This time of year isn’t complete without brightly decorated trees, snowy scenes — and enormous lines at the airport.

Getting stuck at the airport due to a delay is as hallowed a holiday tradition as stockings hung by the chimney — but this year, holiday delays could be cause for celebration thanks to Shake Shack.

From Dec. 22-24, Shake Shack is giving away free fries for travelers whose flights are delayed or canceled.

A ShackBurger, cheese fries, and milkshake

Credit: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

Travelers held up at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before Christmas can head to the Shake Shack in Terminal 4 with proof of their delay. Shake Shack’s “Fry Attendants” will give you free fries if you can show them on your mobile device that your flight that day was either canceled or delayed. (You’re eligible for one free crinkle-cut fry per delayed ticket, so if you’re traveling with family, you can all dine on Shake Shack fries while waiting for your flight.)

If you’re traveling from another airport and your flight is affected on those days, you can still get free fries. Take a selfie in front of your departure gate board, being sure that there’s proof the flight was either canceled or delayed. Tag @shakeshack on Instagram and you can win a digital voucher for free fries. The burger eatery will slide into your DMs with everything you need to claim your free fries.

This year, AAA estimates that more than 6 million Americans will head to the airport from Dec. 23 through Jan 2, the highest number of travelers since the start of the pandemic. Hopper reported that domestic flight bookings for this year are 89% higher than compared to 2020. Dec. 23 is likely to be the busiest travel day, followed by Jan. 2 and 3.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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