Holidays

Free ice-skating + free bag drop service at Denver Int’l Airport

Free ice-skating is back at Denver International Airport. DEN has also added a free early bag drop service.

The free ice-skating rink at Denver International Airport’s outdoor plaza is back again for its third season.

The rink is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through January 6 on the DEN Plaza between the main terminal and Westin hotel.

Even better, there’s no need to travel with your own skates.  The “Skate Shop” Airstream trailer located on the plaza has free skate rentals in many sizes.  For those who don’t want to skate, but just want to hang out, there are bleachers and lounge seating.

A partnership this year with United Airlines, the DEN ice rink will feature music each day and offer free hot chocolate and cider starting at noon on Fridays. There will also be special appearances and performances on the ice every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. including curling lessons and mascot appearances.

“Ice skating on our pop-up ice rink has quickly become a signature event for Denver International Airport,” said CEO Kim Day. “It’s just another way we’re demonstrating our commitment to an improved passenger experience. For flight crews, travelers, employees and even local residents, skating with the dramatic backdrop of the Jeppesen Terminal is becoming a seasonal tradition.”

Denver International Airport recenty introduced another helpful amenity:  free early bag drop and check-in service at the Transit Center and at the Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert shutttle parking lots.

The bag-drop service allows passengers to drop off their bags, check-in and get a boarding pass before entering the terminals luggage-free.

At the parking lots, travelers can drive in and drop off  their bags before they park. A greeter at the bag drop kiosk will remove the bags from the car, complete the check-in process process and print out a boarding pass. That means no luggage to drag onto and off of the shuttle van to the terminal. Nice!

Keep in mind, that bags must be dropped off at least 90 minutes before a flight. And while the bag drop service is free, those pesky airline baggage fees will still apply. But those fees can be paid at the bag drop locations too.

The DEN bag-drop service is being offering at the Transit Center daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m and at the shuttle parking lots Saturday–Thursday  from 2 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 2 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Passengers traveling on domestic flights with Southwest, United, Delta and American Airlines are eligible to use the service. Flights to international destinations are not eligible for the bag drop service.

Find more details about the new bag drop service at Denveral International Airport here.

In a press release, Denver International Airport claims this is the first such service at an airport. But in 2012 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport introduced early bag drop service at its East Economy parking lot and at the PHX SkyTrain Station, expanding the service to the rental car center in 2014.

Unfortunately, PHX no longer offers early bag drop service. But here’s hoping it comes back.

How to survive Thanksgiving travel

Flying somewhere this Thanksgiving? Here are tips to keep sane.

 

A lot of turkey wishbones – and travel records – are set to be broken during the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

AAA expects 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home over the holiday, a 4.8 percent increase over last year and the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.

For the 48.5 million Americans expected to travel by car over the holiday, the best advice is: leave early. INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts that in the country’s most congested cities the Thanksgiving drive over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house could take four times longer than it might on a ‘normal’ travel day.

Traffic at airports and in the skies will break records as well.

For the holiday period, which officially begins Wednesday, November 21 and runs through Sunday, November 25, the Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 25 million people at U.S. airports, a 7 percent increase over last year.

Looking a bit broader at the 12-day Thanksgiving air travel period already underway, Airlines for America (the airline trade organization) predicts a record 30.6 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines.

That’s up from the estimated 29 million passengers who flew during Thanksgiving last year.

Flying over Thanksgiving? Travel tips for the airport

As with driving or going anywhere over the holiday, the key advice for flying is: leave for the airport early.

That not only helps reduce stress, but builds in extra time for all those things that can go wrong, such as discovering your favorite airport parking lot is already filled up or there’s a hiccup with your airline ticket.

Transportation Security Administration officials say new screening technologies, coupled with an additional 80 passenger screening canine teams and more than 1,200 TSA officers will help with the increased volume of passengers at airport security checkpoints this year. But there may still be long, slow-moving lines at many airports.

To make sure you’re not the person holding up the line, take some extra time when prepping and packing to make sure your carry-on items are checkpoint-savvy.

*Dress for success: Transfer small items, such as wallets, phones and keys, from your pockets to your carry-on before you get to the checkpoint. Wear shoes or boots that are easy to take off and put back on.

*Download and print your boarding pass. Putting your boarding pass on your mobile phone means one less paper to keep track of. But a paper version is good back-up in case your phone loses its charge while you’re waiting on a long line, or if the checkpoint scanner can’t read the downloaded version of your pass.

*Review the rules. If you’re an infrequent traveler, find a quart-sized clear bag and take a moment to read TSA’s primer on the liquids rule.

If you’re traveling with food to eat during your journey or with a turkey or something else destined for the Thanksgiving table, you will likely be asked to take it out of your bag and put it in a separate bin for a ride through the x-ray machine.

TSA allows turkeys, turkey sandwiches, pies cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints, but foodstuffs that are liquid, such as jellies and cranberry sauce, need to travel in checked bags.

Unsure if your food it a liquid or gel? TSA’s “What can I bring” tool, available on line and as an app, can help and you can send a question about a specific item to @AskTSA on Twitter.

Here are some other tools and tips that might help smooth out your Thanksgiving flying journey.

*Charge up your phone and other travel gadgets, including one or more back-up chargers, before you leave home. While airports have added more power ports, finding an empty one can still be a challenge. Show up with a power cord with extra plugs, and you’ll be a hero.

*Download the apps for your airline and all airports you’re traveling through and sign up for the alerts for each of your flights.

*Get numbers. Make a list of all the phone numbers you might need for your trip. The list should include not only your airline, but also the rental car or shuttle company you’ve booked with, your hotel, the person picking you up and the person who dropped you off (in case you left something behind). Put those numbers in your phone and on paper.

*Pack extras. Bring along snacks, a hefty amount of patience, and your sense of humor. Add a stash of ‘mad money’ to your wallet. That way, if something goes wrong despite all your planning and preparation you’ll be prepared to buy yourself or your family a stress-busting treat.

 

Enjoy the holiday!

 

Free meals for active military at airports on Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day active-duty military members will be able to get a free meal at airports in restaurants (listed below) operated by Delaware North.

Traveling on Thanksgiving day but not active militiary? Your meal won’t be free, but you’ll find many airport restaurants have turkey and Thanksgiving-themed meals on (traditional and not) on their menus.

 

On Thanksgiving Day, active-duty military members who show their military ID will receive one free entrée item and a free non-alcoholic beverage at more than 150 participating restaurants in 18 airports where Delaware North operates food and beverage outlets.

Participating locations include venues in airports in Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, Boston and many other airports listed below.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

40/40 Club (Concourse D)

Argo Tea (Concourse T)

Atlanta Stillhouse (Concourse T)

Bojangle’s (Concourse T)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Concourse D and T)

Einstein Bros. Bagels (Concourse D)

FabYo (Concourse D)

Famous Famiglia (Concourse D)

The Market by Food & Wine (Concourse D)

Freshen’s (Concourse D)

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill (Concourse D)

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Concourse D and T)

Harvest & Grounds (Concourse D)

Jamba Juice (Concourse T)

Mustard Seed (Concourse D)

Subway (Concourse T)

Terrapin Cigar and Smoke Lounge (Concourse D)

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza (Concourse T)

Wolfgang Puck Express (Concourse D)

 

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

Annie’s Café & Bar (West Terminal)

Austin Java Coffee House (West Terminal)

Juice Land (Food Court)

Peached Tortilla (Food Court)

Salt Lick BBQ (Central Terminal)

iVini (West Terminal)

 

Nashville International Airport (BNA)

La Hacienda (Concourse A)

O’Charley’s (Concourse C)

Tootsie’s (Concourse C)

Whitt’s/Swett’s (Concourse C)

 

Boston Logan Airport (BOS)

Pei Wei (Terminal B)

WPizza (Terminal B)

 

Boise Airport (BOI)

13th Street Grille & Pub (pre-security)

Bardenay (Food Court)

Cross Grain Brewhouse (Concourse B)

Einstein Bros. Bagels (Food Court)

Harvest & Grounds (Concourse C)

Parilla (Concourse C)

River City Café (Concourse B)

Smashburger (Concourse B)

 

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)

Anchor Bar

Blue Zone

Checkers

Coffee Beanery

Lake Erie Grille

Queen City Kitchen

Tim Horton’s

Villa Pizza

Which Wich?

 

Charleston International Airport (CHS)

Burger King (Central Hall)

Caviar & Banana’s (Central Hall)

Charleston Beer Works (Concourse A)

DeSano’s Pizza Kitchen (Concourse B)

Harvest & Grounds (pre-security and Central Hall)

Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Grill (Central Hall)

 

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Boulder Beer Tap House (Jeppensen Terminal West)

Denver Central Market (Concourse A)

Red Rocks Bar & BBQ (Jeppensen Terminal East)

 

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

360 Burrito (Terminal D)

Einstein Bros. Bagels (Terminal D)

Fuddruckers (Terminal D)

Railhead BBQ (Terminal D)

Salt Lick BBQ (Terminal A)

Twisted Root (Terminal A)

 

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (baggage claim)

Harvest & Grounds (McNamara Terminal C)

Hockeytown Café (North Terminal)

Le Petit Bistro (North Terminal)

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen (McNamara Terminal)

Subway (McNamara Terminal A and C)

TGI Friday’s (North Terminal)

The Robert Mondavi Experience (McNamara Terminal C)

 

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

Blue Bar (Terminal 3F)

Burger King (Terminal 4G East)

Casavana Restaurant (Terminal 4G)

Chili’s Restaurant (Terminal 3)

Cross Grain Brewhouse (Terminal 4)

DeSano’s Pizza Kitchen (Terminal 4G)

Einstein Bros. Bagels (Terminal 3F)

Espresso Bar (Terminal 3F)

Food and Wine (Terminal 3F)

Harvest & Grounds (Terminal E-6 and Terminal 4)

Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Grill (Terminal 3E)

Kafe Kalik (Terminal 4G East)

Pei Wei (Terminal 3F)

Plane Box Food Company & Bar (Terminal 4G)

Steak ‘n Shake Signature (Terminal 3F)

Zona Fresca (Terminal 4G)

Casa Noble (Terminal 4G)

PIE Pizza Kiosk (Terminal 3 Las Olas)

Café Sienna (Terminal 3 Las Olas)

Cucina and Co. (Terminal 3 Las Olas)

 

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (pre-security and Terminal 5)

Earthbar (Terminal 6)

L.A. Farmers Market (Terminal 5)

Skewers by Morimoto (Terminal 5)

The Habit Burger (Terminal 6)

Wahoo Fish Tacos (Terminal 6)

Wolfgang Puck Express (Terminal 7)

Wpizza (Tom Bradley Terminal – pre-security)

 

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)

Angel Food Bakery (Concourse E)

Smack Shack (Mall)

Twin’s Grill (Concourse C)

 

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

Air Meals (Concourse B)

Café Roux (Concourse B)

Café Roux Express (Concourse C)

Copeland’s Gourmet Kitchen (Concourse C)

Dooky Chase (pre-security)

French Market Cafe and Bar (Concourse B)

Le Petit Bistro (Concourse B)

PJ’s Coffee (Concourse C and D)

Taco Lab (Concourse B)

West Beignet (West Lobby)

Wow Cafe & Bar (Concourse D)

Ye Olde College Inn (Concourse D)

 

Will Rogers World Airport (Oklahoma City) (OKC)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (East Concourse)

Cross Grain Brewhouse (East Concourse)

Moe’s Southwest Grill (East Concourse)

Oklahoma Station Bakery (East Concourse)

Rout 66 Bar (West Concourse)

Tuckers Onion Burgers (East Concourse)

Route 66 Grille (West Concourse)

Cinnabon (East Concourse)

Schlotsky’s (East Concourse)

Cool Greens (West Concourse)

Café 66 (pre-security)

 

Ontario International Airport (ONT)

Auto Club Speedway Café (Terminal 4)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Terminal 4)

El Paseo Mexican Café (Terminal 2)

Schlotsky’s Deli (Terminal 4)

Wpizza (Terminal 2)

Rock & Brews (Terminal 4)

Einstein Bros. Bagels (Terminal 4)

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos (Terminal 4)

Cross Grain Brewhouse (Terminal 2)

Harvest & Grounds (Terminal 2)

 

Richmond International Airport (RIC)

Applebee’s (Atrium)

Caribou Coffee (Terminal A and B; Atrium)

Club Level Grille (Terminal B)

Cross Grain Brewhouse (Terminal A)

Cheeburger Cheeburger (Terminal B)

 

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Auntie Anne’s (Terminal A)

Chick-fil-A (Main Terminal)

Four Green Fields (Terminal E)

Panda Express (Terminal E)

Café by Mise en Place (Terminal F)

PDQ (Terminal C)

NYNY Pizza (Terminal A)

RumFish Grill (Terminal C)

 

 

Heathrow’s charming bears are back for Christmas

Heathrow Airport’s heartwarming story of the bears named, appropriately enough, the Bairs, are back for another season.

We first met the Bairs in 2016. They were so popular that they were featured again last year, in astory that showed how Doris and Edward Bair meet and fall in love on a flight out of Heathrow Airport in 1967.

 

This year’s installment shows the next chapter in the Bair’s lives.

They are now retired in the United States; in Florida. But as the holiday season rolls around, the couple realizes that Christmas just isn’t the same without their loved ones in the UK.

So, they head home to London, arriving in the exact spot where their love story began 50 years ago – at Heathrow Airport.

Charming!