Posts in the category "Holidays":

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.

Data-driven tips for finding holiday fares


Hoping to fly somewhere this Thanksgiving or over the December holidays?

As I learned doing this story during a fill-in stint on USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky, you don’t need to give up on finding a great fare.

“Airfares in general are down this year,” said editor Melisse Hinkle. “And, while the Sunday after Thanksgiving is still in high demand, travel seems to be spreading out more across the holiday week and weekend.”

A global travel insights report out today from travel-tech company Sojern confirms the “spreading out” trend.

The report found that this year 67% of Thanksgiving trips will last four to five days, compared to 64% last year.

Sojern’s data shows that, with fares 26% above the national mean, New York’s JFK International Airport will be the most expensive airport to fly out of this Thanksgiving, followed by San Francisco International (21% above the mean), Los Angeles (18%) and Philadelphia (11%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Sojern’s report suggests that this Thanksgiving flights out of Atlanta (with fares 33% below the national mean), Fort Lauderdale (18%) and Washington National (15%) may offer some of the best deals.


Cyber Monday deals

Travel deals are becoming popular during Cyber Monday sales and Sojern found that last year there was a fourfold increase in worldwide flight bookings on Cyber Monday.

“Americans responded the most dramatically to Cyber Monday last year, with an increase of 96% in flight bookings compared to Thanksgiving,” the report says.

Sojern expects the trend to continue this year.

“We expect consumers to continue to be on the hunt for travel deals this year, and, since Cyber Monday falls a little earlier in the quarter (the last day of November), prepare to see November bookings skyrocket thanks to this one magical day,” the report states.


Pick a place

Kayak’s Holiday Travel Hacker went live this week with a wide range of tips, tools and charts.

The “Escapes” tab is especially useful: It shows the top 10 cities around the world where holiday airfares have dropped the most, compared to last year’s fares.

Hong Kong tops the list, with a 29% drop in airfare prices over last holiday season, and there are two U.S. cities on the list: Chicago, at No. 4, shows a 25% decrease in airfare prices, while airfares to Cleveland, at No. 9, are lower this year by 19%.

Airports mark Mother’s Day with flowers, pods & more


Nursing moms flying to or from JFK International Airport on JetBlue get a welcome new amenity on Wednesday with the unveiling of a Mamava lactation suite in T5.

The nursing “pods” are already in use at Vermont’s Burlington International Airport and Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport and there’s a growing list of airports that are doing their part to be truly “breastfeeding friendly.”

JetBlue’s nursing station is being installed at JFK T5 just in time for Mother’s Day and right now is scheduled to stay there for just six months, but the airline is hoping to make it permanent.

Mother’s Day is being celebrated at other airports as well.

Jacksonville Airport

Continuing a tradition, volunteer ambassadors at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will be handing out 1,000 carnations to passengers on Sunday, May 10.

And through May 10, passengers traveling through LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B and Philadelphia International Airport can take advantage of a sparkly Free Gift with Purchase offer.

Spend $100 in one or more shops and (while supplies last…) you can redeem the receipts for a multi-strand crystal and pearl bracelet. There’s also a Twitter contest to give away five of those bracelets (valued at $45) at each airport.

Details on both offers here and here.


And if you happen to be passing through Frankfurt International Airport on Mother’s Day, look for Elvis.

In addition to performances by a champion Elvis impersonator, there will be a rockabilly band, an acoustic trio singing Elvis songs and a exhibit of photos and souvenirs related to Elvis’s stint as a soldier.

There will also be a vintage car show in front of Terminal 1, contests and – for anyone who shows ups wearing an Elvis costume or a 1950s outfit, free entry to the airports’ observation deck, known as the Visitors’ Terrace.


Hello Kitty jets celebrate Chinese New Year

EVA HelloKit Hand in Hand Jet runway_CourtesyEVAAIR

Eva Air’s Hello Kitty Jets not only have Hello Kitty characters painted on the outside of the plane, just about every item inside the plane – from the headrest covers to the meals – has a Hello Kitty theme as well.

Right now the Hello Kitty jets are ready for the Chinese New Year. And to welcome in the Year of the Goat, the headrest covers, placemats and a variety of inflight service items now feature Hello Kitty wearing a set of goat horns.

Hello-Kitty- CHinese New year

EVA AIR Hello-Kitty-Chinese New Year

Airports, airlines celebrate Valentine’s Day

Charles Lindbergh-themed Valentine

Here’s a round-up of some of the sweet perks you’ll find on airlines and in airports on Valentine’s Day:

JetBlue passengers will receive complimentary Dylan’s Candy Bar cookies onboard flights.

United Airlines will be serving complimentary Valentine’s Day-themed cocktails with cute names such as “Casanova,” “Bubbling with Love” and “Cupid’s Arrow” (with sides of chocolate) in its U.S. mainland clubs and at London Heathrow.

Southwest Airlines will serve passengers age 21 and older a complimentary alcoholic drink on Valentine’s Day flight. In some markets employees will hand out out Valentines that include a sweepstakes entry for a trip to the American Country Music awards.

ATL airport has an 8-foot heart ready for photo ops and selfies.

On the ground, you can take a selfie with an 8-foot heart in the atrium at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. ATL will also be handing out candy.

Dallas Love Field _photo opportunity

At Dallas Love Field you can have a photo snapped with the big red heart that sits between the giant letters B and G installed at the airport as part of the city’s “Big Things Happen Here” campaign.

Volunteer amabassadors at Jacksonville Int'l Airport will hand out 1,000 carnations_edited

On Saturday, volunteer ambassadors at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will hand out 10,000 carnations to travelers in the terminal.

At Miami International Airport there will fun events in the terminals on Feb. 13 and 14. In addition to a kissing booth for keepsake photos, there will be chocolate roses, a DJ spinning heartfelt tunes and coupons for store discounts distributed by Cupid.

And on Sunday, Feb. 15, between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., there will be a performance of romantic and passionate Argentine Tango in the Tom Bradley International Terminal and in Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport.

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