Pittsburgh International Airport

Fly like a bird at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Courtesy Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Here’s a great – free – way to experience what it’s like to fly like a bird before you fly on a plane.

Through May 25 ( from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.), passengers can try out a full-body virtual reality experience named Birdly that gives the sensation of flying

Birdly is usually an exhibit at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary ( a bird zoo) with Pittsburgh International Airport as the exhibit’s presenting sponsor, but the exhibit is on site at PIT Airport for the launch of Spirit Airlines’ service to Myrtle Beach on May 25.  The airport promises Birdly will come back to both Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports several more times this year.

How does it work?

To ‘fly’, Birdly riders lie on the simulator chest down and flap their arms using hinged wings to control the direction and speed of their travel. A fan simulates headwinds and flying speed, motors and actuators tilt and dip the flyer’s body in response and an HTC Vive headset provides visuals and head-tracking, for a flight over a virtual New York City.

If you go to the National Aviary, the Birdly experience costs per flight, but PIT airport is offering them for free.

Music returns to Pittsburgh International Airport

 

Thursday afternoons are now a great to time to be stuck at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Starting today, the airport brings backs its Thursday afternoon Performing Arts Series, which will feature local musicians and “artists of all genres,” for shows in the Baggage Claim and in other areas of the airport terminal.

The series began in 2016 with a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and last year featured about 35 artists – pianists, harpists, guitarists, duos, trios, and soloists.

The performance schedule for 2017 is posted here, but the 2017 line-up looks like this so far:

3/30/2017            1-4 pm  Dan Bubien

4/6/2017              1-4pm   The New Mingle

4/13/2017            2-4pm   JuliAnne Wright

4/20/2017            1-4pm   The Squirrel Hillbillies

4/27/2017            1-4pm   Dan Sty

5/4/2017              1-4pm   Samantha Sears

While  you’re at PIT airport, don’t forget to look for the art , which includes work by Andy Warhol from Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, a giant robotic figure (Arch) by Jackie Ferrara, Toby Fraley’s Robot Repair installation, Alexander Calder’s Pittsburgh mobile and more.

 

 

 

 

PIT Airport creates space for nursing moms

PIT Nursing Lounge

Pittsburgh International is the latest airport to offer traveling moms access to a clean, comfortable and dedicated space to breastfeed, use a breast pump and care for young children.

PIT NURSING LOUNGE 2

Nursing lounge at PIT Airport

The lounge is located on Concourse C, across from Kidsport, by one of the airport’s two Andy Warhol exhibits.

Other airports with dedicated spaces for nursing moms include Burlington International, JFK’s JetBlue terminal, Newark Airport’s Terminal B, LaGuardia Terminal B (Concourse A), and General Mitchell International in Milwaukee, which all have stand-alone Mamava lactation stations.

mamava at NY Airports

Mamava stand-alone lactation pod at JFK Airport – JetBlue Terminal

Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix Sky Harbor and San Francisco International Airport are among the other airports that now have special spaces set aside for nursing moms as well.

Nursing room at Dallas Love Airport

Nursing lounge at Dallas Love Field

Not flying? You can still shop at PIT’s AIRMALL

PIT AIRMALL CUPCAKES

Remember the days when the amenities at most airports consisted of generic news and gift stands offering magazines and snacks, such as hotdogs rotating under a heat lamp, at outrageous prices?

Those days are gone – for a long list of reasons – but thanks in no small part to the AIRMALL at Pittsburgh International Airport, which introduced the concept of an eclectic mix of shops right in the terminal and the promise of regular mall pricing – way back in 1992.

PIT’s AIRMALL recently got a $10 million overhaul and the central core of the terminal now has 25 restaurants and bars, 35 specialty retail shops – including luxury brands such as Armani and Hugo Boss – and 10 news and gift stores.

Here’s a full list

The shops and restaurants are all post-security and usually you have be flying somewhere to gain access. But on Saturday, December 6, PIT airport is inviting everyone to come by and to shop and eat and hang out from noon until 6 p.m. – whether they’re flying or not.

There will be discounts and special offers, free parking, entertainment and, of course, Santa.

What’s the catch? If you plan on going, you’ll need to register ahead of time so you can get through security.

Click here to learn more and to register

One bag? Use the express lane at PIT airport

Supermarkets have them, so why not airports?

(From my story on msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin)

Air travelers trying to avoid checked luggage fees by taking along extra – or extra large – carry-on bags often clog up the works at security checkpoints.

But passengers flying out of Pittsburgh International Airport now have incentive to pack light and check those bags.

As of Tuesday, September 13, 2001, travelers with just one carry-on item are able to breeze through the airport’s new Express Security Lane, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

“Traffic has been increasing at our airport, and the checkpoint lines have been getting longer. This could pull up to 25 percent of the people out of the longer line and improve everyone’s experience,” said Bradley Penrod, executive director/CEO for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The express line received approval from the Transportation Security Administration and will be staffed by security officers who will send passengers with both a carry-on bag and another item, such as a computer bag or purse, to one of the other, non-express, checkpoint lines. Jackets will be allowed, but not carry-ons larger than 22″ by 14″ by 9″.

“The program at Pittsburgh International Airport is one example of TSA partnering with airports to improve the passenger experience, while providing world-class security,” said TSA spokesperson Greg Soule.

Frequent flier and registered traveler programs already promise some travelers a quicker path to the secure side of many of the nation’s more than 450 commercial airports, but Pittsburgh airport officials believe they’ve come up with a novel, universally accessible idea.

“Even TSA couldn’t confirm we were the first airport to do this,” said Penrod. “But we expect if it works here, other airports will start offering express lanes as well.”