Airport shops

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.

YYJ-Flight-PATH

Gifts for Avgeeks

I’m gathering up a list of cool aviation-related products and handicrafts, just in case Santa reads StuckatTheAirport.com, or in case you’re looking for some cool gifts this holiday season.

Two for today:

Jerome Daksiewicz has a kickstarter campaign going to create a boxed set of his runway prints of 30 of the large hubs in the US and a screenprint illustrating all the runways.
 
runways

And Matthew Mahler at Skyebags has a refreshed line of items – a wallet, a tote and a Dopp kit – made from upcycled leather from old Delta Air Lines seats.

7_Skyebags Dopp Kit

Have a great avgeek gift to recommend? Send in your suggestions.

Souvenir Sunday: travel-themed gear at PHL & SEA Airport

A new shop at Philadelphia International Airport – called Pilot & Captain – is the first brick & mortar effort from the design studio The Heads of State – and is filled with travel-themed items related to what the creators call “the good old days of planes, trains & discovery”

PHL PILOT and CAPTAIN

The shop offers city-specific t-shirts, mugs, posters, notebooks and more and can be found in Terminal 3.

There’s also a new travel-themed store at Sea-Tac Airport on Concourse C called Planewear – Style is in the Air , filled with items created for the Enumclaw, Washington-based Planewear company

Planewear-storefront

Inventory includes the sassy SkyBelts, (belts made out of airplane seatbelts, which might be problematic for flight when you have to clip on the real airplane seatbelt…), Pan Am “vintage inspired” t-shirts, passport covers, luggage tags, those nostalgic Pan Am bags and kid-sized apparel.

Big things you won’t see at Heathrow’s new T2

There are plenty of fresh, new things you will see when Heathrow Airport opens its new Terminal 2 on June 4th, but you won’t see the giant passport and the behemoth gift bag pictured below.

passport

These two giant-sized props were used during some of user trials that have been taking place in the terminal during the past few weeks.

Gift bag

But although they seem like they’d be fun, photo-friendly objects for real passengers to encounter, during my recent pre-opening tour of the terminal a Heathrow staff member told me the props were about to be removed and discarded.

Too bad!