Yowza mobile coupons come to LAX

Several restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport have signed on to offer coupons through free smartphone app Yowza, created by TV star Greg Grunberg. (Getyowza.com)

Hate overpriced airport food?

TV star Greg Grunberg -- of "Heroes" and "Alias" fame -- is bringing his mobile couponing app, Yowza, to LAX through a partnership with HMSHost. The free app, available on iPhones and Android devices, targets travelers by pushing real-time coupons to their smartphones when they’re nearby.

Restaurants that have signed on include Pinkberry, California Pizza Kitchen and La Brea Bakery, and customers can expect to get 20% off a meal or $1 off a pastry when they purchase a coffee drink, Grunberg said in an interview.

Grunberg came up for the idea for Yowza about two years ago when he and his wife were shopping at a Bed Bath & Beyond store and realized that they’d forgotten to bring the retailer’s 20%-off coupon.

"We like to be frugal and save money, and I was like, 'Why doesn’t someone harness the power of GPS on the phone?' " he said.

Beyond the airport, Yowza offers discounts for thousands of retail stores and restaurants around the country including McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Guitar Center. More than 1 million people use the app.

"The majority of people really are looking for a deal right now and looking to save money," Grunberg said. "It’s a no-brainer -- the stigma [of couponing] is gone."

Merchants pay a monthly fee to put their offers on the app.

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