How to maximise in-flight sales and make more commission

Mar 29, 2020 | Cabin Crew

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(Last updated on: 13/12/2021)

One of the perks of working as Cabin Crew is to make a few extra Pounds from in-flight sales. Budget airlines such as EasyJet are particularly good for this and staff can get a real boost to their income if they sell a lot. But how do you maximise in-flight sales and make more commission?

You might also be interested in my post on sister website Lifeasabutterfly- What is Airline Ancillary Revenue Management?’.

Types of things Cabin Crew Sell

There are four main ways that airlines seek to make profit outside of the money made from the sale of a ticket. These are:

-A la carte

-Commission based

-Frequent flier programmes


I won’t bog you down with the details of each of these money-making techniques in this post, but if you would like to know more, do check out my article- ‘What are the categories of airline ancillary revenue?

Cabin Crew play an important role in a la carte sales. These are typically things such as food and drink, duty free items, scratch cards or other items sold onboard. This post gives a few more details on the things that Cabin Crew might sell- ‘Why do airlines use a la carte ancillary products?’.

How can Cain Crew maximise in-flight sales and commission?

There are a number of ways that Cabin Crew can maximise their in-flight sales and make more money from commission. I have outlined these below:

Crew sales training

Attend any relevant sales training. I cover this in my Online Diploma in Becoming Cabin Crew, so don’t worry if you’re not an expert- you can learn!

Crew product awareness

It is also important that you are familiar with the products that the airline sells onboard. I recommend that you try out some of the products that your airline sells and read the in-flight magasine during your breaks to familiarise yourself.  

If you are familiar with the products you will be are more likely to do a good job selling them!

Passenger awareness

Make your passengers aware of what you are selling. Talk to them and tell them about it!

How to maximise in-flight sales and make more commission


Product Visibility

We are often incentivised to buy something when we see it. I encourage you to display appropriate onboard products in the galley or on the trolley top. This could include food and drinks, duty free items etc. This should be tailored to the specific flight and passenger type. For example, if there are a lot of children onboard then in-flight sales could be maximised by visiually displaying toys and sweets.

Use magasine images

When telling a passenger about a particular product direct them to the images found in the in-flight magasine, this helps further describe the product and can help you to maximise your in-flight sales!

Tailor products by route, passenger profile or time of day

Promote the products that you think are most appropriate for the route you are operating, the types of passengers onboard and the time of day. For example, alcohol is more likely to be popular in the evenings, whereas coffee is more likely to be sold in the mornings. Aspects such as this should be considered as a method to maximise in-flight sales and commission.

Promote meal deals

You can ‘up-sell’ by offering bundled options such as meal deals. Customers love to get value for money, even if this might be more of a perception than a reality!

Innovative products

Show customers what you have on offer that is a little bit different or new. Some airlines, for example, will sell teddy bears or model airplanes with their branding on. These are only sold by the airline and can be desirable to the passenger because they are unique.

Problems with in-flight sales

Whilst selling products and services in-flight can be a great for making a bit of extra money through commission, you need to be careful not to over-do it! Here are some things to avoid

Sell, sell, sell

Some passengers just want to relax and enjoy their flight. If you push sales too much it might put customers off flying with that airline again.

Balance sales with service

There is a need to carefully balance selling with customer service. If service lacks, then passengers might not be willing to part with their cash as easily. So, don’t forget your customer service skills!

You might also be interested in my post- ‘What jobs can I do to help me get a job as Cabin Crew?

Only so much time on a flight

Another problem with in-flight sales is that there is a limited amount of time onboard a flight. This is a particular issue for short flights, when Cabin Crew might not have the ability to sell as much as they would like to. Follow the service structure, work as a team and get as much done as you can in the given time to maximise your in-flight sales (and your commission!).

So that sums up my top recommendations for how to maximise in-flight sales and make as much commission as possible. Do you have any experience of this? What are your suggestions? Drop your comments below!



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  2. 20 essential Cabin Crew skills and qualities you will need to get a job - Becoming Cabin Crew - […] money. For more information on how to improve your selling skills, take a look at the post ‘How to…
  3. What is the Singapore Airlines Cabin Crew salary? - Becoming Cabin Crew - […] In addition, leading crew members will receive commission from sally duty free products onboard the flights. Have a look…
  4. What is the Singapore Airlines Cabin Crew salary? - Tourism Teacher - […] In addition, leading crew members will receive commission from sally duty free products onboard the flights. Have a look…

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Dr Hayley Stainton

Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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