Freebies Offered by Airports If planning an affordable trip by reviewing available cheap travel options such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, is important to you, then you familiarize yourself with free things many airports offer. Select airports have some impressive amenities like golf courses and full-service spas. However, for budget minded travelers some of the best airport perks are free to those in the know. The following are free things you can get at airports, according to Caroline Costello: • Water bottle refills. Increasingly airports are offering hydration stations where you can fill up reusable water bottles via automatic hands-free sensors. This is particularly good news since water fountains are one of the germiest places in airports. San Francisco International, Chicago O’Hare, London Heathrow, and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson are among the many major airports that offer this perk. • Several airports offer complimentary tours for travelers passing through. There are free tours of Singapore that operate out of Changi Airport. Travelers passing through Seoul’s Incheon International Airport can take a variety of free tours to temples, markets, and even a cave. Turkish Airlines offers free Istanbul tours for fliers stopping at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport so long as they are traveling on that airline. • Several airports have installed libraries where you can borrow a book or drop off one you have finished reading. Helsinki Airport offers a book swap point in its Kainuu Lounge, while Tallinn Airport has a library that operates on trust with passengers expected to return borrowed books on their return flight or at “some other time.” Amsterdam Schiphol also has a library, complete with books, iPads, and comfortable seating areas. • Whether seeking religious services or just a quiet space to sit, travelers can find free facilities for doing just that at many airports. Assorted religious and spiritual services, from interfaith chapels at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson to a quiet mediation room at Albuquerque International Sunport, are available in airports around the world. While such services are almost always free, donations are usually welcome. • Increasingly airports are offering animal relief facilities (often a fenced in patch of outdoor space) for those traveling with pets. Miami International Airport offers dog parks surrounded by white picket fences, featuring both grass and dirt surfaces as well as waste disposal stations. Other airports offer more simple options with just a patch of grass surrounded by chain link fencing. • Luggage tags are available for free at almost all airport ticket counters. They are particularly useful if you have forgotten to affix your own luggage tags. • Disabled travelers can find special assistance at airports around the world. Many airports have started programs that offer aid to just about anyone who needs it, such as young travelers, fliers who do not speak the local language, or even lost or confused passengers for free. For example, at New York’s JFFK and Newark Airports, a nonprofit programs called “Traveler’s Aid” provides support to children traveling alone, people who have lost their tickets, or anyone who has gotten separated from travel companions. Similar programs are available at many airports, from “Travelers Aid Chicago” at O’Hare Airport to “Customer Care Counters,” which can provide information in up to 170 languages, at Vancouver International Airport. • Fragile stickers and luggage tags are offered at most airline check-in counters for free. • Free Wi-Fi is being offered at an increasing number of airports including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Los Angeles, London Heathrow, Toronto Pearson, and many more. • Free yoga rooms are available at Burlington, Dallas/Ft Worth, and Miami airports. Baltimore/Washington has a two-kilometer Cardio Trail that passengers can access for free. The Yoga Room at San Francisco International Airport is said to be the world’s first airport yoga room. www.cheapfares.com