They're fondly known as the "Freddies," the coveted awards handed out to the best of the best in the airline and hotel travel rewards industry.
The 26th annual "Freddie Awards" were handed out Thursday in Seattle before an international crowd of frequent flyers and travel industry big wigs. In the travel industry, the Freddie Awards, named in honor of British aviation pioneer Sir Freddie Laker, are often compared to the Oscars or People's Choice Awards. This year, three million frequent flyers answered the call to cast their ballots.
For domestic awards, top honors for Program of the Year went to the American Advantage Program. American Advantage also took home the trophy for best Elite program for the most loyal customers.
Southwest Air's Rapid Rewards program won for best customer service and best loyalty credit card. In the domestic category for hotel reward programs, Marriott Rewards took top honors for Program of the Year, Best Promotion, and Best Redemption Ability.
In all, Freddie Awards were handed out in more than 30 categories, including travel, lodging and partnership programs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
Free document shredding
Saturday April 26th is free document shredding day. You bring your sensitive papers and commercial shredding trucks will chew it all to shreds to help keep thieves from stealing your identity. Trucks will be on hand in Bainbridge Island, Centralia, Enumclaw, Lacey, Long Beach, Milton, Puyallup, Sumner, and Tacoma. Hours vary depending on location. In most cases, the limit is three grocery bags full or two file boxes -- no plastic bags, metal or dvds.
Free, safe medicine disposal
April 26 is also "National Take Back Day" for free and safe medicine disposal. It's a chance to get rid of old, outdated, or excess medications you no longer need. It also helps keep pharmaceuticals from poisoning the environment or someone you love.
Drop-off sites will be set up across the state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. National Take Back day is a project of the Drug Enforcement Administration with help from local police departments across the state.
If you miss the April 26 event, check with your local pharmacy for other possible options in your area. In the greater Puget Sound region, Bartell Drugs has a long-established drug disposal program.
Experts say when disposing of medicines at home, empty the containers into a leak-proof plastic bag, and mix it with bad-smelling garbage -- rotten meat, rotten fruit, hardened grease, something to make the pills undesirable. Then, securely knot the bag and place it in your securely -sealed garbage can.