Free Stuff

Fly like a bird at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Courtesy Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Here’s a great – free – way to experience what it’s like to fly like a bird before you fly on a plane.

Through May 25 ( from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.), passengers can try out a full-body virtual reality experience named Birdly that gives the sensation of flying

Birdly is usually an exhibit at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary ( a bird zoo) with Pittsburgh International Airport as the exhibit’s presenting sponsor, but the exhibit is on site at PIT Airport for the launch of Spirit Airlines’ service to Myrtle Beach on May 25.  The airport promises Birdly will come back to both Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports several more times this year.

How does it work?

To ‘fly’, Birdly riders lie on the simulator chest down and flap their arms using hinged wings to control the direction and speed of their travel. A fan simulates headwinds and flying speed, motors and actuators tilt and dip the flyer’s body in response and an HTC Vive headset provides visuals and head-tracking, for a flight over a virtual New York City.

If you go to the National Aviary, the Birdly experience costs per flight, but PIT airport is offering them for free.

Wider free Wi-Fi on JetBlue

Back in December 2013, JetBlue installed its version of in-flight Wi-Fi, which it calls Fly-Fi, on one airplane and offered the service free while it worked out the kinks and worked on installing the service fleet-wide.

Today the airline is celebrating the fact that the service is now available on its entire fleet of 237 Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s.

“It’s 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it.” said Jamie Perry, vice president of marketing, JetBlue. “That’s why we’re so proud that JetBlue is now the only airline to offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi, live TV and movies for all customers on every plane.”

Fly-Fi is still offered for free – and will continue to be free, an airline spokesperson assures me – and is available gate-to-gate, along with the services listed in the infographic below.

To celebrate the milestone, on one JetBlue flight today Amazon Dots will be raffled off and every passenger will get a certificate for a free round-trip flight.

 

Happy Birthday CVG Airport

Happy Birthday, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport!

CVG began service on January 10, 1947 with an American Airlines flight and celebrated it’s 70th year of service on Tuesday with a party for passengers that included Gold Star coneys (hot dogs topped with chili, onions and mustard and grated cheddar cheese), small gifts and birthday cake.

The party doesn’t stop there, as part of  ‘Project Gratitude’, CVG promised to thank passengers with 70 surprise acts of gratitude throughout the year.

No clues on what those surprises will be, but CVG promises the act of gratitude with brighten travel days, enhance the travel experience and, of course, be documented and shared on social media.

 

 

Holiday Travel Tidbits

 

 

A few travel tidbits for you as we head into the busy holiday weekend:

Free meals for military personnel at MSY 

Several Delaware North-dining locations at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will be offering free meals to traveling military personnel during the upcoming Christmas holiday week.

From Saturday, Dec. 24, through Saturday, Dec. 31, uniformed servicemen and servicewomen can receive their free meal – an entrée and a large fountain drink – at these locations:

  • Lobby: Dooky Chase, West Beignet
  • Concourse B: Air Meals, Le Petit Bistro, PJ’s Coffee
  • Concourse C: Copeland’s Gourmet Kitchen, PJ’s Coffee, Zatarain’s kiosk
  • Concourse D: Copeland’s Cheesecake Scoop Café, WOW Café & Wingery!

Free parking at DFW

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is offering a free day of Terminal Parking for every two days travelers park during the holiday.

Travelers must enter the terminal by December 31st and park for a full two days at the terminal to be eligible for the promotion.  The current Terminal Parking rate is $24/day. Details here.

(Photo: courtesy Library of Congress, via Flickr Commons; The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.)

 

Elves at airports

hmshost-elves-ohare-photo-1
Airports around the country are ready for the holiday travel season with decorations, entertainment and special events of all kinds – including an invasion of gift-bearing elves.

Beginning Thursday, December 1 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and running through December 8, the HMSHost Holiday Elves and their “magical sleigh” will be popping up at major U.S. airports handing out electronics, fun gag gifts, holiday collectibles and travel accessories to select lucky travelers and passersby who play the elves’ naughty-or-nice game.

Look for the elves on December 6 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (I’ll be there!) and Orlando International Airport on December 8.

Not planning on being at those airports on those days? You can still can win prizes (in airports or not ) by posting creative holiday travel photos.