trave

Beer garden at Denver Int’l Airport

DIA BEER FLIGHTS

Just in time for Oktoberfest season, Denver International Airport has brought back “Beer Flights,” the temporary beer garden in the center of the Jeppesen Terminal.

The beer garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Sept. 19 to Sept. 27 and coincides with worldwide Oktoberfest celebrations and Denver’s Great American Beer Festival. Tickets are available at the door for $10 and visitors must be 21 or older with a valid ID to enter.

The $10 admission includes a souvenir glass and 10, 2-ounce samples of beer from the 20 Colorado breweries and special brews represented:

· Avery Brewing – Liliko’i Kepolo

· Big Choice Brewing – #42 Poblano Stout

· Boulder Beer – Shake Chocolate Porter

· Bristol Brewing Company – Red Baron Octoberfest

· Crooked Stave – Colorado Wild Sage Mountain Saison

· Dry Dock Brewing Co. – Apricot Blonde

· Elevation Beer Co. – 7437 Double IPA

· Epic Brewing Co. – Escape to Colorado IPA

· Fate Brewing – Laimas Kölsch Style Ale

· Funkwerks – Tropic King Imperial Saison Ale

· Great Divide Brewing Company – Hibernation Ale

· Hall Brewing Co. – Juicy Peach Blonde

· High Hops Brewery – The Golden One

· Odell Brewing Company – Odell IPA

· Oskar Blues – Oskar Blues IPA

· Pikes Peak Brewing Co. – Devil’s Head Red Ale

· Pug Ryan’s – Hideout Helles Lager

· Sanitas Brewing – Sanitas Saison

· Station 26 Brewing Co. – Colorado Cream Ale

· Telluride Brewing Co. – Fishwater Barrell-Aged Double IPA

The beer garden will feature eight picnic tables decorated by local artists, live music, talks by brew masters and brew trivia.

Passengers who post photos of their “Beer Flights” experience on social media using #BeerFlightsDIA will be eligible to win prizes that include T-shirts and commemorative glasses, VIP brewery tours and more.

Cheers!

DIA BEER GARDEN

How to get a free amenity kit at Denver Airport

DIA TRAVEL KIT

Need to refresh your travel kit or need an inexpensive gift for that friend picking you up at the airport?

If you’re traveling through Denver International Airport this summer and spend $20 at any of the airport’s retail shops, you can use those receipts to get a free Summer Travel Pack (value: $16) filled with useful items such as lip balm, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissues, headphones, neck pillows, eye masks and more

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to take advantage of this offer and you’ll need to turn in those receipts before all the kits are gone.

Here are more details and rules for Denver International Airport’s free Summer Travel Kit offer.

On-the-ground perks in your airline boarding pass

Ticketing office

Courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum archives via Flickr Commons.

Airline tickets may no longer come with meals, pillows or much legroom on planes. However, on some domestic and international flights, paper or electronic boarding passes come packed with a wide variety of on-the-ground bonuses.

For example, travelers on Virgin America can present their boarding pass for a free scoop of Humphry Slocombe’s ice cream at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Sadly, that sweet offer expires at the end of this year (so hurry over), but there are plenty of other boarding pass perks that extend into 2015.

Ski – and taste wine – for free

Passengers who show a boarding pass from any airline can score complimentary entry at some ski or snowboarding locations in the U.S.

For example, at Steamboat Ski & Resort in Colorado, passengers can use their boarding passes for a free night of skiing on the evening of arrival. Those who arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday can get a free skiing night on Thursday.

Several ski resorts participating in the Alaska Airlines Ski the West promotion are offering a free day of action on the slopes. Among the offers are a free day-of-arrival pass for out-of-state travelers at Alaska’s Alyeska Resort, and a second-day-ski-free offer in Taos, New Mexico.

Passengers who show an Alaska Airlines boarding pass (paper or digital) in the wine regions of Oregon, Washington and Sonoma County, California, may check a case of wine for free.

Boarding passes also make Alaska Airlines passengers eligible for free wine-tastings at more than 300 participating tasting rooms in Oregon, and more than 200 wineries in Washington state. In addition, under the Taste and Tote program in Washington, Hertz offers car rental discounts and waives the drop-off fees at three regional airports—Pasco/Tri-Cities, Walla Walla and Yakima.

International airlines offer boarding pass perks

Austrian Airlines introduced its “World’s most valuable boarding pass” program in 2006, providing passengers with free access to museums and galleries and discounts at shops and restaurants for up to 10 days after they land.

Although the program is expiring at the end of 2014 for a reboot, an updated version will be offered in 2015 “with the same goal, to offer our passengers interesting benefits,” spokesman Wilhelm Baldia said.

Korean Air offers two boarding pass programs. Those flying from an overseas region to Korea can access the Excellent Boarding Pass Korea perks for seven days, and receive discounts on a host of attractions. These include tours, performances, meals, cellphone rentals, shopping, currency exchange fees, rental cars and airport ground transportation.

The Excellent Boarding Pass Worldwide offers a wide variety of perks outside of Korea, and is valid for up to 30 days from departure.

Through the Magic Boarding Pass program on Asiana Airlines, passengers have access to a wide variety of special offers.

An international boarding pass presented in Korea offers discounts on exchange rates, at shopping outlets, tourist destinations, concert halls and on ground transportation. An international Asiana Airlines boarding document also provides perks at premium outlets, hotels, restaurants and attractions in Japan, the U.S., Europe and Hong Kong.

In Singapore, passengers who fly on Singapore Airlines have a full month from the date of travel to use dining, shopping and other deals offered with their boarding passes.

“Tangible benefits for services that every passenger needs, such as the discounts on airport transfers offered by Korean Air and Singapore Airlines, offer the most value,” said Raymond Kollau of Airlinetrends.com. “Overall, I quite like the idea of thinking beyond the flight by offering all passengers, especially those in the economy cabin, boarding pass perks that let them make more of their stay in a city,” Kollau said.

(My story on airline boarding pass perks first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior)

Cool stuff spotted at: Boston Logan Airport

Have some extra time to spend in the United Airlines portion of Terminal B at Boston Logan International Airport before your flight?

Lucky you!

Logan _HB with colonia patriot

Photo op with a Colonial Patriot

Except for the oatmeal that I had to send back – twice – at one of the sit-down restaurants by the gates,  I spotted these charming – and useful – amenities.

Logan Flowers in loo

Fresh flowers! And blue counters color-coordinated with the powerful Dyson hand-dryer in the women’s loo. When I came back two days later, the flowers were changed out for a fresher bunch.

Logan Airport - bathroom timer

Go with confidence: a hard-to-miss timer in the women’s restroom showed the correct date and time and the time when the area was last serviced.

Logan - green waiting area

Living room or gate hold area? Everyone one of these comfortable chairs had a table and power.

How to save time, money & sanity at the airport

Rocking chairs at Houston Hobby Airport

To make the most of airport dwell time during the busy holiday travel season, be sure to take advantage of some of these time and money-saving services and amenities.  The list is from a round-up I put together for CNBC Road Warrior.

Free shoe shines

It seems like an old-fashioned service, but many airports still have shoe shine stands staffed by friendly men and women who, for very reasonable fees, can transform scuffed travel shoes or boots into impressive footwear while you relax, read the paper, return a phone call or chat.

At Los Angeles International Airport shoe shines are free (so tip generously) in most every terminal. The Shoe Hospital at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport not only shines shoes, but fixes broken heels, sells shoelaces, fixes zippers, repairs bags, purses and suitcases and, for those who indulge a bit too much while traveling, punches extra holes in belts that they will also shine.

Layover spa days

A little pampering goes a long way when it comes to improving your travel outlook and appearance. Barbershops, spas and salons at an ever-increasing number of airports offer services that range from haircuts, shampoos and shaves to facials, pedicures, manicures and massages at prices generally on par with what you pay for these services in town.

Some services are discounted during a happy hour offering during the first hour of business (usually between 6 and 7 a.m.) at the Massage Bar, which has branches at seven airports. “Upwards of 65 percent of our clients are business people who are always traveling,” said Massage Bar CEO Chris Woods, “and the clientele make-up is almost 50/50 men and women.”

XpresSpa, with branches in about 50 airports worldwide, has a free membership program that gives discounts and special offers and $5 in rewards points for each $100 you spend. And between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Terminal Getaway Spa, with branches at Chicago O’Hare, Charlotte Douglas and Orlando International Airport, will be giving away treatments via Twitter.

Leverage the lounges

An uptick in business travel means airlines and independent operators are adding lounge locations and upgrading décor and amenities at existing lounges in many cities. If you don’t already get access with your frequent flier status, business class ticket, credit card or travel buddy, consider the $50 one-time entry fee a sanity-saving investment if only for the drinks, snacks, comfortable seating and workspace it can get you.

“But beware,” says TravelSkills founder Chris McGinnis. “Many lounges won’t allow walk-ins when they are overcrowded, so you can’t always count on getting in to the one you want to.” The solution? “You can often walk across the hall or to another concourse and try buying entry into another one,” he said.

Doggin’ it

Teams of trained therapy dogs regularly visit many airports and there’s no cost to spend a few stress-reducing minutes lapping up some love from these pups when you see them.

Passengers who need to board their own pets while traveling can save time by using pet hotels located on or near airport properties. Now Boarding at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, for example, boards cats, dogs and a variety of “little critters” and offers parking, airport shuttle rides, multi-pet discounts and frequent visitor benefits. The 24-hour service makes early morning drop-offs and late night pick-ups possible, which can reduce the number of boarding nights you’ll need to pay for.

Stop and smell the roses

Instead of parking yourself at a gate, head to a free airport observation deck to chill out and take a look around. The BWI Observation Gallery in Baltimore is located pre-security and, in addition to great airfield views, has aviation exhibits, children’s play equipment, charging stations and a cocktail lounge. At LAX, the Observation Deck on top of the Theme Building in the middle of the Central Area is open each Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering airport and Los Angeles views for free.

There’s an indoor, aeroponic garden at Chicago O’Hare Airport where herbs and vegetables used in many airport restaurant dishes are grown and, the recently renovated Dallas Love Field airport, the pre-security outdoor Moss Lee Love Garden is home to live plants and grasses and artwork that includes 12-foot-tall cast-bronze trees.

Shopping for deals

Shopping can be great therapy and shopping for gifts during a layover can save time and money.

Many airports have a “street pricing” policy that prohibits shops (and restaurants) in the terminals from adding surcharges to the prices. You can avoid sales tax on all purchases when shopping at Oregon’s Portland International Airport and avoid sales on clothing (and shoes) when shopping at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Pittsburgh International Airport’s AirMall.

And don’t be shy about using coupons. MSP airport regularly updates a long list of downloadable discount coupons good at airport shops and restaurants, and while no expiration dates are listed on the coupons available from San Antonio International Airport, airport spokeswoman Nora Castro says they are updated quarterly to reflect the latest vendor deals.

During the holidays, many airport shops provide free gift wrapping and shipping and gift-with-purchase offers as well.