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Keep on Truckin’ at SFO Airport

The Amazing Answer Board c. 1944 Courtesy Eugene Orlando_Museum of Talking Boards_SFO Museum

There are lots of reasons I enjoy spending time at San Francisco International Airport.

Tops among them: the exhibits offered by the SFO Museum, which currently has a Ouija board – or spirit board – exhibit in Terminal 2.

On my most recent visit, I discovered one more reason to add to the list:

A shop selling Grateful Dead stickers and other groovy accessories, so travelers can take home that San Francisco vibe.

 

Confusion, protests after Trump’s executive order on immigration

Scene at JFK Airport Saturday evening, courtesy NYCLU via Twitter

Protests erupted at airports across the country – and confusion reigned within – Saturday in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive  order to restrict entry to the U.S. by nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries -Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The move was partially blocked late Saturday by a U.S. District court judge in Brooklyn who issued an emergency stay preventing deportations for those already in the U.S. or in transit with valid visas, but some people were still refused entry.

The story is changing by the minute and protests will continue, so keep an eye on the news today and in the days ahead.

In the meantime, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, WestJet and other airlines have posted alerts offering waivers for those traveling to the United States who may be affected while others are working out their responses and should be posting them today.

Here’s Delta’s wording:

 

 

 

 

Souvenir Sunday – Not yet for sale at Seattle’s Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International held an educational fair on Friday to help small business owners in the area learn what it takes to get their products into the airport.

After a couple of information-packed panels, some hopeful entrepreneurs showed off souvenirs, food and even some cannabis-themed health and beauty aids that may soon show up in the SEA shops.

The cookie above,  known as “That Cookie,” is already wildly popular at local gourmet grocery stores.

And these Seattle-themed pouches and bags are carried in the big souvenir shops in town.

 

 

These twins – juniors in college – are hoping their bottled water called “Plane Water” – now sold in just one airport shop – will get sold alongside the national brands of bottled water sold throughout the airport.

This line of cannabis-themed health and beauty products got a lot of attention. “I just need to run it by legal,” said a rep from a airport vendor hoping to pick up the line.

 

 

 

TSA Year in Review – another record for firearms

Sea-Tac security line

You’d think air travelers would have gotten the message by now. But evidently not.

The TSA has done its 2016 tally and found that another record has been broken for the number of  firearms found in carry-on bags and on passengers at airport checkpoints.

According to TSA’s Year in Review report 3,391 firearms were found during 2016.

That’s 28 percent more than the 2,653 firearms found in 2015.

According to TSA’s report, of the 3,391 firearms found during 2016, 83 percent were loaded and the most firearms – 198 – were found at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Top 10 airports for firearms discoveries:

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL):198
Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): 192
George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Houston (IAH):128
Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX):101
Denver International (DEN): 98
Orlando International Airport (MCO):86
Nashville International (BNA):80
Tampa International (TPA):79
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS):78
Salt Lake City International (SLC):75

Beyond firearms, TSA finds lots of other odd things in travelers’ bags.

 

Now you can fly to Cuba from the west coast

There have been celebrations galore as U.S. airlines have begun flying to Havana and other Cuban cities from various cities in the east.

But on Thursday, January 5, Alaska Airlines rounded out the renewed schedule of commercial routes from the US-to-Cuba with a flight that starts at Seattle -Tacoma International Airport, stops at Los Angeles International Airport and then continues on to Havana.

I was fortunate to be able to go along for the inaugural ride.

 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the flight took place at LAX and, once on board, passengers found little flags and an inaugural flight certificate at their seats.

Among the passengers onboard the inaugural flight were 50 political, business and cultural leaders from California and Washington state and ‘regular’ customers taking advantage of the new service – and good fares.

While Alaska Airlines’ inaugural flight to Havana was a “first,” it actually wasn’t the first time the airline has flown to Cuba.

30_cuba_1000

According to an airline blog post,  in the early 1970s, Alaska Airlines flew U.S. Military Airlift Command charter flights to the base at Guantanamo Bay.

The the modern route is being served by a Boeing 737-900ER with this daily schedule:

Start date City pair Departs Arrives Frequency
Jan. 5 Seattle-Los Angeles 5 a.m. 7:39 a.m. Daily
Jan. 5 Los Angeles-Havana 8:50 a.m. 4:55 p.m. Daily
Jan. 5 Havana-Los Angeles 5:55 p.m. 8:45 p.m. Daily
Jan. 5/6 Los Angeles-Seattle 11:45 p.m. 2:35 a.m. Daily
Flight times based on local times zones.

Here are some pics of the cool vintage cars you’ve heard that still exist in Cuba. More details about other sights tomorrow.