Those free snacks on United


United Airlines announced back in December that it would be bringing complimentary snacks back to the economy cabin in February 2016.

Beginning Monday those snacks will finally take the skies.

Here’s what will be on the complimentary menu on flights within North America and Latin America:

On flights departing before 9:45 a.m.: stroopwafel – a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle that warms up nicely if you set it on top of your coffee.

UNITED Stroopwafel_-large

On flights departing after 9:45 a.m. : packaged snacks, such as an Asian-style snack mix of rice crackers, sesame sticks and wasabi peas or a zesty-ranch mix of mini pretzel sticks, Cajun corn sticks and ranch soy nuts.



Airports help out local food banks

The upside of modern airports offering a wide variety of fast food outlets, grab ‘n’ go shops and table service restaurants with gourmet meals is that passengers have lots of options when they’re hungry.


The downside: A lot of unsold food can go to waste.

The silver lining: In many cities there are programs that make it easy to get unsold packaged and prepared food from airports to local food banks and other hunger relief programs.

Denver International is the latest airport to put a food donation program in place.

In a program officially launched this week, participating airport restaurants and food vendors fill coolers on loan from United Airlines with leftover prepared entrees, side dishes, prepackaged salads and sandwiches, sealed beverages, condiment packets, canned goods and other items.

A local organization, Metro Caring, then picks up the food and distributes it to hungry families and individuals in town.

During a two-month pilot phase of the program at DIA, 11 airport concessions donated about 3,500 pounds of unused food to the program.

Other airports with food donation programs include Los Angeles International Airport, which has its LAX Harvest Food Donation program, Portland International, which has donated 90 tons of food (over 120,000 meals) since February 2013 through its partnership with Urban Gleaners, the Port of Portland reports, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which has donated 155,000 pounds of food to a local since starting a program in 2006.

Many national airport concession operators donate to local food banks at well. HMSHost, for example, gives excess food products to local banks in 55 airports, including Tampa International.

(My story about food donation programs at airports first appeared on USA TODAY)

British Airways ready for Christmas

LAPLAND, FINLAND: Andrea Hatfield (Cabin Crew) gets into the Christmas spirit onboard a special charter to Lapland from London Gatwick on 07 December 2015

British Airways is gearing up for an onslaught of holiday travelers and is preparing some treats for those who fly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The airline will be serving a traditional British Christmas dinner to most passengers, consisting of sliced roast turkey breast, chestnut (available in First and Club World) or sage and onion (available in World Traveller) stuffing, cranberry compote, brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, carrot batons, mince pies, as well as other holiday favorites.

During those two days on flights departing from U.S. gateways alone, British Airways expects to serve:

*More than 294 turkeys;
*150 pounds of stuffing;
*1,029 sweet potatoes;
*1,283 brussels sprouts;
*234 parsnips;
*12 gallons of gravy;
*and 1,820 mince pies.

Other airlines also have holiday treats in store for passengers and, as we get them, we’ll be posting here and on Twitter as well.




Snack Saturday: sampling from

The folks at sent me an email asking if I’d be interested in sampling some of their products for tastiness and portability for traveling.

It was mid-afternoon, I was hungry, so I said “Sure. Surprise me with some samples.”

The very next day a box with Chia Chips, Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips and Half Popped Popcorn (way better than it sounds) showed up at the house.


The resealable bags would definitely make these and many of the other healthy treats in the line-up a good candidate for snacking on at the airport and on board a plane.

And while I’d like to show you what the treats look like outside of those pretty yellow bags, unfortunately they’ve, um… already disappeared.

Military eat free at airports during Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING coin postcard

During Thanksgiving week (Nov. 23 – 27), military personnel are invited to eat free in participating airport restaurants across the country operated by Paradies Lagardère (formerly Paradies) as part of its “Treat Our Troops” program.

Active and retired military personnel can show their military I.D. cards when ordering or checking out to receive a complimentary menu item and beverage at these restaurants:

• Sweet Auburn Market – Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
• Blue Ridge Tavern – Asheville Regional Airport
• 4th Street Vine, McKenna’s on the Fly and the Long Beach Marche – Long Beach Airport
• Bar Symon – Pittsburgh International Airport
• Big Bowl, Magic Pan and Say Si Bon! – Denver International Airport
• Jammin’ Java, Smokewood American Grill and Say Si Bon! – Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
• Say Si Bon! – Reagan Washington National Airport

Thanksgiving is also being celebrated at Washington’s Dulles and Regan airports with a “Turkey in the Terminal” promotion.

Turkey in the Terminal

At Dulles International Airport, six restaurants are participating in the promotion, including Bar Symon, which is offering a Gobbler Burger; Cosi, which is serving Turkey Chili; and the District Chophouse and Brewery, which is featuring a Smoked Turkey Club.

At Regan National Airport, four restaurants are featuring turkey-themed dishes, including Ben’s Chili Bowl, which is offering a Jumbo Turkey Dog.

Through Nov. 30, both airports are sharing a juicy turkey recipe from Chef Symon.