Holidays

Treats from airports and airlines for Valentine’s Day

Air travel is usually more stressful than romantic, but on Valentine’s Day many airports and airlines go out of their way to add a little love – or at least some chocolate – to the journey.

Today, Delta Air Lines customers flying in the main cabin on select flights between JFK and SFO/LAX will receive mini bottles of La Marca Prosecco, along with a striped straw and two Vosges Haut-Chocolat chocolate truffles. Passengers in the business class cabins will get Prosecco and four pieces of Vosges chocolate.

Valentine’s Day is one of several days during the year when passengers on Southwest Airlines are treated to a complimentary alcoholic beverage. Employees of Southwest (which uses the stock ticker symbol LUV) will also be decorating gate areas and, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, welcoming representatives from the Phoenix Suns basketball team, who will marshal in an aircraft, hand out valentines and take boarding passes.

At both Jacksonville International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport, there will be complimentary carnations for travelers (while supplies last).

Austin Bergstrom International Airport will be handing out complimentary chocolates to travelers and inviting passengers to snap a photo at a special selfie-station with an airport-themed replica of the city’s “I Love You So Much” mural, while entertainment, free candy giveaways and a ‘love wall’ for travelers’ messages welcome travelers today at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

This past weekend, passengers at San Francisco International Airport had a chance to see the Wag Brigade’s therapy pig, LiLou, in her Cupid costume and today the miniature therapy horses that occasionally visit Cincinnati/Norther Kentucky International Airport will stop by CVG in their Valentine’s Day costumes as well.

CVG airport will also be distributing candy and conversational heart cookies.

The lovefest continues at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where Pallino Pizza and Pasta will be surprising some guests with complimentary cookies, gelato and goodie boxes and, at both Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport, where some shops and dining outlets will be offering surprise treats throughout the day as part AIRMALL USA’s celebration of both Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Of course, at airports nationwide today men and women will be on hunt for roses and other flowers to take home to the sweethearts.

Many of the bouquets they’ll find for sale will be filled with flowers that arrived just days ago from Ecuador and Columbia and transported by LATAM Cargo, which said that in advance of Valentine’s Day this year it shipped more than 9,000 tons of flowers.

That’s the equivalent, said LATAM, of 16 million bouquets or 200 million flowers and enough for all 160 million women in the United States to receive at least one flower.

Souvenir Sunday at CDG Airport

Greetings from Paris- Charles de Gaulle Airport, where there are plenty of Valentine’s Day-themed souvenirs available right now.

Chocolates, of course, and pink-tinted macarons are not that expensive and are easy to carry.

And then there are selfie-spots around the airport right now offering a fun way to make a free Valentine.

 

If you’re lucky enough to be in the airport on February 14 between 8 am and 3 pm, keep an eye out for hostesses who will fanning out in the terminals offering fortune cookies that will filled with messages of love.

Two of those cookies will have something extra: a prize of a weekend in Paris. (Details here... in French.)

 

Chinese New Year at airports & on planes

Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year celebrations begin this weekend and airports and airlines are celebrating the Year of the Rooster with decorations, special meals, promotions and events.

Vancouver International Airport, a major trans-Pacific hub, has special decorations in the terminals and a wide variety of events planned for this Friday, including a traditional Lion Dance, retail specials and an appearance by the Fortune God who will hand out red envelopes to lucky passengers who will have a chance to win prizes.

At San Francisco International Airport, which boasts that it serves more cities in China than any other North American airport, look for special Lunar New Year graphics on signs, on the airport’s social media outlets and on its website.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will celebrate the Lunar New Year on Friday, Jan. 27 with traditional and modern Chinese music from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Asleep at the Wheel stage, located across from Gate 10.

Lunar New Year activities at Hong Kong International Airport include daily Lion Dance performances and multiple chances to meet and greet the God of Fortune.

At Singapore’s Changi Airport, which does everything in a big way, the terminals are decorated with festive decorations and plants, the popular Pokémon installation has receive a seasonally-appropriate makeover, and there will be an award-winning Lion Dance troupe performing in the terminals on multiple days. The Fortune God Mascot will also be on hand distributing fortune cookies.

To mark the Lunar New Year, Cathay Pacific will be serving two types of festive puddings (Red Dates Pudding and Turnip Pudding with Conpoy and Chinese ham) to travelers in first and business class cabins on many long haul flights.

Qatar Airways is also celebrating the Chinese New Year by serving a special Spring Festival-inspired menu on board flights to popular Asia destinations from January 28-30.

Deal-wise, United Airlines is offering promotional fares (through Feb 1) on its flights to Hangzhou, China from San Francisco and other cities and Plaza Premium Lounge is running a Chinese New Year ‘Buy 3 Get 2 Free’ offer on lounge gift cards that is valid through February 6.

And Eva Air is celebrating the year of the Rooster with a special Chinese New Year menu on flights outbound from Taipei to North America and Paris on January 27, 2017 and special Chinese New Year-themed service items on these same flights from January 27 to February 5, 2017.

Many service items on Eva Air’s Hello Kitty Jets have also been refreshed for the Chinese New Year, and some new characters – Gudetama and Bad Badtz-maru are featured on the themed paper napkins, headrest covers and the traditional red envelopes handed out to family members and loved ones  to wish them health and prosperity this time of year.