Shopping

Oakland Int’l Airport gets a souvenir vending machine

KCI_SouveNEARVendingMachine

I became a big fan of the folks at SouveNEAR back in 2014 when they began installing vending machines at Kansas City International Airport to sell very reasonably-priced jewelry, original art, small-batch hand-printed T-shirts and a wide array of travel-sized mementos by Kansas City-based artists and makers.

oak-souvenear

Now the company has added 3 art-filled SouveNEAR vending machines at Oakland International Airport : by Gate 7 in Terminal 1 and by Gates 24 and 28 in Terminal 2.

SouveNEAR’s Oakland collection includes bottle cap magnets, flour sack dish towels, jewelry, t-shirts, notecards and more.

Here’s what I’d buy from the machine if I was passing through…

san-francisco-note-card

Travel Tidbits from BWI & ANC Airports

Here’s news about some nice new amenities at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgoood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

BWI playground

BWI has this nice new playground equipment at the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area and park, which is part of the BWI Trail network, a 12.5 mile scenic trail that encircles the airport.

BWI VIctoria's Secret

BWI also recently added three new specialty shops: Sock it to You, a locally owned shop in Concourse C selling, you guessed it, novelty socks; Victoria’s Secret Beauty, selling makeup, fragrances and select lingerie; and Marhsall Rousso’s, offering women’s fashions and accessories.

ANC Pork & Pickle

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) had a ribbon cutting event for the grand opening of Pork & Pickle (fun to say, right?), a modern gastropub and bbq concept from HMSHost.

The restaurant smokes it meats on-site and the menu includes smoked pork spare ribs, smoked beef brisket, smoked paprika BBQ turkey breast, ‘dirty chips’ (made with BBQ trimmings), and the restaurant’s signature ‘pork & pickle’ pulled pork sandwich with bread & butter pickles.

This is Alaska, so there’s also Alaskan hot smoked salmon salad and Alaskan cod & chips on the menu and a nice variety of local and regional beers.

Not going to Alaska anytime soon? There’s also a Pork & Pickle in Kansas City International Airport, in Terminal B.

Sofa shopping at Amsterdam Shiphol Airport

There are loads of reasons to love Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Among them – a great art collection, a casino, an indoor park, a library and loads of other amenities.

Now there’s one more: sofa shopping.

AMS SOFA

Schihol teamed up the online design brand Made.com and invited them to create furniture showrooms in two areas of the airport (Piers H and M).

That’s pretty nifty on its own, but even better – passengers can do more than just look at the nice living room set-ups, they can sit down on the furniture and, if they like it, go online and buy it.

AMS -SOFA PERSON

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