Why is Maui’s Kahului Airport code OGG?

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For most travelers to Maui, the airport code for Kahului Airport – OGG – has been a mystery, if they’ve thought about it at all.

Now there’s an 8-foot tall, 42-foot wide information-packed wall at the airport that tells the story behind the three letter code. And it turns out the airport is named for Capt. Jimmy Hogg, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot,Kaua‘i native and aviation pioneer whose life and flying career is charmingly described in the video below.

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The new history wall is at Gate 19 at Maui’s Kahului Airport and was presented by Hawaiian Airlines, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Transportation Security Administration.

(All photos courtesy Hawaiian Airlines, except for the OGG image, which is courtesy of O8 Left, a really cool line of aviation and airport-related art.

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Airline amenity kits – part 2

Here’s part 2 of my round-up of cool, collectible airline amenity kits, originally produced for CNBC Road Warrior. See part 1 here.

7_JetBlue amenity kit

A complimentary amenity kit filled with deluxe-sized, beauty, grooming and lifestyle products chosen by the sample-savvy folks at Birchbox is one of the perks included with JetBlue’s upgraded, coast-to-to-coast Mint service introduced in June, 2014. The kit content will change quarterly but the mix of premium sample items started off with everything from Benefit Cosmetics mascara in the women’s kit to Ernest Supplies Cooling Shave Cream in the kit for men.

8A_Finnair_Eco-Friendly amenity kit

Finnair offers business class passengers a minimalist, eco-friendly amenity kit that includes socks, an eye-mask and earplugs packaged in a brown paper envelope. A more elaborate, but equally-eco amenities kit, with items in a green tea or birch scent, is available on request.

9_AirFrance_Business Amenity Kit

Business class customers on Air France now receive an amenity kit filled with Clarins cosmetics as well as mouthwash, slipper socks, toothbrush and eye shade. Passengers in the airline’s La Premiere cabins receive a leather cosmetics kit designed by Givenchy filled with skin care products by Biologique Recherche, including face cream, an anti-fatigue roll-on for the eyes, an eye mask, lip balm, hand cream and an oshibori hand towel.

10_Etihad_FIRST CLASS SOUGHA MALE

Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, gives passengers in economy, business and first class cabins amenity kits that feature patterns of Sadou, a colorful, intricate and centuries-old Abu Dhabi weaving craft traditionally used on blankets, cushions and Bedouin tents. In addition to the nice array of products inside the bags, “I love the fact that Etihad has invested in an authentic design for their kits, embracing their cultural roots,” said Jonny Clark, a commercial pilot who evaluates airline products and design at TheDesignAir.

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Airline amenity kits -Part 1

Airline amenity kits filled with personal care items have been handed out to business and/or first-class passengers on long commercial flights since at least the 1950s. Utilitarian at first, today these chic containers and their posh contents have become coveted and collectible and are often designed by top designers and filled with luxury products.

Here’s a look at some travelers’ favorite kits, past and present from the slide show I originally put together for CNBC Road Warrior.

1_PANAMKIT_SFOMUSEUM

A Pan Am World Airways amenity kit from the 1960s. “The President Special” was the name given to the airline’s first class service on several high-profile international routes. Courtesy SFO Museum

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Courtesy SFO Museum

The SFO Museum has 355 airline kits representing 57 airlines in its collection. The earliest were called “Remain Over Night” kits and produced in “his” and “hers” versions by the Airline Textile Manufacturing Company (AirTex) based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The men’s kit included deodorant, aftershave, hair cream, a razor, shoe polish and a comb. The women’s kit had hair spray, cleansing cream, hand cream and nail polish remover, according to the SFO Museum.

11_Qantas_Kate Spade and Jack Spade

Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, partnered with Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade a couple of years ago to design exclusive amenity kits for customers traveling in the business class cabin. Each kit includes a selection of luxury Malin+Goetz skin care products as well as an eye mask, ear plugs, socks and other comfort essentials.

3A_DELTA Air Lines - new kit with lens cleaner

Delta’s Tumi amenity kit gets high marks from frequent travelers for both its contents and its re-usability. “It stands head and shoulders above the competition, with a good range of products, including lip balm, which is always something I forget,” said John Walton at Routehappy. It can also “easily be reused to pack thing likes extra batteries or headphone cords,” said Chris McGinnis, of Travelskills.com.

4A_SingaporeFerragamo Amenity Kit_Male and Female Products

Singapore Airline’s Salvatore Ferragamo-branded amenity kits stand out to Paul Shrater, co-founder of the online travel-size site Minimus.biz because “not only is Ferragamo a well-known luxury brand, but the kits include travel-sized perfume and cologne, a rarity in amenity kits and a product we recently launched due to customer demand.”

5A_EVA Rimowa Amenity Kits - contents

Sadly EVA Air has not created Hello Kitty-themed amenity kits to go with its fleet of Hello Kitty-themed aircraft, but when the airline introduced three brand-new Boeing 777-300ERs on its North America routes in the summer of 2014, it also introduced two new colors for its sought-after Rimowa amenity kits. Royal Laurel business class passengers receive one color on inbound flights and the other outbound. Contents complement the shells’ colors and include natural lip balm and moisturizing products by HARNN, lens-cleaning cloths and adjustable silk eye masks.

6_Japan airlines contents of amenity kit

All the items in Japan Airlines’ kit for First Class passengers “were perfectly color-coordinated,” said Oonagh Shiel, the editor who recently led a review of almost thirty airline amenity kits for Cheapflights.com. “The toothbrush matched the hair brush and the eye mask and we didn’t see another kit with a built-in hanger,” which open up possibilities for after-flight use in a hotel or at home, said Shiel. The airline distributes a beige canvas kits on flights departing Japan and a camel corduroy version on flights headed there.

More airline kits tomorrow.

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Route round-up: more ways to get from here to there

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Increasingly, you can get there from here. Here’s a round-up of some new airline routes that may help.

British Airways will begin its San Francisco – London service with an Airbus A380 next summer. The airline began A380 service between Los Angeles and London last September 2013 and starts A380 service to Washington DC in October.

Air New Zealand announced it is adding more flights to its North American routes. with additional service from Vancouver and Los Angeles to Auckland.

Starting in April 2015, ANZ will fly LAX-AKL three times daily through October. Starting in June 2015, ANZ will fly YVR-AKL five times a week through September.

Southwest Airlines will add service between Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and San José, Costa Rica, starting in March 2015.

And Icelandair announced new seasonal non-stop service from Portland, Oregon to Reykjavik, Iceland beginning May 20, 2015 and continuing through October 21, 2015.

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Fresh shops & restaurants for PDX & LAX

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75 percent of the existing leases for shops and restaurants at Portland International Airport are expiring in 2017 and agreements for many fresh new options are just beginning to be rolled out.

The list kicks off with the recent announcement of leases for 11 new outlets that should be open in early 2015, including Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, Café Yumm!, Henry’s Tavern, Hissho Sushi, Mo’s Seafood & Chowder, a branch of The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar – and more.

Meanwhile, at Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 2 is beginning its transformation.

In the video below, Westfield shares information about its plan for 20 new dining and retail outlets and fresh amenities destined for that terminal.

The plan includes doubling the dining options – to 12 – with two Starbucks, SeaLegs Wine Bar, SLAPFISH Modern Seafood Shack The Pie Hole, Pepita Cantina; Pick Up Stix; Fresh Brothers Pizza, Ciabatta Bar; BUILT Custom Burger and Barney’s Beanery, a classic American roadhouse modeled after Route 66.

For shopping, the retail outlets will include a SPANX outlet, a Duty Free shop, 2 CNBC shops and 2 Univision shops, which will carry many products targeted to the Hispanic traveler.

Amenities-wise, we can look forward to gate areas with lounge-style seating, lots more charging stations, new restrooms, terrazzo flooring and new lighting.

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