Travel tidbits for April 1

So much “news” today – April 1 …

WetJet has introduced Smart Seats – which let you take a seat in the airport and board the plane in that same seat..

Richard Branson announced that the Virgin Group’s U.S. operations will be moving to Branson, Missouri

There’s a report out of Florida that the Transportation Security Administration is testing a new program to help seniors make their way through airport security. The program is dubbed “Moses.”

Unlike PreCheck, TSA-MOSES requires no pre-registration. Travelers 65 or older should look for a large wooden cane with a curved handle near checkpoints, signifying a MOSES representative is available to guide them through security.

And – finally – Denver International Airport has revealed all the details about the long whispered-about bunker underneath the airport grounds.

DIA BUNKER

More April 1 news to come…

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Dallas Love Field gets a piece of Dallas history

LOVE FIELD stained glass

The impressive art-collection at Dallas Love Field Airport gets larger with the addition of an important stained glass window rescued from the demolition of an East Dallas church in the summer of 2013.

According to the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the window is part of a historically-significant work by Dallas artist and teacher Octavio Medellin and was one of four installed in a local church in 1960.

The church was demolished to build a YMCA but the four of the blue and turquoise stained glass panels were restored and reconstructed.

Love Field Stained Glass original

Now one of the restored windows – the one that was in the bell tower – will have a home in four windows above the Ticketing Hall at Dallas Love Field. Installation begins this week and should be complete by mid-April.

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Iron Chef-style cook-off at O’Hare Airport

CHEF

If you’re traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, March 31, head over to Terminal 2 (across from Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi) at 11 a.m. for the live, Iron Chef-style cooking competition.

Organized by HMSHost, which operates food and beverage outlets at many airports (and along highways), the cook-off will feature the winners of a contest held earlier this year. (See the winning videos here.)

During the “Channel Your Inner Chef” cook-off at O’Hare contestants will have 30 minutes to prepare a dish using three “surprise” ingredients – a protein, a starch and vegetable –plus one additional ingredient plucked from the herbs and vegetables growing in the airport’s aeroponic garden.

The winner of the cook-off will have their specialty dish added to the menu at one of the airport’s HMSHost-operated restaurants and they’ll get a trip back to Chicago on May 4 to attend the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation awards, being held outside of New York City for the first time.

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Souvenir Sunday: travels with Jumbo

EPSON MFP image

Found this souvenir postcard of “Jumbo” – an animal produced by cross-breeding an American bison with beef cattle.

These days they call that a beefalo. But back in 1929, when Jumbo was born, he was dubbed a catalo.

According to the promotional blurb on the envelope sold with this postcard, catalo held the promise of being a larger, superior breed of livestock.

Among the advantages:

“Longer life span, resist T.B and Blackleg, dress a greater percent of higher-priced cuts of beef, bear valuable fur, and the cows give good, rich milk and require no shelter in very cold climate.”

To spread the word and raise money to develop the new breed, in 1935 L.C. Wilson of Colville, Washington hooked 1,200-pound Jumbo up to a covered wagon and together they visited 23 states and traveled over 10,000 miles around the country, traveling at the rate of 2 miles per hour and an average of 10 or 15 miles a day.

No word if Wilson’s wife identified went along for the ride.

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Airports turn lights out for Earth Hour

LAX earth hour

Pylongs at LAX Airport will go green – and then go out – for Earth Hour 2015

 

During Earth Hour 2015 , which takes place this Saturday, March 28 around the world at 8:30 PM local time, individuals, businesses, cities, buildings, and more than 1,200 landmarks around the world – including the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bride – plan to switch off their lights for one hour to focus attention on climate change.

Close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Acropolis in Athens and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, are scheduled to go dark in support of Earth Hour and some airports around the world plan to participate as well.

At Los Angeles International Airport, the 100-foot-tall LAX Gateway pylons at the Century Boulevard entrance will be lit in various shades of green before Earth Hour. During Earth Hour – from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. – the pylons will turn off.

Mustang by Luis Jimenez

During Earth Hour Denver International Airport will turn off the illuminated DIA sign along Peña Boulevard, the illuminated sign marking the Jeppesen Terminal and the lights on the airport’s iconic “Mustang” statue.

Elsewhere, Athens International Airport will switch off the lighting on one runway and turn off lighting in the airport buildings and staff parking lots.

Dubai Airports has been switching off non-essential lights for an hour each day since March 5 at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International Airports in preparation for Earth Hour.

And at Vancouver International Airport, they’ll be switching off the base lights on the control tower and the lights around the Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe (a key piece of airport art), in the Public Observation Area, on the exterior sidewalks and in the International Food Court.

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