airport meals

Free airport meals for military during Thanksgiving

In airports around the country, restaurants and concessionaires will be offering complimentary meals and menu items for traveling military personnel over Thanksgiving.

Here are the offers from Delaware North restaurants:

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Free meals for active duty military during Thanksgiving week at participating Delaware North locations: Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar, Schlotzsky’s Deli, Maudie’s TexMex, Salt Lick BBQ and Saxon Pub

Boise Airport

Holiday meal will be provided to airport police and EMTs on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

10% discount for uniformed military personnel during Thanksgiving week

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

On Thanksgiving Day, active duty military can receive a free sandwich from Subway in the McNamara Terminal or from Le Petit Bistro in the North Terminal

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

10% discount for uniformed military personnel during Thanksgiving week

Los Angeles International

Preparing holiday meal and carving traditional turkey for active military at Bob Hope USO post on Thanksgiving Day (starting at 11am)

Nashville International Airport

Preparing and serving traditional Thanksgiving meal for active duty military at Swett’s (beginning at 10:30am)

Richmond International Airport

Serving traditional Thanksgiving meal (roast turkey with gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and salad) for traveling military at the airport’s USO post

Tampa International Airport 

Free meals (entree and a drink) will be offered to active duty military on Thanksgiving Day at participating locations: RumFish Grill, Four Green Fields, Chick-fil-A, Auntie Anne’s, Plane Box kiosk, Panda Express, New York New York Pizza. Free pizza will also be brought to the airport’s USO post on Thanksgiving Christmas Day

Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)

Holiday meal will be served to active duty military, airport police and USO staff

Ontario International Airport

Holiday meal will be served for active military at airport’s USO post on Thanksgiving Day

In addition: 20 restaurants operated by Paradies Lagardère in 10 North American airports will offer active or retired military to a free meal through its Food and Beverage Division’s Treat Our Troops program during Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday, November 23, through Sunday, November 26.

Show your military identification when ordering or checking out to take advantage of this offer.

Participating airports/restaurants:

Asheville Regional: Blue Ridge Tavern

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta: Sweet Auburn Market

Long Beach: Long Beach Marche, 4th Street Vine, The Boathouse

Austin–Bergstrom: Second Bar + Kitchen, Ruta Maya Coffee, ThunderCloud Subs

Northwest Arkansas: Smokewood American Grill, Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Core Brewing Co.

Denver: Say Si Bon! TravelMart, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Big Bowl, The Magic Pan Crepe Stand, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs

Pittsburgh: Bar Symon, Bottega dei Sapori

Reagan National: Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market – Center Pier and North Pier, The Magic Pan Crepe Stand, Wow Bao, Washington Pour Bar, U Street Pub

Eagle County: Townie Tavern, Alpenglo Grille

 

And HMSHost offers a 15 percent discount year-round or military with valid identification on food and non-alcoholic beverages at HMSHost airport (and travel plaza locations) throughout the United States.

Find a list of locations here.

 

Thanksgiving dinner at the airport? You can do that.

By this day next week many people will be pulling their chairs up to big Thanksgiving dinners.

But some of us may be traveling – or stuck at an airport.

Don’t worry, though. In many airports you’ll still be able to get some turkey. And in many cases, the traditional fixings that go with it.

Here are few ideas from HMSHost outlets:

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport the Atlanta Chophouse (in the atrium) will be serving a  Thanksgiving menu with the choice of either deep fried Cajun turkey breast or oven roasted apple glazed pork loin, complete with dinner roll and the choices of two sides.

At Charlotte Douglat International Airport, the 1897 Market (in the atrium will be serving up roast turkey with Macaire potato hash, baby squash, gravy and cranberry and Brookwood Farms BBQ (also in the atrium) smoked turkey with sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, braised greens, turkey gravy, cranberry, and pecan pie will be on the menu.

Ikes (Terminal 1, in the airport mall) at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, will be serving up its traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which include their sage roasted turkey with sage stuffing, Yukon gold mash potatoes and – a slice of pumpkin pie.

And, for those stuck at Los Angeles International Airport, consider the “The Pilgrim” sandwich at the larder at tavern (in the Tom Bradley International Terminal) which is made with roasted turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Over Thanksgiving, many airport concessionaires will also be offering free meals or menu items to traveling military personnel. I’m gathering details on those opportunities now.

 

Free airport meals for military personnel

Here’s a nice airport perk:

Paradies Lagardère, which operates restaurants in many North American airports, is once again offering free meals to U.S. military personnel through its Treat Our Troops program.

Between Memorial Day and July 4th, active or retired U.S. military may receive a free menu item and a non-alcoholic beverage in these participating airport restaurant and shops.

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) – Blue Ridge Tavern Long Beach Airport (LGB) – The Boathouse, Long Beach Marche, 4th Street Vine
Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) – Ruta Maya Coffee, ThunderCloud Subs Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) – Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Core Brewing Co., CNBC Arkansas Traveler, Jammin’ Java, Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market, Smokewood American Grill
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – Abacus, Hickory, Whitetail Bistro Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) – Bar Symon, Bottega dei Sapori
Denver International Airport (DEN) – Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Big Bowl, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Magic Pan, Say Si Bon! TravelMart, Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) – Big Bowl, The Magic Pan, Say Si Bon! Gourmet Market, Washington Pour Bar, Wow Bao, U Street Pub
Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE Eagle, Colo.) – Alpenglo Grille, Alpenglo Express Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Pei Wei Asian Diner
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Sweet Auburn Market  

 Active and retired U.S. military service personnel  just need to show their military identification when ordering or checking out and receive one menu item such as an entrée, sandwich, appetizer or salad, and a non-alcoholic beverage.

Travel Tidbits from BWI & ANC Airports

Here’s news about some nice new amenities at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgoood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

BWI playground

BWI has this nice new playground equipment at the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area and park, which is part of the BWI Trail network, a 12.5 mile scenic trail that encircles the airport.

BWI VIctoria's Secret

BWI also recently added three new specialty shops: Sock it to You, a locally owned shop in Concourse C selling, you guessed it, novelty socks; Victoria’s Secret Beauty, selling makeup, fragrances and select lingerie; and Marhsall Rousso’s, offering women’s fashions and accessories.

ANC Pork & Pickle

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) had a ribbon cutting event for the grand opening of Pork & Pickle (fun to say, right?), a modern gastropub and bbq concept from HMSHost.

The restaurant smokes it meats on-site and the menu includes smoked pork spare ribs, smoked beef brisket, smoked paprika BBQ turkey breast, ‘dirty chips’ (made with BBQ trimmings), and the restaurant’s signature ‘pork & pickle’ pulled pork sandwich with bread & butter pickles.

This is Alaska, so there’s also Alaskan hot smoked salmon salad and Alaskan cod & chips on the menu and a nice variety of local and regional beers.

Not going to Alaska anytime soon? There’s also a Pork & Pickle in Kansas City International Airport, in Terminal B.

Airport amenities to be thankful for

My At the Airport column on USA TODAY each December is a round-up of some of the best new amenities airports have introduced through the year.

Here are some of the highlights from 2015.

SFO airplane cocktail shaker

 

Taming transportation

During 2015, a wave of airports around the country, including those in Chicago, Las Vegas, Louisville, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. (both DCA and IAD) hammered out deals with ride-hailing services such as Uber/UberX, Lyft, Sidecar and Wingz to legally pick up and drop off passengers at the terminals.

Look for that trend to continue in 2016.

Helping others

Following the lead of airports in Denver and Columbus, Ohio, in January 2015 — when all the Super Bowl fans were flocking to town — Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport put out spare change collection boxes to begin raising money for the on-site USO hospitality center. In April, Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) in Allentown, Pa., added change collection stations to raise funds for a variety of local charities.

Helping moms

During 2015 many airports made space for properly equipped lactation stations for nursing mothers. Chicago O’Hare International Airport now has three Mother’s Rooms, while lactation stations and nursing rooms have been added at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, Jacksonville International, Spokane International, Newark Liberty, JFK, LaGuardia, Pittsburgh International, Boise Airport and others.

Soothing stress, helping health

More airports are adding pet therapy programs to help fliers deal with the stress of traveling.

In September, Sacramento International Airport introduced the Boarding Area Relaxation Corps, (B.A.R.C.), which welcomes pet therapy dogs and their handlers to the airport twice a week, while in October, Denver International Airport introduced the Canine Airport Therapy Squad, referred to as C.A.T.S.

Other stress-reducing and health-inducing amenities we noted during 2015 included the beach oasis — complete with Adirondack chairs, umbrellas and artificial turf — set up inside Philadelphia International Airport during snowy February, and the healthy eating campaign at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport that handed out free fruit for travelers, along with prizes.

Complimentary treadmill desks were installed this year at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and, at JFK Terminal 5, JetBlue opened a rooftop lounge complete with dog walk, and created a farm out in front of the terminal where a wide variety of herbs and vegetables are now growing.

Fuel for the flight

Healthy airport dining options — both sit-down and take-away — are on the rise  and, in addition to the many upgraded great restaurants (and bars) rolled out this year, we saw the introduction of several free apps, including Grab and AirGrub, that allow travelers to order ahead, skip the line and streamline the task of purchasing a meal inside the airport to take to the gate or onto the plane.

Unique amenities, events and milestones

While SFO and DEN airports offer a mobile car-washing service in their airport parking lots (fees range from $24.95 to $49.95), travelers who park in the garages or in the outside parking lot at Spokane International Airport can get their cars washed for free. (Technically introduced at the end of 2014, I learned about this unique amenity in early 2015 and hope it catches on.)

In addition to being named the Grand Marshal of the Starlight Parade for the Portland Rose Festival, during 2015 the quirky carpet being replaced at Portland International Airport continued its reign as a social media darling, leading passengers to take a closer look at airport flooring nationwide.

To help with the year-long celebration marking the 20th anniversary of Denver International Airport, the Colorado Lottery created a special edition $2 scratch ticket game featuring four iconic images of the airport and, picking up on the newest old-fashioned craze, this year Dallas Love Field has a giant coloring wall in the terminal. Whenever the picture gets filled in, all they have to do is wipe the surface clean and start over.

Dallas Love Field _coloring wall

 

Did you spot a cool new amenity at an airport during 2015 that I didn’t mention?

Please share your fave in the comments below.