pet relief areas

Airport amenities coming – and going – soon

 

Airports – good ones –  do their best to offer service and amenities that will make your time in the terminal bearable and, increasingly, enjoyable.

What amenities are offered most?

What amenities are airports poised to add?

And what amenities are disappearing from airports?

 

The folks at Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) did a survey of their members to find out and are sharing the results today of the 2017 ACI-NA Guest Experience Management and Passenger Amenities Survey.

The top 10 most commonly offered airport amenities and services in 2017 are:

  1. ATM Services
  2. Gift Shops / News Stands
  3. Airport Websites
  4. Electrical Charging Stations
  5. Restaurants and Bars
  6. Lost and Found
  7. Parking / Taxi and Limousine Services
  8. Free Wi-Fi
  9. Pre-Security Pet Relief Facilities
  10. Food and Beverage Vending Machines

No big surprises there, but ACI-NA found out that over the next three to five years, passengers can expect new and expanded airport amenities and services such as:

  1. Nursing mothers’ rooms and pods
  2. Post-security pet relief facilities
  3. Children’s play areas
  4. Airfield observation areas
  5. Adult changing and washroom facilities.

And, as passenger needs change, ACI-NA notes, airports are beginning to phase out unnecessary or redundant amenities and services.

So, get ready to say bye-bye over the next three to five years to: payphones, banking services, and smoking rooms at airports.

Why no more pay phones?

“Pay phones take up a lot of valuable real estate considering their low usage now in the smart phone age,” said ACI-NA spokesman Scott Elmore, “They are being replaced with electrical charging stations and free Wi-Fi to keep people connected.”

But what about kids or people who don’t have cell phones. Or have cell phones that are out of power?

“Airports are very cognizant of the need to remain accessible,” said Elmore, “So we expect to see the deployment of more courtesy phones with free local and international calling or calling cards for passengers in need.”

Cutest airport pet park?

Sculpture at Atlanta Airport pet relief area

Artwork at ATL pet relief area

In response to a law that’s already a year-old, airports throughout the United States are putting in fenced, pet relief areas outside – and in a couple of cases, inside – the terminals.

It’s a welcome amenity for pets and their people. And although they don’t have to make the parks look lovely, many airports have created parks that are doggone cute.

The photo above is from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Cute, right?

Here’s a shot of one of the pet relief areas at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport:

Bone Yard pet relief area at PHX

PHX Bone Yard for pets

I’m gathering up more photos and will share them soon. But in the meantime, please nominate the nicest-looking or most convenient airport pet relief area you’ve found in your travels.  We’ll add it to the list and try to get a photo.

More airport freebies – for people & pets – for Thanksgiving travel

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It may be stressful traveling this week through the nation’s airports, but there are some freebies and special events being rolled out that you may find useful and entertaining.

In addition to the events we listed yesterday at Boston’s Logan International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport, you’ll find:

valet parking icon

Two days of free valet parking at Kansas City International Airport (MCI). To get a coupon for the free parking, fill out this form.

MSP Spoonfuls of Stories

Through Wednesday, November 25, 2009, you can stop by any Travelers Assistance Info Booth at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and pick up a free children’s book, courtesy of Cheerios and The Spoonful of Stories program. The books include: “Junkyard Fort”, by Jon Scieszka, “Tea for Ruby”, by The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, “Sleepyhead”, by Karma Wilson, “Ballyhoo Bay”, by Judy Sierra, and “What’s Under the Bed?”, by Joe Fenton.

ATL DOG PARK

And don’t forget that many airports around the country have opened on-site dog relief parks.  The latest to open is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which now has a dog park with two sculptures by Doug Makemson of Commerce, GA, who says:

“The model for “Abby” was my beloved yellow lab, Abby, who was always willing to strike a pose. She had a full life and a mercifully rapid demise a few weeks after the sculpture was completed. She was the world’s best dog; I miss her. The sculpture is made mostly from parts of a backhoe and a bulldozer, and the stone is Gneiss, a type of granite, from an old quarry near Glade, Georgia. For me, “Abby” the sculpture will always make me remember Abby the dog, the most loyal friend I ever had.

You can see the sculptures – and a happy dog in the park – in this cute one minute video ATL airport posted to celebrate the opening of the dog park.

Happy Thanksgiving – more airport freebies tomorrow!

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