New York now offers one-stop shopping for Broadway tickets

By Amy Chen
October 3, 2012

Today in Times Square, the new Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center opened, offering access to advance and same-day Broadway tickets, and free weekly performances by your favorite singers.

Although ticket prices won't beat the half-price deals at the nearby TKTS booth, you'll pay the same as you would at the theater box office. If you're not sure which show to see, the one-stop center means you won't have to schlep to each theater to check availability for the hottest shows, including Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and The Lion King. If you buy a ticket, you'll also receive restaurant suggestions and hotel reservations.

UPDATE Sept. 19: The center charges the same base price as the theater box office, but tacks on a $6.50 service fee -- 50 cents less than Ticketmaster's $7 convenience charge. You won't pay a service fee if you buy directly at the box office.

The center will also host SIRIUS Live on Broadway, a new one-hour broadcast that showcases interviews and live performances by Broadway stars, followed by 15 minutes of photo ops and autograph signings. Seats are limited, so arrive early if you don't want to stand. Next Wednesday (Sept. 24) features cast members from Spring Awakening. For a list of scheduled guests, check out (12 p.m. Wednesdays, free).

The Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center is located in the Times Square Information Center at 1560 Broadway between 46th and 47th streets. Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.


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Alitalia deal falls apart! Liquidation is possible

UPDATED Sept. 18, 11:24 ET: The only consortium willing to buy Alitalia has withdrawn its offer, as unions remain unable to agree to a deal, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Chaos is possible. If you're flying Alitalia, flights may be disrupted or canceled. Alitalia's home page is listing which flights were canceled yesterday. Transatlantic flights between the U.S. and Italy are not affected so far. If you've already booked your ticket, what can you do? If you're flying Alitalia this month, be sure to check with before you depart to the airport to make sure your flight has not been re-scheduled or otherwise changed. Consider shipping your luggage. For details on how to do this, see our luggage-shipping report. Bring the airline's phone number with you (800/223-5730). If you're at the airport when your flight is canceled, call the number while you're walking to the airline counter (and stay on while in line). This two-pronged strategy increases your chance of getting on the next flight. If flights are canceled and you're unable to rebook an another Alitalia flight, contact a rival airline to see if they are offering any discounted fares for Alitalia ticketholders. You may want to consider hiring the services of a travel agent to identify what deals are available for you, or else call the reservations line of a few major international carriers. If your flight is canceled, be sure to get proof in writing by paper (at the gate) or by email (at home). If you don't have proof of a cancellation, you're facing an uphill battle if the charge eventually shows up on your credit card bill and you need to dispute it. Now that you've made a purchase, you're better off relying on your credit card company as back-up protection. If Alitalia shuts down, file a dispute with your credit card company immediately, to get reimbursed. Don't attempt to cancel your tickets now. If Alitalia is reorganized or liquidated, it may take so long for Alitalia to process your refund that your paperwork may be lost. A credit card company will have more leverage to press your case for reimbursement. Be wary of tight connections. Many international flights between the U.S. and Italy involve connections that need to be made in less than an hour's time. If your itinerary requires you to change planes, you risk being unable to make your onward connection because your first flight may be delayed or canceled due to Alitalia's troubles. Be attentive to the layover time between flights and consider paying a fee to re-book an itinerary with additional time to make any connections.