Amtrak

Deals, discounts & treats for travelers + moms

Mother’s Day celebrations at airports

Airports across the country will be marking Mother’s Day with complimentary flowers, music and more.

Today between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the post-security Great Hall at Los Angeles International Airport, the Mother’s Day celebration will include a photo booth, complimentary wooden roses, and appearances by some of the pups from the Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) program.

And, as they have for many years, this weekend volunteers at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will likely be handing out flowers to arriving moms and those waiting for their moms.

We’ll add more Mother’s Day activities as they roll in.

Delta Air Lines rolling out free in-flight WiFI

Starting May 13, Delta Air Lines is kicking off a much-welcome two-week pilot program to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi in all cabins on 55 short, media and long-haul flights.

The carrier says this is the first step towards offering complimentary Wi-Fi for everyone, all the time.

“Customers are accustomed to having access to free Wi-Fi during nearly every other aspect of their journey, and Delta believes it should be free when flying, too,” said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Onboard Product in a statement. “Testing will be key to getting this highly complex program right – this takes a lot more creativity, investment and planning to bring to life than a simple flip of a switch.”

The free Wi-Fi service won’t support content streaming, but will let passengers browse, email, shop, message, and engage with social media for free.

Delta’s Wi-Fi for purchase and free mobile messaging will remain available throughout the test.

Take the train

Amtrak, which also offers free Wi-Fi, has launched an Unconditional Love Flash Sale now through Monday, May 13.

The two-for-one ticket offer is valid for travel nationwide between June 1 and September 30. Use discount code C250.

Bonus: if you’re an Amtrak Guest Rewards member (or sign up to be) you can also earn double points if you travel by May 18

Rolling down the tracks…Happy National Train Day

(Golden Spike ceremony. Photo: Andrew J. Russell, courtesy National Archives and Records Administration)

Flying is fun, but once in a while taking the train just makes more sense.

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 is National Train Day and there will celebrations around the country in major train stations, small depots, and transportation museums around the country.  You can read my column on the festivities – Marking Americans’ love affair with the rails , but here are a few highlights and a few bonus photos.

Model Trains at Union Station D.C.


(Union Station train display; photo by Stephen J. Boitano)

Amtrak is celebrating National Day Train Day with free events that include model train displays, tours of private railroad cars, cooking demonstrations and a wide range of other activities at train stations in New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. Each of these stations will also be offering something extra:

Photo of Babe Ruth in baseball exhibit

(Babe Ruth photo courtesy Baseball Hall of Fame)

At Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, there will an exhibit titled Baseball Junction: The History of Baseball and the American Railroad with memorabilia, photos and videos. Several former major league players will be on hand to sign autographs as well.

(Muddy Waters poster from the Chicago Blues Museum)

At Chicago’s Union Station, they’ll be talking about the role train travel played in the history of blues music in America.  Posters and other memorabilia from the Chicago Blues Museum will be on display and there will be a performance of train-themed blues songs by Big Bill and Larry “Mud” Morganfield, who are the sons of legendary blues musician Muddy Waters. Mississippi Delta blues musician Bobby Rush will join them.

(Railroad Braceros courtesy Aaron Castañeda Gamez)

And Union Station in Los Angeles will have an exhibit about the Railroad Braceros.  During World War II, there was a shortage of manual laborers in the United States and thousands of Mexican citizens were invited to come to the United States as part of the bracero, or guest worker, program.  The more than 130,000 Mexican men who joined the ranks of the Railroad Braceros helped build and maintain the country’s passenger rail system.

There are more than 130 other events marking National Train Day around the country. To find out what’s happening in your town, check NationalTrainDay.com.