Airport shops

Souvenir Sunday: holiday gifts from airports

CANDY

Last minute shoppers rejoice: it’s now possible to do all your holiday shopping at the airport and find great – and often offbeat – gifts for everyone on your list.

Here’s a sampling of some of the items I found for a recent article on Mashable.

Those artisanal-painted chocolate caramels above are just a sample of the artist-made gifts that come out of the SouveNEAR vending machines at Kansas City International Airport.

At Portland International Airport, the old carpet is gone, but not forgotten. PDX carpet swag is for sale in the Made in Oregon stores. Courtesy Port of Portland

The recently replaced carpet at Portland International Airport became a social medial darling and oodles of PDX carpet-themed items are now for sale at the Made in Oregon shop at the airport. The neck pillow is good for travel, but there are also mugs, t-shirts, coasters, jam, beer and vodka to choose from.

And.. in the over-the-top category, consider this $1500 Iberico ham sold at Miami International Airport that comes with its own leather carrying case.

At Miami International Airport, this $1500 ham, comes with its own leather carrying case_Courtesy Newslink Group.

See the full story – with lots more ideas for last minute gifts to buy at the airport – in my story on Mashable.

Spotted at Rapid City Regional Airport

Rapid City Airport rug

For a week of adventure in South Dakota – including visit to Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug and Deadwood – my trip begins at Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP).

In a gift shop stocked with lots of great regional items, I spotted these two gems:

Rapid City Airport buffalo chip

Rapid city AIrport stuffed animal

The airport welcomes passengers with some great vintage photos (more on that later in the week) and with the South Dakota’s first licensed homebuilt aircraft:

Rapid City Airport Mt. Rushmore photo

Rapid City Airport Triwing

Rapid City Airport Triwing sign

And, at the baggage claim carousel, this creative advertisement for casino gaming in Deadwood, which just added roulette, craps and Keno this past July.

Rapid City Airport carousel

Greetings from: Singapore Changi Airport

Changi candy

It’s always a delight to spend a day touring Singapore Changi Airport, which offers a wide array of truly useful amenities and a smorgasbord of entertaining treats.

Here are some snaps taken this week during a 5-mile airport hike that included a stop at Hobbiton, an encounter with a giant Oreo cookie and a view of the airfield from one of the world’s best airport powder rooms.

Air New Zealand has set up a Hobbit hole  in the departure hall of Terminal 3.

Air New Zealand has set up a Hobbit hole in the departure hall of Terminal 3.

The Easter Bunny is still on duty at Changi Airport

The Easter Bunny is still on duty at Changi Airport

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This giant Oreo cookie had a helper handing out samples of tiny Oreo cookies.

 

Changi restroom

This Changi Airport powder room has picture windows offering great views out to the airfield. I’ve been assured those outside cannot see in… Photo courtesy Yvette Cardozo.

 

Cool stuff spotted at: Boston Logan Airport

Have some extra time to spend in the United Airlines portion of Terminal B at Boston Logan International Airport before your flight?

Lucky you!

Logan _HB with colonia patriot

Photo op with a Colonial Patriot

Except for the oatmeal that I had to send back – twice – at one of the sit-down restaurants by the gates,  I spotted these charming – and useful – amenities.

Logan Flowers in loo

Fresh flowers! And blue counters color-coordinated with the powerful Dyson hand-dryer in the women’s loo. When I came back two days later, the flowers were changed out for a fresher bunch.

Logan Airport - bathroom timer

Go with confidence: a hard-to-miss timer in the women’s restroom showed the correct date and time and the time when the area was last serviced.

Logan - green waiting area

Living room or gate hold area? Everyone one of these comfortable chairs had a table and power.

Greetings from Victoria, B.C.

YYJ Airport_Victoria_Flower_Sunrise

These flowers welcome travelers at B.C.’s Victoria International Airport. Courtesy of the airport.

Two airport firsts for me this weekend on a very short trip to Canada.

I took my first Kenmore Air seaplane ride from Seattle to Victoria, B.C. and I finally had a chance to visit Victoria International Airport.

I actually took two seaplane rides.

Kenmore Air

The first flight from Seattle to Victoria had to turn around due to low visibility and return to Kenmore Air’s Lake Union base. While some passengers (there were five of us on board – plus one tiny dog) rushed off to find alternate transportation to Victoria, I considered myself lucky to have gotten a bonus scenic tour and settled in to wait for the next flight.

Clearing customs on arrival at the seaplane terminal in Victoria, B.C. was incredibly easy: just two Canada Border Services Agency employees in a shack on the dock asking each passenger if they had fruits and vegetables with them and if they’ve been near anyone with Ebola. The entire plane was processed in two minutes.

The  Victoria Seaplane Terminal is tiny, but packed with amenities that include free Wi-Fi and complimentary computer workstations, newspapers, coffee, fruit and morning pastries.

Then it was on to Victoria International Airport  (YYJ), about 30 minutes away, for a tour.

The airport serves about 1.5 million passengers a year and besides being on lovely Vancouver Island, it has a lot going for it. Here are snaps from my tour:

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Inside the terminal, the foliage is live and the color palette for the finishes draw inspiration from “At Beacon Hill Park,” a painting by the well-known Victoria artist Emily Carr.

atbeaconhillpark

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Spinnakers On the Fly, an airport outpost of a popular local gastropub, has 12 Spinnakers beers on tap, including one called, Departures,’ brewed just for the airport

spinakers

The gift shop sells lots of locally-made Roger’s Chocolates and a wide assortment of handmade gift items.

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In addition to a play area for kids, an art-filled indoor observation deck, pet relief areas, workstations and bike assembly stations with loaner tools, the airport has several water fountains with water bottle re-fill attachments and counters that keep track of how many plastic bottles are being kept out of landfills.

YYJ COUNTER

Surrounding the airport is the Flight Path – an almost 6-mile biking and hiking path with informational signs about the landmarks and history of the area along the way such as Hospital Hill, once the site of medical facilities for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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An interactive map of the Flight Path includes the historical information listed on each sign along the path.

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