John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport’s new Terminal C open, with baggage woes

On Monday, November 14, 2011, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California officially opened its new Terminal C, which offers travelers a new parking structure, new security screening lanes, new gates, new shops, new restaurants, free Wi-Fi, new artwork, workstations and plenty of places to plug in gadgets.

Flight of Ideas - by Beth Nybeck

You can see a map of the new terminal and a list of the new eateries and shops here but, unfortunately, if you’re heading to JWA’s new Terminal C you won’t be able to check your luggage.

Although the new terminal is open for business, the baggage handling system failed a certification test last week. So for now you’ll need to check your luggage in Terminal B.

All in all, the place does look pretty swanky and I’m hoping to visit in person soon. If you get there before I do, please share your thoughts on what you see and send along a few photos.

Tidbits for travelers: airfare tax holiday (sort of) & fresh airport art

A little bit of this and that for a summer Monday:

Tax holiday on airline tickets – sort of

The U.S. government’s failure to reauthorize the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), means that domestic airlines can’t charge some federal excise taxes on flights until the issue is worked out.

For a while there over the weekend, it looked like travelers would be getting a holiday from several taxes (the 7.5% tax on domestic transportation, the $3.70 domestic segment tax and the $16.30 international arrival/departure tax), but it turned out only some airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines (surprise!) and Virgin America are passing along the savings.


The other airlines? They raised their bases fares so that, in many cases, anyone seeking to buy a ticket would pay what they would have before the FAA shutdown.



If you’re traveling through John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA before September 12, 2011, look for paintings by Steve Metzger on the departure (upper) level near the security screening areas and on the arrival (lower) level near baggage carousels 1 and 4.

Courtesy Steve Metzger

A professor at Fullerton College and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Metzger’s paintings from photos depict “metaphoric icons of the passage of time.” Here’s a link to more images from the Metzger exhibition.

And, on Thursday, July 28, 2011, passengers at Philadelphia International Airport will be able to watch woodworker Roosevelt Bassett turn discarded wood lathe into purses and hats.

Part of the airport’s series of artist demonstrations, Bassett will be at work from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Terminal B-C Food Court.

If you’re not passing through the PHL on Thursday, don’t worry. There’s an exhibition of Bassett’s wood handbags in Terminal B.

Tibits for travelers: Free Wi-Fi at Nashville Airport; new exhibits at John Wayne and Atlanta airports

Free Wi-Fi at Nashville International Airport

Free Wi-FI at airport

Someday there will be free Wi-Fi at all airports.

In the meantime, we keep score and take what we can get.

Here’s one to add to the list: “Soon,” says the October 2010 newsletter from Nashville International Airport, passengers will be able to get 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi access in the food courts, meeter-greeter waiting areas and in some restaurants.  The airport is also planning to add charging stations for electronic devices.  If you’re a member of BNA’s Frequent Parker Program or a valet parking customer, however, you can get free Wi-Fi anywhere in the terminal – for 15 minutes.

Add that to the 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi everyone gets and you’re getting somewhere…

New photography exhibits at Hartsfield Atlanta and John Wayne airports

JWA exhibit Witches House built by Vernon Baker

A new exhibit at John Wayne airport on display through January 2011 features images of classic architecture around Orange County, California.  The images are taken from architect Richard Dodd’s book “Architectural Styles – Orange County”, and display historical homes and buildings from Mission San Juan Capistrano to the famed Witches House in Laguna Beach, which is pictured above.

For more photos from the exhibit, see the slide show on the John Wayne Airport‘s website.

The Airport Show at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

In honor of Atlanta Celebrates Photography Month, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s Art Program has teamed up with the Atlanta Photography Group for The Airport Art Show, an exhibit of traditional, documentary-style and modern photographs in the airport atrium.


Want to see more photos? In addition to the exhibit at the airport, there are more than 150 photographic exhibitions and events showcasing the work of more than 400 photographers taking place this October throughout metro Atlanta.

“The Airport Show” is in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atrium Gallery through November 17.

See airport guides for these airports and 47 others on

Tidbits for travelers: Free Wifi at Toronto airport; fresh art at SNA; contraband at JFK

Here at we’re a big fan of free wireless Internet at all airports. Slowly but surely we’re moving in that direction. In July, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) began offering free Wi-FI to all travelers and now comes word that Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) began offering free Wi-Fi at the beginning of this month (August, 2010).  Hooray!

Free Wi-Fi at Toronto Airport

Hooray! Free Wi-Fi at Toronto International Airport

There’s also some fresh art at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California.

Mt. Moran by Steven Gilb

Mt. Moran by Steven Gilb at John Wayne Airport

Photographs by Steven Gilb, who has been a contributing photographer for Arizona’s Highway Magazine since the 1970s are on display through September 7, 2010 on the Departure (upper) Level near the security screening checkpoints and on the Arrival (lower) Level near baggage carousels 1 and 4.  See more of Gilb’s photos here.

And through September 20, 2010, look for the collection of paintings depicting the Jazz Age that are on display in the Terminal A Vi Smith Concourse Gallery across from Gates 11 -14.

John Wayne Airport. Don't Eat Joe by Dong Moy Chu Kingman

Don't Eat Joe by Dong Moy Chu Kingman

The exhibition includes work by 12 California artists who explored geometric and angular abstraction during the Post WWII era. See more photos here.

And.. check out these photos by Taryn Simon that were published in the New York Times magazine on July 29, 2010.

Contraband confiscated at JFK Airport

Contraband becomes art

The photos – including one of a pitcher of salami – are from a set of more than 1000 photos of prohibited items taken from passengers – or discovered in express mail – over a five day period last year at JFK Airport.  (On-line, you can click on an image to see what’s what.) The photos will be part of an exhibition and a book (now on my wish list, Santa) titled “Contraband.”

You can learn more about this project on the New York Times Lens blog.

Tidbits for travelers: SNA gets free Wi-Fi; travelers get great art

Today the folks at John Wayne International Airport (SNA) in Orange County, California announced a partnership with FreeFi Networks to provide free wireless internet access at the airport.

You’ll need need to watch a short commercial before getting to that free Wi-Fi service, but that’s a small price to pay for a service most of us would rather not be without when we’re stuck at the airport.  Thanks, SNA!

And there are several new art exhibits at a few airports around the country:

At Miami International Airport (MIA), photos by architect and award-winning photographer James Palma are on display in the mia Central Terminal Gallery, just past the security checkpoint on Concourse E. The 20 photographs in the exhibition were winners chosen by the National American Institute of Architects over 10 years.

At Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), a new art exhibit up through August 12, 2010 explores the theme of twilight with works from the Multicultural Artists Partnership of Austin. One nice example is Kay Hughes’ “View with Song Bird.”

And the summer installment of the art showcase at Nashville International Airport (BNA) has opened, with works by more than a half dozen local artists, including Pieces from the Past by Mike Andrews

And quilts by the The Zuri Quilting Guild of Nashville, Tennesse.