Congrats, you're married! The best news? Wedding planning has come to a stuttering halt and you’re free to thoroughly enjoy your honeymoon. No matter how many times you've traveled or how many passport stamps you’ve collected over the years, the first time you board a plane as a married couple, you'll still be radiating that bridal glow from takeoff to landing. What if that same luster could do more than make your new spouse adore you? What if your newlywed status could also get you some free honeymoon airline perks?
Though few airlines outwardly advertise what they offer to honeymooners, travel pros say there are a few sly ways to wiggle your way into complimentary upgrades, drinks and more.
Here, a must-read before you print your boarding pass:
Shout it from the rooftops
Or rather, be vocal from the get-go about your new Facebook status. As travel agent Holly Ramey explains, as with most anything in life, if you don't ask, you won't receive. “Actively tell anyone you meet at airline—everyone from baggage handler to ticketing agent to flight attendant—that you are on your honeymoon,” she advises. “You should also be very proactive by telling everyone at the airport you just got married and ask if there are any upgrades possible to help get your honeymoon off to a magical start."
Buy (or register) for bride gear
So, while you might be pumped to have matching wedding bands, you and your spouse might not be ones to brag. If this is more your style, Ramey suggests taking a more subtle approach and decking yourselves out in some "just married" gear. She suggests starting with luggage tags to keep it subtle. If subtlety is not your thing, personalized tees, jackets, passport covers, and more, should do the trick. These clues will entice flight attendants and other airline employees to inquire about your gear, giving you the opportunity to dish the news without having to issue a press release.
Use a travel agent
Though you and your wanderlust new husband or wife are fully capable of booking tickets, reading resort reviews and mapping out your trip, sometimes hiring a professional can reap a different slew of benefits. Because they have well-established connections over several decades in the hospitality industry, a travel agent will go the extra mile to make your experience memorable. In other words? You don't have to go into details about your nuptials to the airline because your agent will take care of the task for you, allowing you to sit back and let the glasses of champagne roll your way.
Be strategic about airlines
... or at least call them. Ramey notes that if you are going the route of booking solo, set aside the time to give customer service a ring. They will often be empathetic—and maybe genuinely excited!—to hear about your once-in-a-lifetime celebration and do what they can to upgrade or surprise-and-delight you. Some airlines do advertise their offerings, like Hong Kong Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. If your overseas romantic adventure takes you throughout China, Hong Kong Airlines offers a cake and champagne service when you give them a head's up. While toasting with Gonet-Medeville champagne to another continent and the start of your marriage, you can select from fresh fruit cream cake, chocolate mousse cake and many other flavors.
If you're planning a Hawaiian destination wedding, Hawaiian Airlines' Wedding Wings program will help you reap rewards from your family and friends' travel plans. You'll instantly receive 10 percent off yourself, while each party on your guest list will enjoy 5 percent off. And once 25 guests book? You and your new lifelong partner will enjoy a complimentary one-way upgrade in first class.