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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:

 

Alaska Airlines offering a first look at the Great American Eclipse

(The 2016 total solar eclipse as seen from Alaska Airlines flight 870; courtesy Alaska Airlines)

If you’re determined to see this summer’s “Great American Eclipse” on August 21, there may be no better place to be than on a special Alaska Airlines charter flight that will give passengers an early – and unique view – of the eclipse.

Alaska’s special eclipse flight will leave Portland, Oregon at 7:30 a.m, and fly off the coast of Oregon to let passengers be among the first to get a glimpse of the eclipse.

Because weather is the largest variable when it comes to eclipse-viewing, and the Pacific Northwest is more prone to overcast skies than most other parts of the country, going up in an airplane above the potential weather or cloud cover, will be an ideal way to see this event.

“As an airline, we are in a unique position to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for astronomy enthusiasts,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s vice president of marketing “Flying high above the Pacific Ocean will not only provide one of the first views, but also one of the best.”

Interested? Who isn’t?

But here’s the catch.

Alaska’s special eclipse flight is invitation-only flight. But the Seattle-based carrier is going to give one lucky fan and a guest a chance to win a seat on the flight with a contest that starts July 21 on Alaska’s social media channels.

We’re setting our clocks for the eclipse – and for the contest details – so stay tuned.

And for those of who haven’t been following the news about the “The Great American Eclipse” – here’s the story:

It’s going to be the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in United States history since 1918 and will be most view-able first from above the Pacific Ocean before appearing in Oregon and following a diagonal path across the country to South Carolina.

Learn more at GreatAmericanEclipse.com.