Posts in the category "Free Stuff":

Free coffee at airports for military members

Hudson Counter Card

 

Hudson Group has brought back its free coffee program for uniformed members of the US and Canadian Armed Forces.

From now through July 4, (including Memorial Day weekend, Victoria Day, Canada Day and July 4) Hudson cafes in airports and transit terminals across North America will be offering uniformed service members a complimentary cup of joe, courtesy of the company’s president and CEO, Joe DiDomizio, who created the program after an appearance on the Undercover Boss TV show.

The summertime free coffee offer is in addition to the regular 20 percent discount that Hudson Group offers to all active North American service men and women year-round.

The free coffee will be available in 52 Hudson-operated Food & Beverage locations, including Euro Café, Dunkin’ Donuts, Aeromart, Alki Bakery (Seattle), Jason’s Deli and TexPress Gourmet (Dallas Love Field), Carpe Diem (Mobile) and Cups (Jackson, MS).

Freebies on Nat’l Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Today, Friday  May 15, is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

(Why? Who cares? It’s a cookie holiday!)

To celebrate the day, DoubleTree by Hilton, a brand known for serving arriving guests a warm chocolate chip cookie, will be handing out cookie galore in their hotels and beyond.

If you’re checking in to any of the 415 Doubletree by Hilton properties around the world today you will, of course, receive a free cookie.

But today anyone who stops by – reservation or not – can get a free cookie too.

Virgin Atlantic passengers will find free chocolate-chip cookies today at check-in counters at San Francisco International Airport, Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and London’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.

There will also be free chocolate-chip cookies at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental counters in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Denver International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Virgin Australia lounges in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin Airports will be serving free cookies as well.

Not enough cookies? DoubleTree is also kicking off a “Cookie Bag Vote,” for a packaging design for its cookies. Vote on which new look you like (here) and be entered for a chance to win prizes ranging from cookie tins to hotel stays.

normal_chocolate_chip_cookie

Travelers get deals & freebies on Tax Day

Monaco Chicago_Tax Day_1

Ready with that tax return?

Whether you’re writing a check to Uncle Sam this year or he’s writing one to you, the stress of preparing your taxes may leave you yearning for a vacation, but fretting over your travel budget.

Help is on the way.

Some hotels and restaurants around the country are coming to the rescue with special Tax Day promotions that include carefully calculated deals and rewarding rate reductions.

You have until midnight April 16th to take advantage of the “Tax Break” special for weekend stays at participating Starwood hotels in the New York City area.

The deal provides weary taxpayers 15 percent rate discounts on stays that include Thursday to Sunday arrival dates through May 31, 2015 at W New York, W New York – Downtown, W New York – Times Square, W New York – Union Square, W Hoboken, Sheraton New York Times Square, Sheraton Tribeca, The Westin Grand Central and The Westin Jersey City.

Those checking into those hotels on Tax Day – April 15 – may also request the Tax Break discount rate and cash in on special perks being offered by some of the hotels.

For example, W Hotels guests will receive a piggy bank; guests at the Sheraton New York Times Square will receive a $25 Macy’s gift card, two complimentary drinks during Sheraton Social Hour and a Pay Day candy bar; and guests at the Sheraton Tribeca will be able to nibble on complimentary Pay Day, 100 Grand and Sugar Daddy candy bars.

On April 15, Portland, Oregon’s Hotel Monaco will offer complimentary chair massages during the nightly wine hour along with free champagne (for toasting refunds) and chocolates (to console those who owe money.) The adjacent Red Star Tavern will be serving specialty cocktails for $4.15 and buying one of those drinks for any guest who shows proof that they had to pay taxes this year.

The Tax Break Package at the Hotel Monaco Chicago waives the city’s hefty 16.4 percent occupancy and lodging taxes on room rates throughout the month of April. And on April 15, the food tax on bills at the hotel’s South Water Kitchen will also be waived. On Tax Day the front desk will also be handing out Pay Day and 100 Grand candy bars.

Travelers will also find Tax Day deals at some restaurants around the county.

Boston Market is offering diners a buy one/get one free meal deal on April 15 and, for those who want to explore the barter economy, on April 15 participating Hard Rock Café locations will host a Sing For Your Supper event and give a free Local Legendary Burger to diners willing to get up and sing a song on stage.

(My story about Tax Day Deals for travelers first appeared on CNBC)

Free car wash at Spokane Int’l Airport

Spokane Airport car wash

It’s only Thursday, but we’re declaring the free car wash offered at Spokane International Airport the airport amenity of the week.

Opened in November – right before big Thanksgiving travel rush – the car wash at GEG is already quite popular. Complimentary for anyone who parks in the airport garages ($10/day) or on in the outside lot ($8/day), in December 889 cars got a free bath. In In January – 1,360.

Why would an airport offer a free car wash?

Airport spokesman Todd Woodard explains it this way:

“We serve a geographically diverse 80,000 square mile region that covers parts of three States and two Canadian Provinces. As a regional transportation asset, we feel a particular obligation to express our appreciation as many drive significant distances to access our air service.”

Spokane Airport car was sign

Free gifts, courtesy of your airport

I’m a big fan of free. Especially at the airport. So here are a few of the items I included in a slide show of great airport promotions that I put together for CNBC Road Warrior.

1_Fort Wayne International Airport _ Passengers are welcomed to Fort Wayne Int'l Airport with a locally-baked cookie

Volunteers at Indiana’s Fort Wayne International Airport welcome arriving passengers with a cheery greeting and a complimentary cookie baked and individually wrapped by nearby Ellison Bakery. They’ve been doing this since sometime in the late 1980s and, by December 2009, handed out their 1 millionth cookie. Don’t worry if you’re too late to get a cookie from one of the treat-toting Hospitality Hosts; there’s an after-hours self-service cookie stand.

Jacksonville Airport

On both Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, volunteers at Jacksonville International Airport hand out more than 1,000 colorful carnations to passengers.

4_Oakland International Airport parking_A  promotion at OAK offers passengers heading to Hawaii, Europe and Texas free parking.

The parking promotions at Oakland International Airport is a very nice, money-saving perk. Through April 15, travelers leaving from OAK on any airline heading to any destination in Hawaii or Europe can get up to five days’ free parking (worth up to $110) in the airport’s Daily Lot. Passengers flying to any destination in Texas can get free parking (up to $66) through April 15 as well.

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