free stuff

Alaska Airlines’ secret weapon to reduce plastic use

Today Alaska Airlines kicks off a campaign aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics.

The secret weapon in the plan? You.

The airline’s #FillBeforeYouFly initiative is asking passengers to pitch in to reduce the use of single-use plastics inflight by bring their own water bottle and filling it up at the airport before they board.

To kick off the campaign, today Alaska will be giving out complimentary reusable water bottles in all 7 Alaska Airlines’ lounges and on select flights leaving Seattle and San Francisco International Airports.

In addition, the airline says it will plant a tree for every passenger who brings a pre-filled water bottle onto their flight and posts a photo to social media tagging @AlaskaAir with the hashtag #FillBeforeYouFly.

“Our ultimate goal is to work together with our guests and employees to improve the health of our water by reducing plastic use,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of external relations. ““Land, water, and animals are incredibly special parts of the places we live and fly – and we’re in this for the long term.”

Alaska estimates that if just 10% of its passengers bring their own pre-filled water bottle when they fly and choose reusables, it could save more than 700,000 plastic water bottles and 4 million plastic cups per year.

This isn’t Alaska Airline’s first step towards helping to save the planet: in 2018, Alaska became the first airline to replace single-use, plastic stir straws and citrus picks with sustainable alternatives and the airline recently replaced bottled beer with aluminum cans, which are lighter and easier to recycle.

At the Airport: Summer camp at PHL Airport

It may seem as if Philadelphia International Airport has a summer camp.

The Just Plane Fun program at PHL is the airport’s summer-long entertainment program that includes live performances, beauty care demonstrations, educational and informational displays, artist demonstrations, interactive arts and crafts activities for kids and adult, historical impersonators, caricaturists, food sampling and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the menu this week:

Today, July 23, there will be free tastings at Legal Sea Foods in the B/C connector from 11 am to noon.

Tomorow, July 24, you can pick up a free food samples at Noobar in Concourse B from noon to 2 p.m.

On July 25, there will be a story-time and coloring at the airport library in the D/E Connector from noon to 1 p.m. The library is also home to a fun, free short dispenser as well.

PHL short story dispenser
Courtesy PHL Airport

Later that afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m. there will be complimentary summer drink samples at Chickie’s & Pete’s on Concourse E and Gatorade Zero sampling at the B/C connector stage from 4 to 6 p.m.

Not heading through PHL this week? Don’t worry. There are fresh ‘summer camp’ activities popping up each week. Many are listed ahead of time in the “Happenings” section of the PHL SHOP DINE page but many activities just pop up.

At airports: cupcake vending + free Spring Training care kit

Here at Stuck at The Airport we love two things: cool treats that come out of airport vending machines (looking at you SouveNEAR and Farmer’s Fridge) and free stuff handed out in the terminals.

Today we have both:

For cupcake fans and those in need of something sweet at any hour of the day or night in the airport, Las Vegas, McCarran International has a Sprinkles vending machine that dispenses cupcakes 24 hours a day.

And, through March 31, passengers traveling through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on their way to Spring Training baseball games can pick up a free care pack filled with sunscreen, lip balm, sunflower seeds and other items that might be useful to have on hand during a baseball game.

The free AZ Care Packs are being offered at the US CareWays Airport Urgent Care center inside Drugs & More (Terminal 4/Pre-Security, near the C gates) to anyone showing an electronic or printed Spring Training ticket.

Inside the kit you’ll find sunscreen, lip balm, tissues, bug repellant, sunflower seeds, Big League Chew gum and a luggage tag.  

And for those who treat Spring Training season like Spring Break from college, the urgent care center is also offering discounts for passengers heading to or from Spring Training on services such as an IV Nutrient “Cocktail” Infusion with an immunity boost to prevent maladies such as dehydration, headaches and illness.

Free chowder at SEA airport

Monday, February 25, 2019 is National Chowder Day. To celebrate, the Pacific Northwest restaurant chain, Anthony’s, is giving away a free cup of chowder with each entree purchase.

One place to take advantage of this offer is at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which has an Anthony’s restaurant in the central terminal area overlooking the airfield.

The restaurant has been one of highest grossing and most popular dining spots at SEA airport for years, but the restaurant is closing at the end of March as part of the airport’s refresh of airport dining venues.

So, beyond the lure of free chowder on National Chowder Day, if you’re passing through SEA airport on Monday, February 25, 2019, this is a good time to stop in an enjoy a meal with a view at the airport Anthony’s.

Free stuff from airlines? Look for it on the ground

Courtesy UW Digital Collections

Don’t throw out – or delete – your airline boarding pass once you tough down.

Here’s a story I recently put together for CNBC about all the hidden perks airline – and railroad – boarding passes can provide.

Bonuses for air travelers include everything from free ski lift tickets, to complimentary wine tastings and discounts on meals, ground transportation and adventures.

Some of the deals below are offered for limited times or only during certain seasons. Others can be used multiple times. Read the program details and, of course, don’t be too quick to delete your boarding pass image from your phone or crumple up that paper pass after your trip.

Ski free

Skiers can score a free lift ticket and, in some cases, free or discounted gear rental by showing an Alaska Airlines boarding pass at a dozen ski resorts in Alaska, California, Canada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Utah. Most of the deals invite travelers to hit the slopes on the days they arrive or depart and can represent a savings of up to $200.

At some resorts, such as Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe, California, guests who show a same-day boarding pass from any commercial airline receive a complimentary lift ticket for the day they arrive.

Sip and ship wine for free

In Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of California, an Alaska Airlines boarding pass is a win-win for fans of wine.

Through the airline’s “Wine Flies Free” program, members of the airline’s Mileage Plan frequent flyer plan may check a case (12 bottles) of wine for free when flying domestically on Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and SkyWest flights from 29 west coast cities, including San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Boise, ID.

In the wine regions of both Oregon and Washington, hundreds of participating wineries also offer complimentary tastings to anyone showing an in-bound Alaska Airlines boarding pass and proof of Mileage Plan membership.

And as part of Washington’s Taste and Tote program with Alaska, the drop-off fee will be waived for one-way Hertz rental cars picked up in Yakima, Pasco/Tri-Cities or Walla Walla and returned at one of the other two cities in the program.

Boarding pass deals from international carriers

Turkish Airlines passengers with layovers of between six and 24 hours in Istanbul can show their boarding passes at the Hotel Desk and join a free highlight tour of the city.

Korean Air’s Excellent Boarding Pass program offers a full week of perks in Korea to passengers who hold onto their international boarding pass from an overseas region. Passengers traveling from Korea to an international destination can take advantage of boarding pass offers for a full month.

In Korea, the perks include discounts on everything from meals, attractions and cultural performances to cell phone rentals, rail tickets and medical services. Worldwide, the perks range from discounts at outlet malls in the United States and 30 percent off single visits to the aquarium, zoo and other attractions in Sydney, Australia. 

Singapore Airlines’ Boarding Pass Privileges program offers Singapore Airlines and SilkAir passengers a full month of discounts on hotel stays, car rentals, meals, purchases and attractions, including the Gardens by Bay, the Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore Zoo. Deals are updated every six months and include discounts on shopping, dining and spa services inside Changi Airport as well.

The Magic Boarding Pass program from Asiana Airlines offers passengers discounts on tours, transportation, hotels, restaurants, shopping, theater and attractions around the world for up to a month after a flight. In Korea, the perks include discounts at Seoul’s Lotte World Aquarium and JeJu’s Teddy Bear Museum. In the U.S., Asiana Airlines passengers get a discount when riding the Hawaii’s Waikiki Trolley. And in Rome, pass holders gets a free gift with purchase at the Hard Rock Café.

Train travelers get boarding pass perks too

The boarding pass perks aren’t limited to air travelers. Amtrak and Eurostar riders get bonuses too.

In California, Amtrak has a discount offer on Disneyland Resort theme park tickets for passengers with reservations on the Pacific Surfliner. Many transit providers along the route also provide free bus or shuttle rides to passengers who show their Pacific Surfliner ticket. Train passengers may also purchase discounted day passes for the Los Angeles Metro and San Diego MTS buses and trolleys in the Surfliner’s Café Car.

A “Car Free” promotion in Santa Barbara  offers discounts on tours, attractions and meals to Amtrak ticket holders as well.

And Eurostar boarding passes entitle passengers to 2-for-1 tickets on entry and special paid exhibitions at museums in destination cities including London, Brussels, Paris and Lille, France.

Have you found a hidden perk in your boarding pass? Let us know!