Free food

Tidbits for travelers: free buffets at JFK; free flights to nowhere

Volcano-delayed flights to and from Europe and beyond are resuming, but airport closures and flight cancellations may continue on-and-off for weeks. So this NYT tracking map may be handy for a while longer.

NYT volcano cancellation map

In the meantime, people have been opening their homes to stranded passengers and theaters, museums and restaurants have been offering discounted and free entertainment and meals to folks who found themselves stuck at the airport.  At JFK, the company that operates all the restaurants and fast-food outlets in Terminal 4 – SSP America – organized a free buffet meal for about 300 on Monday night. Breakfast for 300 was served Tuesday morning as well.

And no doubt because I spent so much time learning about the ins and outs of some very tiny and unusual airports for a Bing story titled: Easy Flier: 10 airports that reduce the hassle, I was extremely interested in this story on CNN, which discusses some other small airports around the country that end up having to offer free flights in order to maintain federal funding.

For National Clam Chowder Day: free chowder at SEA

Today, Thursday, February 25th, 2010, Ivar’s Seafood outlets in Washington and California are celebrating National Clam Chowder Day by offering a 2-for-1 deal on cups of chowder.   Happily, the deal extends to the Ivar’s Seafood Bar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).  “The airport Ivar’s is open way longer than the Ivar’s in town,” an enthusiastic employee at the airport Ivar’s told me on the telephone on Wednesday, “So you can get that deal starting at 4:30 in the morning.”

You’d think they’d also be celebrating National Clam Chowder Day over in Boston, where the Legal Sea Foods chain is well represented at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).  But no.  Via Twitter, the folks at Logan Airport told me,that there was “nothing planned. But we can tell you clam chowder is an airport favorite…and available in every terminal at BOS!”

At PHX: Customer Appreciation Day – with a chicken

Next Wednesday, October 7, during the first Customer Appreciation Day at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), passengers will be treated to free candy, newspapers, coffee samples and more.

Some airport stores will be giving away free Arizona Republic newspapers. Others will hand out candy, snacks and post cards. Many airport restaurants will offer food specials and discounts. Starbucks will have beverage and pastry samples. And Travel Ex currency exchange will be waiving fees on all currency transactions.
PHX Amelia the Airplane

Sky Harbor’s mascot, Amelia the Airplane, will be flying around (and posing for pictures) and there will surely be a crowd out at the Rental Car Center when the folks at Fresh Gourmet to Go bring out the performing chicken.


Now that’s appreciation!!