Harriet Baskas

CVG celebrating National Aviation Day – with hot dogs, ice cream

Courtesy Henry Ford Museum

 

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is celebrating National Aviation Day (Aug 19), which commemorates the history and Orville Wright’s birthday, with ice-cream, chili and aviation-themed giveaways.

 

More than 2,000 arriving passengers will be treated to Gold Star Chili cheese coneys (hot dogs) and Graeter’s Ice Cream. There will also be a band, giveaways and other surprises at the Welcome Point of the CVG Terminal.

 

CVG will also host a scavenger hunt on social media for passengers to find Wilbur Wright in the Terminal and two Concourses. Hints will be shared on Twitter and prizes will be awarded to the first passengers who spot Wilbur, snap a photo with him, and share on CVG’s Twitter account.

 

And what’s National Aviation Day without some plane spotting? At 2 p.m., there will also be free Mr. Softee ice-cream (first-come, first-served) and aviation-themed treats out at the airport’s airplane viewing area (1459 Donaldson Hwy, Erlanger, KY). 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17 is evidently Black Cat Appreciation Day, so we bring you this photo of a member of the 13 Flying Black Cats – an early aerial stunt team – from the archives of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

The Flickr caption on this photos says: 1st Lieut. Frank B. Estell stands by his “Texas Longhorn” Jenny at the North Memphis Driving Park, Memphis, Tennessee, on April 12, 1919.

Hate customs lines? Get the Mobile Passport Control app

It’s not a secret. It’s free. And it can saves hours of time for travelers entering the United States after a long international flight.

Yet, so few people have downloaded and use the Mobile Passport Control app provided by the US Customs and Border Protection that you’ll feel like you’re getting away with something when you use it to breeze through the line ahead of everyone else – often ahead of even those who have paid for and are trying to use the Global Entry machines – at more than 20 airports and one sea port of entry, including:

  •     Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  •     Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  •     Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  •     Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  •     Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  •     Denver International Airport (DEN)
  •     Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  •     Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  •     William P. Hobby Houston International Airport (HOU)
  •      Los Angeles International Airport (Terminals 4, 7 and TBIT)
  •     Miami International Airport (MIA)
  •     Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  •     John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  •     Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  •     Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  •     Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
  •     Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  •     San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  •     San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  •     Seattle Sea-Tac Airport (SEA)
  •     Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  •     Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  •     Port Everglades (PEV)

U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors can use the app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store – and is now part of the Miami International Airport app.

Once you download the app you create a profile with your passport info and some other data and then, right before you land, you simply open the app and fill in some details about your current flight and answer the standard questions about whether or not you’re carrying more than $10,000 in cash or have been hanging about farm animals.

When your flight lands and you’ve taken your phone out of airport mode, you can submit your answers through the app and then just show the QR code that pops up to the customs officer as you sashay out of the arrivals area – past all those other people standing in line.

 

 

Still time to help Brussels Airlines choose a special livery

Brussels Airlines has planes with special paint jobs celebrating four Belgian icons (Rackham, Magritte, Trident and Amare), and has a contest underway till the end of August inviting suggestions for a fifth.

Here are just a few of the suggestions that have been submitted so far. There’s still time to send in your own.

Smurfs!

 

The Atomium – a cool leftover from the World’s Fair held in Brussels in 1958.

And of course, a version of the famous Mannekin Pis statue:

Have a better idea? Be sure to send it in.

Free movies & games at Frankfurt Airport

 

If you have to get to the airport really early – or wait around for a few hours during a layover – why not take in a movie?

You could watch it on your computer or tablet of course, but an increasing number of airports are showing movies – for free – in their own movie theaters.

The latest to add this cinematic amenity is the Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, which has set up two “Movie World’s” in Terminal 1, on Piers A and Z, to show full-length movies, documentaries and some popular series.

The screening areas don’t have rows of seats, but are set up in a living-room style, with carpeting, couches and small niche seating areas, with TV screens. Each theater can accommodate 22 people in eight separate viewing niches and, like airplane entertainment systems, travelers can choose what language to watch a film in and when to start it.

There are a handful of other airports that offer movie theaters for travelers,  including Portland International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Sinagpore’s Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and some others. I’ve wrote about airport movie theaters in one of my “At the Airport” columns on USA TODAY.

No movies? How about gaming?

For those who would rather play computer games than watch a movie on a layover, Frankfurt Airport has also opened a second Gaming World offering free, controller-based, interactive games such as FIFA, NBA and racing and a variety of others. “Scientists have shown that playing video games helps overcome jet lag,” says Frankfort Airport operator, Fraport, and these games “have the extra benefit of reactivating tired limbs after hours of sitting still in the plane.”

Not sure if that’s true, but free games – and movies – are certainly welcome airport amenities.

Look for Movie World at Frankfurt Airport in Terminal by Gate A58 and Gate Z58 and find the Gaming World areas in Terminal one by Gate A52 and Gate Z54.