family travel

Bonus airport amenities

Not content to rest on the laurels of being named highest in guest satisfaction in this year’s J.D. Power North American Airport Satisfaction Study, Portland International Airport is forging ahead with new amenities for travelers.

This week it’s a cool new play area for kids on Concourse D near Gate D7. that has places for parents to sit, shoe cubbies, sculpted foam play elements (I see a plane, a bunny, a duck, a deer, and is that a pickle??) on a soft safety flooring system.

And if you’re traveling this week, be on the lookout for holiday decorations, music, and visits by Santa Claus and his elves in many U.S. airports.

On Tuesday, December 20, for example, the Austin Jazz Workshop is performing holiday hits from 1-2 p.m at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and on Wednesday, December 21, Santa will stop by Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport from 10 am to Noon for a meet and greet – and photo ops – on the ticketing level in the terminal.

Souvenir Sunday: Open House at PIT Airport

pit-airport-santa

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to get going on that holiday shopping list.

And for the third year in a row, Pittsburgh International Airport will be doing its part by hosting a one-day Holiday Open House – on Saturday, December 3 – where the general public gets access to all the post-security airport shops.

The airport updated and upgraded its mix of local and high-end retail shops and restaurants not too long ago with the likes of Martini, Vino Volo, Strip Market, Armani Jeans, Hugo Boss, Harley Davidson and Sportzburgh and on December 3 will have an on-site Santa, music, free parking and a wide variety of retail and dining specials.

It’s a great event for locals, of course, but a reminder for anyone passing through PIT Airport to check out the shops anytime. Especially because in Pennsylvania there’s no tax on most clothing – and shoes.

Registration details for the Open House and a list of specials for the day are here.

pit-kidsport

And next time you’re at PIT Airport, make your way over to Concourse C, where there’s a new and improved Kidsport as well.

 

 

 

 

Travel Tidbits from BWI & ANC Airports

Here’s news about some nice new amenities at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgoood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

BWI playground

BWI has this nice new playground equipment at the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area and park, which is part of the BWI Trail network, a 12.5 mile scenic trail that encircles the airport.

BWI VIctoria's Secret

BWI also recently added three new specialty shops: Sock it to You, a locally owned shop in Concourse C selling, you guessed it, novelty socks; Victoria’s Secret Beauty, selling makeup, fragrances and select lingerie; and Marhsall Rousso’s, offering women’s fashions and accessories.

ANC Pork & Pickle

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) had a ribbon cutting event for the grand opening of Pork & Pickle (fun to say, right?), a modern gastropub and bbq concept from HMSHost.

The restaurant smokes it meats on-site and the menu includes smoked pork spare ribs, smoked beef brisket, smoked paprika BBQ turkey breast, ‘dirty chips’ (made with BBQ trimmings), and the restaurant’s signature ‘pork & pickle’ pulled pork sandwich with bread & butter pickles.

This is Alaska, so there’s also Alaskan hot smoked salmon salad and Alaskan cod & chips on the menu and a nice variety of local and regional beers.

Not going to Alaska anytime soon? There’s also a Pork & Pickle in Kansas City International Airport, in Terminal B.

Air Carnival at O’Hare & Midway Airports

ORD air carnival

Send in the clowns – well, at least the stilt walkers and the balloon-animal makers…

This summer Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports are bringing back the Air Carnival – a program designed for children but certainly entertaining for all.

Air Carnival will feature face painting, balloon sculpting and stilt walkers at various spots in the terminals each week, as well as music, free food samples (including cheesecake and cotton candy) and appearances by Ronald McDonald, Mr. Potato Head and Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s popular movie, “Frozen”.

MIDWAY BALLOON SCULPTING

The Air Carnival will take place each Thursday in Midway Airport and each Friday in O’Hare from June 16th through August 12th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Air Carnival kicks off today (Wednesday, June 15) at Midway with The Chicago Blues All Stars playing in the Midway Boulevard food court starting at 12:30 p.m.

You can see the full schedule for Air Carnival activities scheduled at O’Hare here and at Midway here.

Mother’s Day at airports – part 2

Austin Mamava

What better gift for traveling moms on Mother’s Day than more nursing pods at airports?

This past week two more airports – Austin Bergstrom International and San Antonio International Airport – joined the growing list of airports with self-contained Mamava nursing pods in the terminals.

The ‘pods’ have two bench seats, a small fold-down table, electrical and USB outlets, a mirror, and a door that can be closed for privacy with an “occupied” lock. The space is large enough so that mom can bring her baby and another child inside as well as some carry-on luggage.

In Austin, the nursing pod is installed across from Gate 7, in front of the Austin International Sister Cities Exhibit.

San Antonio International Airport already had a pre-security nursing room for moms, but this past week added two ADA-compatible Mamava nursing pods, one each in Terminals A and B.

According to Mamava headquarters, there now 26 pods in 13 airports – with more on the way:

Oakland Int’l Airport/Port of Oakland

Jacksonville International Airport

Palm Beach Airport

Atlanta International Airport

Boise Airport

Newark Airport Terminal B

Newark Airport Terminal A

JFK – JetBlue Terminal

LaGuardia Airport

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

San Antonio International Airport

Burlington International Airport

Spokane International Airport (Vermont)

General Mitchell International Airport – Milwaukee