Cities Line Up Freebies for Stranded Passengers

by  Molly Fergus | Apr 21, 2010
Passport / goodmoments/iStock

It’s no newsflash that Iceland’s eruption has sent the travel world into a tizzy, closing airspace across swaths of Europe and leaving flyers to camp out at airports worldwide (not to mention the cost to the U.S. economy – at least $650 million at last count). The silver lining in this whole mess is that travelers are using the unexpected downtime to disconnect and sightsee, and a few companies are stepping up and cutting costs. Here, we round up the best giveaways for anyone still sleeping on an airport cot:

New York
Through Friday, visit nearly all of the city’s world-class museums for free; knock 15 percent off Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe it or Not tickets; wave hello to Lady Liberty on a 15 percent-off Circle Line Cruise; and get 15 percent off select hotel rates.  Bring a passport and flight ticket or boarding pass for entrance.

Orlando’s theme park gates are wide open to stranded passengers this week. Through Wednesday, Disney World Park Hopper passes are free; Universal Orlando is eliminating admission charges; and SeaWorld entrance is complimentary. To pick up free tickets, bring a photo ID and cancelled boarding pass or travel itinerary.

United Kingdom
Tour sprawling estates and cozy cottages for free thanks to the United Kingdom National Trust, which waived admission for foreign travelers to nearly all of its 350 locations in the U.K. Bring a passport and flight ticket for free entrance.

Stranded shouldn’t mean lost, which is why the travel gurus at Lonely Planet are giving away iPhone App guides to 13 European cities impacted by the ash: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, and Vienna. The downloads usually cost between $10 and $15 and are up for grabs for everyone through Thursday.

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