Flyers can pay in more ways than one, discovers Shandelle Battersby.

As user-pays creeps into airline travel, so too does user-didn't-pay, and this can make for a slightly awkward journey from both sides of the plane ticket.

A friend was travelling on an Air New Zealand "Works" ticket across the Tasman recently and was happily watching a film when she noticed that her seatmate was enjoying it too - not from their own seat but from half of hers.

Yep, without even having sound, the woman next to her was actually leaning over her shoulder - seriously invading her personal space - to catch the action. After a few seat wriggles, the message got across that this was not okay.

I've been the person drooling at the smell of the next door neighbour's stir-fried beef, so I make sure to pass on my icecream or cheese and crackers if I happen to be sitting next to a ravenous passenger and can see they're in need of a feed.


Virgin Australia have got around the entertainment problem (and the cost of installing seat-back screens) by offering their inflight movies, telly and games for free via an app, downloaded on to your device before boarding, of course. This is great until your phone or tablet runs out of juice halfway through The Notebook and there's no means of charging it on the plane you're on. Anyone know what happens at the end?

Late last year I was going straight from a holiday into a weekend work trip and realised a couple of days beforehand that I hadn't been given luggage or meals on the work part of my plane ticket.

After quite a battering of the credit card on the holiday part of the trip (which included two trips to Ikea - don't ask), I had used up a fair chunk of my 23kg and there was no way of shedding it.

For some reason I couldn't add baggage to the ticket online so had to do it at the airport. It cost $130, and then I had to pay for something to eat on the plane. Plus I got told off by the check-in guy for not booking it in the first place. I'd been travelling all day and I may have had a small tantrum. It wasn't my finest moment.

I guess the lesson is be prepared: make sure you have the right luggage allowance to avoid nasty charges at the airport, and take a snack if you don't want to fork out for food on the plane at mile-high prices. Or suck it up and shell out at booking time. You won't regret it - unless your seatmate tries to watch your movie too.