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Feb. 13, 2019, 5:21 PM GMT
By Harriet Baskas
Whether you’re winging your way to a sweetheart or to a boring business meeting this Valentine’s Day, airports and airlines have some treats on tap to sweeten the journey.
Marriage licenses at Las Vegas airport
To accommodate all the lovebirds who want to get married in Las Vegas around Valentine’s Day, the Clark County clerk’s office will once again set up a temporary office Feb. 13-16 in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 at McCarran International Airport.
Couples who fill out a marriage license pre-application online receive a reference number to present (with $77 and proper identification) at the airport pop-up clerk’s office after their flight. From there it’s an easy trip into town for a marriage ceremony presided over by Elvis or some other “only in Vegas” officiant.
Kissing booths, free chocolates and live music
At Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina, pups from the Paws for Passengers team of therapy pets will staff a “Smooches from Pooches” kissing booth in the terminal and by the gates.
Travelers can stop by to get pictures taken with one of the therapy dogs and pick up Valentine-themed (people) treats and other giveaways.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport passengers are invited to play Valentine’s Day Plinko and “Snag A Valentine” in various spots in the terminal on Valentine’s Day to win cookies and candy prizes. Random passengers seated in gate areas will also be surprised with gifts of heart-shaped box of chocolates or oversized Hershey’s Kisses.
As part of its 1000 Acts of Kindness campaign, on Valentine’s Day airport food service company HMSHost will set up its “Share Your Love” message board at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Travelers can pick up “Act of Kindness” cards with directions for performing “kindness missions” such as giving a rose to an airport employee or buying a coffee or meal for another traveler. HMSHost will provide the item needed (such as a rose or a gift voucher) for each traveler to carry out the assigned task. In addition, passengers who add cards to the message board will receive a premium dark chocolate bar and Valentine’s Day card, plus a 15 percent discount offer at participating HMSHost dining locations.
Passengers at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California will receive sweet treats throughout Valentine’s Day and be serenaded by master violinist Patrick Contreras.
At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Sarah’s Candies will be handing out samples of Godiva chocolates between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day and, at Chicago Midway Airport there will be live entertainment (a Tiny Suitcase Concert), plus free Valentine’s Day cards distributed to passengers during the midday.
From Feb. 12 to 14, London’s Heathrow airport will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with live music, a roving caricaturist to sketch travelers, and Valentine’s Day card-making stations in all terminals.
Travelers doing last-minute Valentine’s Day shopping will find complimentary treats and special deals on jewelry, gourmet chocolates and other gifts in airport shops in Baltimore, Phoenix, Chicago and elsewhere.
At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, for example, several shops will be offering samples of “Unreal” Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and Tammie Coe Cakes will be gifting customers heart-shaped cookies with every purchase.
In the air: Free drinks, free chocolates and, maybe, a free flight
As is its tradition, Southwest Airlines, whose stock ticker code is LUV, will serve customers 21 years of age and over one free premium drink (beer, wine, or a cocktail) during Valentine’s Day flights.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) plans to give out 150,000 complimentary chocolates to passengers on Valentine’s Day. First and Business Class travelers on America, Europe and India routes will receive “Orangette” chocolate from chocolatier Pierre Hermé Paris, while domestic and international passengers traveling in all classes will receive chocolates from Japan’s Meiji THE Chocolate.
And, if you or your traveling companion is named Valentine, Wow Air wants to give you a free flight to Iceland from one of four available locations in the U.S.
The offer is good on round trip bookings for two passengers through Feb. 14 for travel Feb. 10-19 this year. Passengers who mail Wow Air post-flight proof of being named Valentine will be eligible for reimbursement of the outbound portion of their flight. But read the terms and conditions carefully before breaking out the champagne.
And for those who would rather take their sweetheart on a train instead of a plane, look for a special offer from Amtrak on Valentine’s Day.
Harriet Baskas is an NBC News contributor who writes about travel and the arts.
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