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How to Get Quality Stuff for Free

How to Get Quality Stuff for Free

Kathyrn Williams | Divine Caroline

May 24, 2011

A few years ago, I flew from Chennai, India, to New York. To say I was not looking forward to the twenty-plus hours of air travel ahead of me would have been a criminal understatement. I had made the flight before and knew all about the back pain, body odor, and less-than-appetizing choice between chicken and curry I had in store.

My mother was traveling with me, and we were joined at the airport by a German friend, a woman who had worked years earlier for the airline we were flying. “Let me see what I can do,” she said. She made no promises, but approached the ticket counter. It was late, maybe 1 a.m., and we were already tired from a three-and-a-half-hour taxi ride through the Indian countryside. Our hopes were not high. We could already smell the stale cabin air as we slumped on our baggage.

No more than fifteen minutes later, she returned. She needed our passports and tickets. We were being bumped up to business class for the first leg of our flight. My jaw dropped. I had never flown business before, let alone on a transcontinental flight. Then again, I had never asked.

The experience was a learning one for me. Not just because I now know what fully reclining seats and warm hand towels can do for a travel-wearied body, but because I learned that sometimes, if you ask nicely, you get things—free things. Really great free things. Maybe it’s a lower price on your cable package or a hotel room with a better view. Maybe it’s a comped dessert after a lackluster meal or a big discount for buying in bulk. Either way, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Next time you’re stuck in metaphorical coach, try these tips for getting more, better, and free stuff you really don’t deserve:

Next Page: It never hurts to ask →



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