Dogs bark. Cats meow. And airlines and hotels charge for everything from extra baggage and leg space to Wi-Fi and the minibar. Today’s travelers have long accepted tacked-on fees as one of the facts of life.
However, there are still a few brands that offer non-exclusive, complimentary services to the masses. No need to sign up for loyalty programs or accrue rewards points—these nine free airline and hotel perks are on the house.
1. JetBlue is in the process of equipping its entire fleet with high-bandwidth Internet. Planes carrying the “Fly-Fi” service offer a free basic web browsing plan for low-bandwidth tasks such as checking email. Stronger signals will be available for purchase.
2. Japan Airlines really wants its passengers to feel at ease. The aircraft carrier distributes colorful slippers and bamboo massage sticks to comfort aching feet. On some routes, passengers can even request complimentary toiletry kits, which come with a toothbrush set, earplugs and an eye mask.
3. Now that JetBlue has revoked its free baggage check-in allowance, Southwest is the only airline that lets passengers check two free bags. Passengers can also browse free e-books or listen to a concert series from the budget-carrier’s in-flight entertainment program.
4. Passengers can indulge in at least one free drink (and more for longer journeys) on all Virgin Atlantic flights. Overnight flights include snooze packs that come with an eye mask, earplugs and socks.
5. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts wants guests to smell divine at the behest of its 24-hour fragrance butler. A silver tray with a curated selection of perfumes and colognes can be delivered to guest rooms on request.
6. Hotel guests need not sacrifice their gym routines while staying at the Sheraton. The “gym-in-a-bag” is a complimentary kit that includes: an exercise manual, mat, resistance band, massage stick and foam roller.
7. Hyatt also offers an exercise aids with its Stay Fit Fitness Concierge service. Joggers who want to plan a new route in an unfamiliar city can map and monitor their course with a GPS watch, on loan from the front desk.
8. Bring your pets along at no extra cost with Kimpton’s pet-friendly policies. Complimentary pet beds, food, bowls and courtesy bags are available on request. The hotel also provides a list of parks, groomers and pet stores. Travelers sans animal companions can participate in the Guppy Love program, which lets guests keep a goldfish during their stay.
9. Marriott’s adventurous hotel guests can borrow a GoPro camera at participating hotels. Travelers who share their recorded moments on social media could be spotlighted on Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly website. GoPro recently announced it is offering its tiniest camera yet, called the “Hero4 Session.”