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More holiday entertainment at airports

Many airports go all out during the holiday season with decorations and entertainment designed to make the busy travel season festive and a bit less stressful.

Here’s what’s on tap at a few airports around the country. I’ll add more as they come in.

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, holiday entertainment kicks off on December 20 with Ray Benson & The Barton Hills Choir performing from 12 to 1:30 p.m. The Austin Jazz Workshop performs holiday hits on December 22 from 2 to 3 p.m.  These performances are in addition to the 16 live, post-security music performances presented weekly at the airport. See a schedule of performance and locations here.

The Voices of Christmas

At Los Angeles International Airport Santa, carolers and holiday-themed entertainment are roaming the terminals through Thursday, December 21.

Dallas Love Field has scheduled live music events all through the month, right through December 30.

And at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport live music and costumed characters will be on duty passing out gifts, hanging out with travelers and participating in a daily parade from December 15 through December 24 at 9:30 a.m. with Frosty the Snowman, Sugar Plum Fairies, Santa and others marching rom the D Concourse to the Central Terminal.

 

Oktoberfest at Frankfurt Airport

It’s Oktoberfest season and a good time to check out pubs and tap rooms in airports.

I’m making a list of some travelers’ favorites – so send in y our suggestions, please.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a layover coming up this month at Frankfurt Airport, you can grab a beer in the airport’s traditional beer tent and be entertained daily by Bavarian brass bands.  There’s evidently even a ‘high striker’ on site where guests can test their strength.

Restaurants and bistros throughout the airport are serving special Bavarian specialties, including white sausage, giant soft pretzels and one-liter mugs of fresh tap beer and there are some Oktoberfest-themed items in the shops, including this Minnie Mouse in a dirndl and Mickey Mouse in leather trousers.

Eclipse from the air

I had the great fortune to be able to join Alaska Airlines on a special flight eclipse flight that left Portland International Airport Monday morning and headed west over the Pacific Ocean to catch a glimpse of the eclipse 15 minutes before it hit land.

Alaska’s charter Flight #9671 left Oregon’s Portland International Airport before 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time and headed west for two hours out over the Pacific Ocean with an invited guest list of astronomy enthusiasts, eclipse-chasers, a NASA astronaut, and social media contest winners.

NASA Astronaut-Michael Barratt was on board

Before entering the path of totality, Alaska Airlines pilots and invited on-board experts, including Evgenya Shkolnik, an astrophysics professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, meteorologist Joe Rao, and NASA Astronaut Michael Barratt explained to passengers technical details involved with both the eclipse and the flight and gave tips on what to look for as the plane entered the path of totality. They also gave passengers a count-down into and out of the path of totality.

 

Flight plan waypoints chart – courtesy Eric Mann

 

Meterologist and Hayden Planetarium lecturer Joe Rao readies timers – two watches – and cameras to capture his 12th eclipse

Yelps of “There it is!” “Wow! “Oh my goodness!” and “Thank-goodness this worked!” filled the cabin as the flight hit the coordinates that astronomers and pilots had so carefully plotted out beforehand. And, during the 1 minute 43 seconds of the total eclipse, many passengers seated on both the left and right side of the plane swapped seats multiple time so that everyone had a chance to see the astronomical occurrence billed as a “once in a lifetime event.”

Totality – courtesy Alaska Airlines

My full story about the eclipse day adventure is on USA TODAY, but here’s a fun short video of the Great American eclipse flight put together by Alaska Airlines.

See Singapore Airlines’ glamorous new safety video

Singapore Airlines has unveiled its new in-flight safety video, which not only reminds passengers of the safety procedures to be mindful of, but takes viewers on a panoramic journey across Singapore.

In the video, passengers follow the Singapore Girl as she travels to landmarks such as Boat Quay, The Intan Peranakan Home Museum, River Safari, Haji Lane, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Henderson Waves, Capitol Theatre and Gardens by the Bay.

 

Take a look: