We've all heard the story: A happy couple, fresh off their wedding day, gets upgraded to first class during their flight and spends the ensuing hours drinking Champagne and enjoying free treats. But does this special treatment really happen in real life? Apparently, it does—but only sometimes. Here, insiders share the helpful tips honeymooners should know if they're hoping to be on the receiving end of any of in-air well wishes.
Pick the Right Airline
Not every airline provides perks to honeymooning couples, but there are some that make every effort to. Ro Hawthorne, communications lead at Southwest Airlines, says their company makes every effort to accommodate traveling newlyweds. "It's not uncommon for our crews to offer them a free drink or Champagne, although there are no guarantees and it's not official policy to do so," Hawthorne says. "But our employees love to surprise and delight our customers and celebrate important events with them." Generally speaking, there are no airlines that outline a policy of upgrading honeymooners, but family and friends might be able to tell you which companies provided perks during their own trips.
Use a Travel Agent
There are plenty of good reasons for planning your honeymoon with the help of a seasoned travel agent. First and foremost, if you're unsure about traveling out of the country or simply haven't spent a lot of time in other locales, a professional can help you successfully plan your trip. And since they've done this time and time again, they'll be able to ensure any available perks will come your way. Stephanie Wade, a professional travel agent, has helped her fair share of newlyweds plan their post-nuptial vacations, so she's learned all of the secrets associated with getting these little upgrades. "If the honeymooning couple has purchased a business class ticket, the airline may acknowledge the couple and provide extra special care or service," she explains. "The travel agent can even send the airline a message that the passengers on their honeymoon."
Traveling internationally? Your travel agent can take advantage of the working relationships they have with certain airlines or sales reps to get club passes so that the newlyweds can wait for their flight in the business class lounge. "The lounge provides hot and cold snacks, drinks, TVs, seating, and occasionally showers you can use while you wait for your flight or during a connection," Wade says. Normally accessible only to business class or first class travelers, being able to use the lounge is an excellent perk.
You never know what perks you may be granted unless you ask—so speak up! Tell everyone you interact with at the airline that this is your honeymoon and that you're newlyweds, including when you book your flight, when you check in, and when you board the flight. "Although, there's no official policy or channel to request a honeymoon celebration, we love surprising and delighting our customers and celebrating various stages of life—including their honeymoon," Hawthorne explains. "It's not programmed, it's just part of our DNA. We have many great examples of our employees making these moments and trips so special for our customers."