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Travel tidbits: pink terminals & airport butlers

Washington Dulles Int'l Airport in pink for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. MWAA photo

In Washington, D.C., Dulles International and Reagan National airports are celebrating cherry blossom season.

The main terminal at IAD is lit up in pink and, at DCA, the parking bridges – which have glass walls – are lit pink as well. And, at both airports, there are shopping and food promotions and fun activities on deck, including cherry blossom-themed cocktails and cookies, photo booths and stilt-walkers dressed as cherry trees.

Stilt walkers dressed as cherry trees will visit both IAD and DCA airports. Credit Sidney Woods, MarketPlace Development

Over at San Francisco International Airport, there’s a cool new amenity that might come in handy: Airport Butler concierge service.

Courtesy Airport Butler - a new concierge amenity at SFO Airprot.

It’s a pay-as-you-go concierge program approved by the airport that provides services that arriving, departing or connecting passengers might need — including making sure an elderly or inexperienced travelers gets to their gate and onto the plane to VIP services such as “discreet entry & exit” from the airport.

Fees for basic meet-and-greet services ($250) will show up when a booking is made online, but reservations for other services need to be made on the phone, where they’ll customize the service and quote a price.

Dreaming of: Schiphol Airport

After spending a week in Amsterdam – including that touristy classic, a stay on a houseboat – I was actually pleased that bad weather in the U.S.delayed my flight home.

Because that gave me more time to hang out in Schiphol Airport, where I was really temped to buy these (somewhat corny, I know….) souvenirs.

The ginger cake would have been a nice gift for my neighbor (I bought her a tote bag from the Cat Cabinet – shh, don’t tell her..) and those wooden tulips – spotted for sale everywhere in Amsterdam that by the end of week I was tired of them – would have been a long-lasting spot of color in the gray Seattle winter I’ve returned to.

I know… just another reason to go back. Soon.

AMS WOODEN TULIPS

AMS Ginger Cake

Last minute gifts for fans of flying

SEA DELTA VEST POUCH

Planewear, which sells – you guessed it – clothing, accessories and travel gear with an aviation theme – has an enticing online site and, since early November, a full-sized shop at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

It was really hard to limit myself to just a few items at the airport shop on my way out of town, but I settled on a pouch made from a Delta Air Lines life-jacket and a postcard that turns into a small plane.

SEA PLANEWEAR

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.

Souvenir Sunday at Honolulu Airport

On Sundays, we take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive and locally-themed items you can buy when you’re stuck at the airport.

Here are a few of our favorites from the Honolulu International Airport:

HNL HULA GIRL

HNL UKEs

hnl mugs

Do you spend time in the shops when you’re stuck at the airport?

If you spot something fun, inexpensive, locally-themed and, ideally, a bit wacky, please snap a photo and send it along to StuckatTheAirport.com.

If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, we’ll send you a travel-themed souvenir.