Posts in the category "Souvenirs":

Airport trading cards: collect them all

MKE Trading Card Front

Baseball teams have them, some police forces have them and the TSA’s K-9 unit has them.

Now more than 20 North American airports have trading cards too.

Unveiled earlier this month, each card has the look and feel of a traditional baseball card. But instead of portraying a rookie player at bat, the cards in the North American Airport Collectors Series feature an iconic image of an airport on the front and geographic information, fun factoids and historical tidbits about the airport on the back.

The card for General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, for example, tells passengers about MKE’s free ping pong table and “recombobulation areas.” The card for Pittsburgh International Airport lays claims to being the first large U.S. airport to offer free wireless.

The idea for airport trading cards started at Lambert-St. Louis International, where “like a lot of other airports, we get calls from collectors all over the world asking for anything with the airport code on it,” said STL spokesman Jeff Lea.

Lambert’s trading card has iconic pictures of the airport’s two terminals on the front and, on the back, historical information, including STL’s connection to Charles Lindbergh.


“The cards are inexpensive to produce in bulk, so airports can hand them out for free at information booths and other places” said Lea. “It’s an old way to tell a new story and we know people will hold onto that one piece of cardboard longer than if you gave them a brochure or a pen.”

More importantly, the trading cards remind collectors, aviation enthusiasts and passengers that local airports are part of the larger aviation network, said Kevin Burke, President and CEO of ACI-NA, the trade group for airports in the United States and Canada.

PIT Trading card one

“Airports don’t get the attention they deserve and trading cards are one way to illustrate the importance of an airport in a community, especially the airport’s economic contribution,” said Burke, who plans to hand out airport trading cards, perhaps instead of briefing papers, when visiting elected officials in Washington, D.C.

Here are some of the other cards in the series.




(My story about airport trading cards first appeared as part of my At the Airport column on USA TODAY.)

Souvenir Sunday at Dusseldorf Airport


I stopped by Dusseldorf Airport last week to meet Ray, the airport’s new car parking robot, and learned that Remember had opened its first airport location just a few days earlier.

You may have seen the colorful products from this German company in design and decoration shops in museums, boutiques and bookstores, but airport officials were tickled that the company had chosen the DUS pre-security shopping arcade as its first airport outpost.

dus remember game

Among the bright and boldly patterned items that filled the newly installed shelves, I found games, dishware, notbooks, scarves and trays. But the souvenir that caught my eye were these Tripbooks.

DUS remember trip book

Like me, you may come home from a trip with a crude version of this created by a memo pad and an envelope stuffed with the ticket stubs and paper you’ve picked up along the way. But this handy notebook has both empty pages for travel notes and plenty of pocketed plastic sheets for saving and organizing small objects that help us remember where we’ve been.


I spotted the shop on my arrival in Dusseldorf and meant to go back before my departure to purchase a few for my next trips. But workmen were fiddling with the sliders on the glass door and the store was closed during the shopping hour I’d set aside before my flight.

So I have only these photos to help me remember Remember’s first airport shop.

Souvenir Sunday at the unopened BER Airport

For an ever-lengthening list of reasons, including what seems to be varying levels of corruption, wild ineptitude and just run of the mill construction issues, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which was originally set to open in 2012, is still unfinished.


When will it open? No one seems to know. And, now that multiple opening dates have been missed, no one seems willing to even give it a guess.

And while no one can fly to or from BER Airport, bus tour of the grounds are offered, in German only, several times a week.

I went along for one of these rides and will be working up a longer report shortly. But, because this is Souvenir Sunday here at, I wanted to share some of the souvenirs I bought at the information station at the base of the viewing tower on airport grounds.

While there was a display case that showed a variety of BER-themed items, including caps,t-shirts, an inflatable ball, a lanyard, a tote bag and a tiny lunch box, the gals at the front desk seems surprised – almost shocked – when I said I wanted to buy a half dozen items.

Purchases seemed to be so rare that they couldn’t figure out how to run my credit card through the machine and, had it not been for the 27 Euros in cash my translator loaned me, I wouldn’t have been able to take home what I’m sure are already quite collectible souvenirs.


The little bear is cute. The tiny lunch box? Adorable. But I think my favorite BER souvenir is the tote bag with the image of the airplane made up of food, drink and activities BER passengers will have to wait a long time to enjoy.

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”


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


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.

Merchandise Monday: Heathrow Airport souvenirs

In honor of Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 2 – set to open this week to serve (eventually) 20 million passengers per year – here are two fun souvenirs spotted during my recent visit.

heathrow duck

Heathrow space

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