. Water Bottle Refill Stations
As most frequent flyers know, bottled water is extremely expensive at airports, and the fact that full bottles of water are no longer allowed to be brought into departure lounges has only served to further increase the prices. Water bottle refill stations are consequently one of the airport freebies which can save you money; and for those worried about the cleanliness of the stations, most of them are now fully automated to help eliminate contamination.
5. Skype Calls
One of the free things at airports most celebrated by long term travelers are Skype booths, which have recently begun to spring up at international airports around the world. Whilst these are still in construction, however, you can also take advantage of the free Wi-Fi Internet offered at most airports and give your parents or siblings a call to let them know how you are.
6. Animal Relief Areas
Possibly the strangest free things at airports are the animal relief areas, although anyone who has ever traveled with their pet knows how stressful it can be. Some airports have consequently done their best to help weary travelers, by constructing small outside “pet potties,” where your four-legged friend can do its business and stretch its legs. This thankfully makes traveling much more comfortable for all parties involved.
7. Help Services
Have you ever been lost, not known where your gate was, or been unable to speak the local language? If so, you may like to know that many airports offer a great free help program for travelers who are finding their time at the airport a little too stressful. Although some passengers may feel embarrassed asking for help, these services are really one of the most important free things at airports, as they can stop you from missing your flight and having a complete travel meltdown!
You need to call someone to come and pick you up from the airport, or let them know that your flight has been delayed, but your smart phone or computer is out of batteries – don’t distress. One of the most commonly offered things for free at airports is electricity. Although a wall socket can sometimes be difficult to find, airline staff will generally help you out if you ask nicely, and you’ll find yourself fully charged again in no time.
On the list of free things offered at airports, airport tours are probably one of the most uncommon. Some airports, however, such as Zurich International Airport and Chang Airport in Singapore offer transit passengers (and interested members of the general public) guided tours of their facilities, with some tours even venturing onto the tarmac!
What other free things at airports have you spotted on your travels?