Free Stuff

JetBlue delivering NY pizza – to LA!

 

 

JetBlue is kicking off a 3-day promotion (May 9 to 12) delivering pizza – by airplane – from New York to Los Angeles residents living in certain zip codes.

The promotion is limited to 350 pizzas a day and customers can order the pizza by going to the Pie in the Sky website (The site wasn’t working Wed morning; this has happened with some of their previous promotions..) to place an order and pay for the pizza ($12-15, depending on the type). JetBlue is paying for the delivery and picking up the taxes.

If you’re in Los Angeles and don’t have a chance to order a NY pizza, you can still get a free slice.

JetBlue is hosting a pizza party Wed. May 9 from noon to 3 p.m. (Or while the pizza lasts..) at Los Angeles International Airport in Terminal 5 at the JetBlue check-in desk.

In the meantime – here’s Spike Lee to tell you how to eat a New York Pizza.

 

Filed your taxes? Now get some free stuff.

As of March 16, at least 61 million early bird tax filers had already received refunds averaging $2,960 from the Internal Revenue Service.

But millions of other taxpayers are still rushing around gathering receipts and grappling with paperwork and electronic forms as the April 17 tax filing deadline nears.

Whichever column you’re in, you can still take advantage of Tax Day rewards ranging from free pizza and cookies to discounts on hotel stays and getaways.

Here’s a sampling of some of the deals I gathered for a piece on CNBC:

Free (and charmingly discounted) food and snacks

As is their tradition, on Tax Day, April 17, Great American Cookies will be giving away a free cookie to anyone who stops at one of their participating stores. This year’s treat is a Cookies & Cream cookie.

In keeping with its Tax Day motto of “No taxation without relaxation,” Kona Ice trucks will once again show up in many communities on April 17 to hand out free shaved ice. As part of its “Tastes Like America” menu campaign, on April 17 participating Hardee’s will offer customers a free Sausage Biscuit until 10 a.m. and Hot Dog on a Stick will give each customer that stops by participating locations one free Turkey or Veggie Dog on April 17.

Taking a cue from the tax forms, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria locations around the country are offering 16” Traditional Cheese pizzas for $10.40 on April 17. Bruegger’s Bagels is offering a downloadable coupon for a Big Bagel Bundle (13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) for $10.40, a $3.50 “deduction,” they note, off the regular price. (Valid through April 17).

And Potbelly Sandwich Shops has set aside 75,000 free sandwiches as a Tax Day reward for people who join its Potbelly Perks program. Those already enrolled in the program will find a buy-one, get one-free sandwich offer loaded on their app April 17 for Tax Day use.

Travel Deals

Throughout the month of April, four Kimpton hotels southern California – Hotel Palomar and Hotel Salomar in San Diego, the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach and The Goodland in Santa Barbara – are giving out “Random Refunds.” Each day one randomly chosen guest at each hotel will find they’ve been refunded a hotel charge such as the resort fee, parking charges, restaurant bill or perhaps the in-room movie.

From April 17 to 20, Hotel Saugatuck in Saugatuck, Michigan is offering a 20 percent discount to anyone who shows a current 1099 tax form (or proof of membership in the United Auto Workers or Freelancers unions). The B&B is also offering guests a box of local chocolate fudge at a discount, for $10.99.

Thinking of spending your tax refund in Europe? Rail Europe is offering travelers $25 off bookings of $400 made through April 24. Use code: TAXDAYRE18.

Budget-minded tax filers can also take advantage of some other timely travel deals that just happen to fall around April 17.

Filing taxes may not be a walk in the park, but anyone can take a walk in a National Park for free on Saturday, April 21, when entrance fees are waived at any of the National Parks that have them, including Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park and others where the entry fee per car can reach $20.

The U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways sale runs this year from April 9 through May 8 and features daily deals up to 60 percent off everything form loyalty point programs and car rental coupons to attractions tickets, hotel stays and more from travel companies such as Hertz, Hilton, and Universal Parks and Resorts.

 A tidying-up trip

Once you’ve filed your taxes, be sure to store away the important financial paperwork you might need should the IRS come calling for an audit.

But don’t stuff everything back in that shoebox. Take a moment to review Consumer Report’s advice on what receipts and records you really need to keep and what can be thrown away.

Bundle the discards, print out this coupon for 5 pounds of free document shredding and take your first post-Tax Day trip to your local Office Max/Office Depot store.

Airline amenity of the week: free sunscreen on Hawaiian Airlines

Here’s a nomination for airline amenity of the week:

Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with reef-safe sun care company Raw Elements USA, to offer complimentary packets of sunscreen to passengers on all flights from North America to Hawaii throughout the month of April.

Discounted full-size bottles of the eco-friendly sunscreen will also be sold on flights to Hawaii through June.

Complimentary sunscreen is a nice gesture, but it’s also an educational one.

Preserving Hawaii’s natural resources is important and the ingredients in many traditional sunscreen products can harm Hawaii’s coral reefs.  To explain how, the airline has also debuted a new educational in-flight video, Reefs at Risk.

“Hawaii is a very special place, and we believe it is our kuleana, or responsibility, to care for our home,” Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement,

In addition to offering Hawaiian Airlines passengers complimentary sunscreen samples, Raw Elements USA is also hosting a social media sweepstakes for US residents.

The prize: two roundtrip tickets (140,000 HawaiianMiles) to Hawaii courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, a five-night stay at The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club (an Aqua-Aston Hospitality Hotel), the choice of three complimentary island activities, and a year’s supply of Raw Elements reef-safe sunscreen.

Entries in the Protect the Reef sweepstakes are being accepted through 4/30/18. Good luck and see you on the beach!

Out and about in April: cheap, free and offbeat adventures

 

 

(OVO by OVO Collective) 

Spring flowers are out and so are crops of cheap, free and fun festivals and events around the country. Here are some highlights from a round-up I pulled together for Travel + Leisure.

Fiestas in San Antonio

¡Viva Hemisfair! (April 6-8) in San Antonio’s Hemisfair district marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World’s Fair, which was held with great fanfare in the Alamo City.

The three-day festival will include free music and cultural performances, public art, historical exhibits, a ‘60s-themed fashion show and other fun throwbacks to the 1968 fair.

The 11-day Fiesta San Antonio (April 19-29) started with a single parade back in 1891 and today brings multiple parades and more than 100 other free and ticketed events, including carnivals, balls, arts fairs, concerts and more to streets and venues in the city.

See the light in Baltimore

Light City, a free large-scale light, music and innovation festival take overs the waterfront in Baltimore, MD April 14-21 with a full line-up of performances and free concerts, an opening night parade, closing night fireworks and 21 brand new juried light installations by artists from around the world.

SPAM fan?

Waikiki’s SPAM Jam festival returns to Honolulu on April 28. The annual street festival offers three stage of free music along with crafts, souvenirs and food booths serving up – what else but – a surprising variety of dishes incorporating the canned ham product first introduced in 1937 that remains especially popular with Hawaiians.

Park it in a National Park

While admission is free at many of the more than 400 national parks sites around the country, more than 100 site normally charge an entrance fee. Avoid the fees in every park on April 21, the first day of  National Park Week (April 21-29, 2018) when many parks offer special programs and events as well.

Book it to Berkeley

The free two-day Bay Area Book Festival (April 28-29) returns to downtown Berkeley, CA for the fourth year with a full line-up of authors and speakers, children’s programs, arts installations,  and hundreds of literary exhibitors. There’s also a (ticketed) series of conversations and film screenings about literature in partnership with the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive.

Alaska Airlines expands its Wine Flies Free program

Here’s good news for wine lovers: Alaska Airlines has expanded its popular Wine Flies Free program, which allows the carrier’s Mileage Plan members to check a case of wine – 12 bottles – for free.

The program includes domestic flights on Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Skywest flights from the cities listed below, but does not include Virgin America flights until May 2018.

In Washington: Bellingham, Pasco, Pullman, Seattle, Spokane, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima

In Oregon:  Eugene, Medford, Portland, and Redmond

In Idaho: Boise and Lewiston

And in California: Burbank, Fresno, Los Angeles, Monterey, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Sonoma

In addition to allowing passengers to check a case of wine for free, Alaska’s Wine Flies Free program has another valuable perk: the wine-tasting fee charged by many wineries in Oregon and Washington will be waived for those who show their Alaska Airlines boarding pass.

Details on the Oregon Wines Fly Free are here. 

In Washington wine country, not only do many wineries offer free tastings to Alaska Airlines customers who show their boarding passes, under the Wine Flies Free program Hertz rental car will waive the drop off fee, so travelers can pick up a car in one city, travel through wine country tasting and buying wine, and then drop the car off in another city. Details are here.

So drink up!