Free Stuff

Elves at airports

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Airports around the country are ready for the holiday travel season with decorations, entertainment and special events of all kinds – including an invasion of gift-bearing elves.

Beginning Thursday, December 1 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and running through December 8, the HMSHost Holiday Elves and their “magical sleigh” will be popping up at major U.S. airports handing out electronics, fun gag gifts, holiday collectibles and travel accessories to select lucky travelers and passersby who play the elves’ naughty-or-nice game.

Look for the elves on December 6 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (I’ll be there!) and Orlando International Airport on December 8.

Not planning on being at those airports on those days? You can still can win prizes (in airports or not ) by posting creative holiday travel photos.

 

 

Free meals for military at airports over Thanksgiving week

THANKSGIVING postcard

In what has become a holiday tradition, Paradies Lagardère, which operates many retail and restaurant outlets in North American airports, will be offering active or retired military a free meal during the week of Thanksgiving ( Sunday, November 20, through Sunday, November 27 ) in almost 50 airport restaurants listed below as part of the Treat our Troops program.

A “meal” includes one menu item, which can be an appetizer, salad, sandwich or entrée and a non alcoholic beverage.

In “coffee” or “grab & go” locations, the meal can be one prepared grab & go item, such as a pastry and a prepared coffee or bottled/fountain beverage. (Bagged candies, chips, granola bars, etc., aren’t included.)

Active and retired military service men and women just need to show their military identification when ordering or checking out to take advantage of this promotion, which is limited to one meal per customer per day.

Asheville Regional: Blue Ridge Tavern Long Beach: Long Beach Burger Bar
Asheville Regional: Blue Ridge News Long Beach: Taco Beach Grill
Aspen–Pitkin County: Aspen Bar & Grille Long Beach: Taco Beach Cantina
Aspen–Pitkin County: Aspen Kiosk Long Beach: Long Beach Marche
Austin–Bergstrom: Ruta Maya Coffee Long Beach: 4th Street Vine
Austin–Bergstrom: ThunderCloud Subs Long Beach: The Boathouse
Dallas/Fort Worth: Whitetail Bistro Northwest Arkansas: Smokewood American Grill
Denver: Say Si Bon! TravelMart Northwest Arkansas: Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market
Denver: Auntie Anne’s Pretzels Northwest Arkansas: Mountain Bird Coffee/CNBC
Denver: Big Bowl Northwest Arkansas: Jammin’ Java
Denver: The Magic Pan Crepe Stand Northwest Arkansas: Auntie Anne’s
Denver: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Northwest Arkansas: Core Brewing Co.
Denver: Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs Pittsburgh: Bar Symon
Eagle County: Mountain Java Pittsburgh: Bottega dei Sapori
Eagle County: Alpenglo Express Reagan National: Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market – Center Pier
Eagle County: Townie Tavern Reagan National: Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market – North Pier
Eagle County: Alpenglo Grille Reagan National: The Magic Pan Crepe Stand
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta: Sweet Auburn Market Reagan National: Wow Bao
Long Beach: Polly’s Gourmet Coffee N. Terminal Reagan National: Washington Pour Bar
Long Beach: Polly’s Gourmet Coffee S. Terminal Reagan National: U Street Pub
Long Beach: George’s Greek Café

 

 

 

Amex offering free Uber rides from 11 airports

Uber app

Here’s a great perk for travelers who need a ride from the airport this holiday season.

Uber is partnering with American Express to give card members 2 free rides home (up to $65 a ride) from 11 different U.S. airports through December 31, 2016.

To get your ride credits, start your Uber trip one of these airports:

JFK International Airport

LaGuardia Airport

Newark Liberty International airport

Chicago O’Hare Airport

Chicago Midway

Dulles International Airport

Reagan Washington National Airport

Boston Logan Airport

Houston Bush International Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

McCarran International Airport – Las Vegas

Then: enter ‘AMEXAIRPORT’ in the promotions tab on the Uber iOS or Android app when you request a ride and make sure you’ve selected your American Express card as your method of payment.

The $65 will automatically be taken off the total cost of the ride when your trip has ended.

Amex Card Members (prepaid cards aren’t eligible) can redeem this offer for up two eligible rides during – for a total value of $130 – through December 31, 2016.

See more details here.

Today is National Coffee Day: where to get free cups

coffee

Every day is National Coffee Day around my house. Yours too?

But on the ‘official’ National Coffee Day, September 29, everyone gets to celebrate with free and really cheap deals on coffee.

Here are a few:

Participating Krispy Kreme locations around the country are giving away free glazed doughnut and a free cup of coffee. (No coupon necessary)

Participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations are offering medium cups of coffee for just 66 cents.

Participating Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlets – check to see if there’s one in your airport – are offering free espresso shots for anyone uses the chain’s app.

Cumberland Farms shops will be pouring their Farmhouse Blend or Bold Coffee free – hot or iced, any size – for free all day long today to customers who text the word FREECOFFEE to 64827. (You’ll get a mobile coupon back to use today.)

The free coffee continues throughout in October, with Cumberland Farms’ “Free Coffee Fridays.” Beginning October 7th – and every other Friday throughout the month – the brand’s 600 or so retail locations in the Northeast & Florida offer free coffee, extra espresso shots, and caramel apple or pumpkin flavor shots for no additional cost

And if you happen to be driving through South Dakota, don’t forget that Wall Drug has darn good coffee – for just 5 cents – all the time.

Wall Drug coffee

 

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)