Fun Stuff

Alaska Airlines offers early boarding for (some) football fans

It’s getting harder and harder to snag a spot in the group of passengers that boards the airplane early, but during the 2017 football season Alaska Airlines is once again offering that perk to passengers departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport who are wearing the number 3 football jersey worn by Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback who serves as the carrier’s “Chief Football Officer.”

The perk started earlier this month, with the Seahawk’s first pre-season game, and will continue through the end of the regular season.

So dress accordingly.

This is Russell Wilson’s fifth year as Alaska’s Chief Football Officer  and as part of his duties Wilson helps the airline support youth and education programs and various charities, including the Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, Strong Against Cancer and Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation.

Wilson also appears in some commercials for Alaska Airlines. Here are a couple of the corny-but-cute latest, featuring Russell Wilson as a talk-show host.

 

Pop-up lounge at O’Hare Airport – for kids

At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, a pop-up lounge just for kids (and their parents) is moving through the terminals.

Called the “Fly with Butch O’Hare” lounge, it’s described as a place to relax, take selfies, re-charge cell phones and devices and to learn about the Fly with Butch O’Hare mobile game the airport developed in collaboration with DeVry University.

First, who was Butch O’Hare? He’s the airport’s namesake, Edward “Butch” O’Hare – and this year marks the 75th anniversary of Butch O’Hare’s heroic actions in World War II, saving the aircraft carrier Lexington.

He was honored with the Navy’s first Medal of Honor, and in 1949 Chicago’s airport, Orchard Field was renamed Chicago O’Hare in his honor.

The lounge is outfitted with chairs and foot stools, cell phone charging stations, the airport code  in 8 – f00t-tall letters,  orange flooring and a miniature plane flying overhead with – you guessed it – Butch O’Hare.

There’s also an almost life-size cut-out of O’Hare and a plane – for selfies.

ORD is also giving out flat photos of Butch O’Hare (on a stick) in the lounge and at bins in the domestic terminals and encouraging passengers to pose with the flat Butch O’Hare while in the airport or and around the world and post their photos  online with the hashtag #FlyWithButchOHare.

 Looking for the lounge?  It’s in Terminal 1, near Gate B12 through August 9 and then moving to Terminal 2, near Gate E1, from August 10 through 31.

And what about that Butch O’Hare game?
Updates on the progress of that project is on this Fly with Butch O’Hare    page along with some airport trivia  and a list of airport shops and restaurants offering discounts.

KLM offering Amsterdam travelers a ‘care tag’

Thinking of heading to Amsterdam?

September, when all the college kids and summer tourists clear out, might be a good time to go.

And if you do, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has what may be a fun – free – travel gadget for you.

For travelers going to Amsterdam in September, KLM has created a “Care Tag,” which it describes as a smart audio luggage tag with a built-in offline GPS module and a speaker that automatically provides verbal tips (recorded by KLM crew members) on how to travel in the city.

KLM says the tips include alerts on busy intersections with a lot of cyclists, where and how to lock your bike, and when you should watch out for pickpockets, where to taste local food for free, where to see great street art, or where to rent a bike or boat.

How do you get a tag?  KLM says passengers traveling to Amsterdam in September will be able to order their  tag on line for free. The first batch of Care Tags will speak English, but Care Tags that speak Chinese, Portuguese, German and Russian will be available later this year.

I’m checking to see if just a speaker on the tags or if you can plug in a set of headphones.

And, while the Lost and Found pup was cute – but not real – KLM reps say the Care Tag is real thing.

 

 

Pull over for these really big things

Who can resist pulling off the highway when a “World’s Largest…” sign appears?

Not me. And you shouldn’t either. Because these really big things I found for a recent round-up on World’s Largest  things are really great.

Here’s a sampling:

Vulcan, Birmingham Alabama’s colossal statue is the world’s largest cast iron statue.

Albert, the World’s Largest Bull (45 tons, 30 feet tall), in Audubon, Iowa

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is home to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine made by one man. It’s 13 feet in diameter and more than 17,400 pounds.

At the City Museum in St. Louis: a 7 foot tall pair of underpants!

In Huron, South Dakota, the state’s official bird is honored with a 22-foot-tall, 22-ton fiberglass fowl that is World’s Largest Pheasant