Airports

Exchange leftover currency for Bitcoin at Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport says it is the first European airport to install Bitcoin ATMS that allow passengers to exchange leftover euros for Bitcoin or Ethereum.

The kiosks – located in Arrival Hall 2 and in the corridor to Departure Halls 1 and 2 – are on site for a six month trial and are part of the airport’s efforts to always be looking for ways to innovate and provide “optium” service to passengers, Tanja Dik, Schiphol’s director of Consumer Products & Services said in a statement, “With the Bitcoin ATM, we hope to provide a useful service to passengers by allowing them to easily exchange ‘local’ euros for the ‘global’ cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. That can be beneficial if, for instance, it’s not possible to spend euros in their home country.”

 

Would you use this machine to get rid of euros or use them instead to buy something fun in Schiphol shops selling cheese, tulip bulbs and other fun souvenirs of your visit?

This summer everyone may be at the airport

The Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the busy summer travel season and it looks like a lot of people will be spending a lot of time in airports.

According to the trade group Airlines for America (A4A), a record 246.1 million passengers — an average of 2.68 million per day — are expected to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2018.

That number is up 3.7 percent from last year’s record of 237.3 million passengers.

Below is the group’s handy infographic that explains what’s in store.

A4A’s tally doesn’t include the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but if you’re headed to the airport this weekend keep in mind that security checkpoint lines are apt to be longer than usual (I’ve gotten a couple of  alerts from my my airline already, which makes me a bit nervous) with many kids and out-of-practice travelers in the mix.

As always, arrive early and pack your patience.

High tech ways to clean an airport

(Courtesy C&W Services)

I’m finishing up my May “At the Airport” column for USA TODAY and wanted to share this preview of one of the entertaining new tools several airports are testing and using: robotic floor scrubbers.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is testing one out. Pittsburgh International Airport has served as a testing ground for an automatic floor scrubber as well.

But at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, an autonomous floor scrubber is already on duty full-time. Here’s a short video that shows the machine at work and employees describing how it works, how it helps get the job done, and how much it entertains passengers.

Stay tuned for more details on other high tech ways airports keep the terminals clean.

JAX airport handed out 1000 free Mother’s Day carnations. Again.

 

As they have since 2009, on Mother’s Day volunteers at Jacksonville International Airport handed out 1000 carnations to arriving passengers and greeters waiting for their loved ones – especially moms – to arrive.

Here are few more snaps shared by the airport.

 

Waiting for other airports to share snaps of the special treats they offered moms as well.

 

Finally! Unlimited free Wi-Fi now at O’Hare and Midway Airports

Free Wi-FI at airport

They’re late the party, but last week the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced that unlimited free Wi-Fi from Boingo Wirelss is now available at O’Hare International and Midway International Airports.

Until now, free Wi-Fi at these airports was offered for just 30-minutes, but the system is now upgraded to a free, unlimited service that offers streaming capability, courtesy of advertisements that show up every 45 minutes.

Passengers still have the option of buying faster, ad-free Wi-Fi by buying a one-day pass or using a Boingo subscription.