Hudson Group

Free coffee at airports for military members

Hudson Counter Card


Hudson Group has brought back its free coffee program for uniformed members of the US and Canadian Armed Forces.

From now through July 4, (including Memorial Day weekend, Victoria Day, Canada Day and July 4) Hudson cafes in airports and transit terminals across North America will be offering uniformed service members a complimentary cup of joe, courtesy of the company’s president and CEO, Joe DiDomizio, who created the program after an appearance on the Undercover Boss TV show.

The summertime free coffee offer is in addition to the regular 20 percent discount that Hudson Group offers to all active North American service men and women year-round.

The free coffee will be available in 52 Hudson-operated Food & Beverage locations, including Euro Café, Dunkin’ Donuts, Aeromart, Alki Bakery (Seattle), Jason’s Deli and TexPress Gourmet (Dallas Love Field), Carpe Diem (Mobile) and Cups (Jackson, MS).

Cigars and pashimas at the airport

I spent the day walking the aisles of the exhibition hall at the annual conference of  ACI-NA: Airports Council International – North America, being held this week in Pittsburgh.

I’ll be writing a column for USA TODAY on some of the intriguing services and amenities on the horizon for travelers, but wanted to share a few tidbits from the day.

The folks from the upscale Graycliff Cigar Company have set up two cigar lounges at Nashville International Airport and are in talks to expand the idea to several other airports.  The company, which also markets gourmet coffee and fancy watches, has a cigar maker on duty here making cigars from several kinds of tobacco.

Graycliff cigar maker at ACI-NA

Graycliff cigar maker at ACI-NA

And here’s a factoid I learned today:

Airport shops run by the Hudson Group sell more than 100,000 rayon, Pashima-style scarves a year.

Pashima scarves at ACI

Laura Samuels of the Hudson Group with scarves

More tomorrow….

Tidbits for travelers: Free trips and free flu shots

Doesn’t Paris sound good right about now?

Then sign up to win a pair of tickets (from Pittsburgh) to Paris – courtesy of Pittsburgh’s WHIRL Magazine, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Delta Air Lines, Entries will be accepted through May 7, 2010. But why wait?

Lufthansa Airlines isn’t giving away tickets to Paris, but if you suggest the winning name of the airline’s new A380 airplane, you’ll win a million miles and can go where you want.

The names I entered? Spot. Pookie. Stripe.

Think you can do better?  Then enter Lufthansa’s contest here.

[And keep in mind: Lufthsansa pilots are planning  a strike from February 22-25, 2010. So if you already have a trip scheduled during those days, be sure to check with the airline on the status of your flight.]

It’s still flu season and there are still lots of airports where you can get a seasonal or H1N1 flu vaccine.

If you’re heading to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) you can get an H1N1 flu shot (or mist ) for free.

For the fourth year in a row the airport is partnering with local health organizations to offer free flu vaccines to passengers.  The vaccines will be available Monday, February 22 through Friday, February 26 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – at Sky Harbor’s Terminal 4 on level 3 before the security checkpoints on both the east and west ends

And, when you’re shopping at an airport in the next few weeks, consider dropping some bills into one of the collection boxes  the Hudson Group has placed in each of its airport stores, including Hudson News, Hudson Booksellers, cafes and specialty retail shops.  The company is matching customer donations and will forward all contributions to the American Red Cross for the relief efforts in Haiti.