Food

Travel Tidbits: mariachi, dirndls & free cheeseburgers

Some fun Friday travel tidbits for you today…

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First – Sunday, September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day and Delta Air Lines will be celebrating with Shake Shack and giving customers flying Delta One on select flights from JFK to LAX a complimentary ShackBurger.

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But wait, there are more cheeseburgers: all customers flying from JFK to LAX on Sept. 18 will receive a voucher for a complimentary ShackBurger at the LA West Hollywood Shake Shack.

Not up for cheeseburgers? How about some mariachi music at the airport?

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Mariachi music welcomed travelers to McCarran International Airport last year at this time as well. Photo: Mark Damon/Las Vegas News Bureau.

McCarran International Airport is kicking off the busy Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend by welcoming passengers to Las Vegas with a special performance in the Terminal 3 international arrivals lobby on Friday morning by Mariachi Oro Del Rancho – a 19-member student band from Rancho High School.

Mexico is an important market for McCarran: from Thursday through Sunday, 41 commercial flights fly directly from Mexico to McCarran International Airport, including ten charter flights added specifically for this holiday weekend.

 

And Lufthansa is celebrating Oktoberfest season..

Trachten 2016, Trachtencrew

Keep an eye out for Lufthansa crew members dressed in special anniversary in traditional attire at many  passenger service stations in Munich and on some flights, including Munich to Shanghai September 20, Munich to Denver October 2 and Munich to Boston October 3 and, at the end of the Munich Oktoberfest, to European destinations  Belgrade, Birmingham, Cluj, Nice, Olbia and Sylt.

This is a Lufthansa tradition and over the past ten years the carrier has had different fashion houses design the yellow, blue and white dirndls.

This year’s costume is once again designed and tailored by the Angermaier fashion house, based in Munich.

 

(Dirndl descriptions: Outside and in the center: current anniversary costume. Other costumes from left: Traditional blue print dirndl from 2006, costume from 2009, dirndl from 2012 and the traditional dirndl from the 50s (2015 costume). Courtesy: Lufthansa/Stefan König)

Wayne Gretzky restaurant at Edmonton Int’l Airport

Edmonton Gretzky Restaurant

It’s not unusual for noted sports figures to open restaurants or lend their names to one. And you’ll see some of those restaurants at airports.

There’s Elway’s (named for former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway) at Denver International Airport and golf legend Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear Grill at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – to name just two.

Now there’s a new one: hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has opened a Wayne Gretzky’s Wine and Whiskey at Edmonton International Airport, with HMS Host.

On the walls: lots of Gretzky memorabilia.

On the menu: breakfast options, appetizers, sandwiches, main entrées and a full list of wine from Wayne Gretzky Estates Wines – and his line of whiskey.

A monkey, a missed meal and guns

Some of the guns found at airport checkpoints Aug 5-11

I’m on fill-in duty this week on the Today in the Sky blog over at USA TODAY and having fun working up a variety of both serious and off-beat stories relating to airports and airlines.

Monday’s line-up:

An update on the “monkey on a plane” story that was all over the news last week;

A story about British Airways replacing a second meal service with tiny chocolate bars and other small snacks on some longhaul flights between London and the east coast;

And a look at the new record set by TSA for most firearms found at airport checkpoints in one week.

Pirate ship at Tampa Int’l Airport

TAMPA PIRATE

Pirate season will soon be upon us – with Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19 and the Pirates of the High Seas Fest scheduled for Panama City Beach, Florida October 7-9.

Now pirates and pirate fans will feel welcome year-round at Tampa International Airport (Airside F), where HMSHost recently opened the Gasparilla Bar, a single-masted wooden pirate ship-shaped restaurant.

On the menu: pirate’s roast beef sandwich, Black Beard bean salad and “Gaspar’s grogs” with Captain Morgan Rum-based cocktails.

Freebies to gather while traveling

National Ice Cream Day is over, and so is National Milk Chocolate Day.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in some great freebies while you travel.

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Coming right up on Thursday, August 4, 2016 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (who knew, right?) and to celebrate DoubleTree by Hilton will be giving a chocolate chip and walnut cookie to anyone who walks into one of the brands more than 460 hotels worldwide.

Usually those cookies are only given to guests at check-in.

On National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, DoubleTree by Hilton will also be handing out free cookies with Amtrak at New York’s Penn Station and at Chicago’s Union Station.

At the train stations, cookies will be handed out in pairs: you can eat one and give one to a friend, coworker or stranger. Or just keep both cookies to yourself.

Tip: In each station, the first 25 people who mention “Nice Travels” to a DoubleTree team member will receive a full tin of cookies from the brand’s new Traveler Tin Collection, which is a set of seven commemorative cookie tins celebrating California, Chicago, Florida, New York, Texas, The Carolinas, Canada and other destinations around the world.

(You can buy the tins or try to win one – or some other prize – in an Instagram contest.)

Don’t care for chocolate chip cookies? Don’t worry – there’s another freebie-packed “holiday” for you just up the alley:

Saturday, August 13th is National Bowling Day and Bowlmor AMF centers are around the country will be offering free bowling from 10am-12pm at any of the 300 bowling centers operated by Bowlmor AMF, including AMF, Brunswick Zone, Brunswick Zone XL, Brunswick’s, Bowlmor and Bowlero locations.