Airport guides

AUS: 5 Things We Love About Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About...” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world makes an overdue landing at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

The airport’s main terminal is named for Barbara Jordan (pictured above on the airport’s trading card. Jordan was the first Black woman elected to the Texas state senate and the first Black Texan in Congress.

If we miss something you love at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), please leave a note in the comments section below. And keep in mind that some of the amenities we mention may currently be unavailable due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.

And be sure to take a look at the other airports we’ve featured so far in the “5 Things We Love About...” series.

5 Things We Love About Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

1. The Live Music at AUS Airport

Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” and that includes live music at the airport.

AUS’s Live Music in the Air series presents 31 (yes 31!) live music events a week in 7 airport venues.

During the annual SXSW festival there are bonus concerts at the airport. Once a year, there’s a Kid Band Week. There’s overhead music running all the time, courtesy of listener-support radio station KUTX (give a listen). And there’s an AUS Spotify playlist you can listen to as well.

The Live Music in the Air series is abbreviated for now, but we’re told when the full series comes back it will offer even more live music than before.

The only downside of all that live music at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)? You might have so much fun you’ll miss your plane.

2. The Art at AUS airport

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) offers travelers the opportunity to view a both permanent public art and changing exhibitions.

Austin Downtown Cruiser (Night) by Young-Min Kang

We love all the art we’ve seen at AUS airport. But we especially enjoy Jill Bedgood’s “big hair” etchings found in some women’s restrooms at AUS. In some men’s rooms, you’ll find etchings of a variety of big hats.

Feel free to try them on. Everyone does.

3. Coffee Robots at AUS Airport

There are lots of places to get really great coffee at AUS airport.

But even before social-distancing was a thing, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport understood that sometimes it’s just fine if a robot, not a live person, hands you your coffee. In fact, it can be more fun.

Austin-based Briggo specialty coffee company has two robotic Coffee Haus units at AUS Airport, by Gate 12 and Gate 17.

Order on the app or at the machine and pick up your drink after you get a text from the coffee-making robot. The robots are on duty 24/7.

4. Great stuff to eat at AUS airport

Last year travelers ate 1,603,602 tacos at AUS airport.

The airport does a brisk business in brisket sandwiches and ice-cream as well.

Where to eat?

Some options at AUS include Amy’s Ice-Creams, Hut’s Hamburgers, Berry Austin, ippies and Hops, Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck, Salt Lick Barbecue and Tacodeli.

Brisket sandwich available at Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport

5. Outdoor patios at AUS

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has outdoor patios at both the Barbara Jordan and South Terminals.

The 5,770-square-foot patio in the Barbara Jordan Terminal is on the mezzanine level between Gates 1-2 and, as a nice bonus, there’s an air-conditioned area.

Did we miss one of your favorite amenities at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport?

If so, leave a note in the comments section below and we’ll try to add it.

And be sure to take a look at some of the airports we’ve already featured in our “5 Things We Love About...” series. We’re adding more all the time.

BOS: 5 Things We Love About Boston Logan International Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About …” series highlights some of the great features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we land at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

Keep in mind that some of amenities may be currently unavailable due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.

If we missed something you love about Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), please leave a note in the comments section below.

And if you have a suggestion for the next airport to be featured in our “5 Things We Love About…” series, we want to know!

BOS: 5 Things We Love About Boston Logan International Airport

“Flybe” by Jacob Kulin

1. Art at Boston Logan Int’l Airport

The public art program at BOS features both permanent pieces and temporary exhibitions and includes the Sports Wall, which celebrates sports championships and the Boston “T” Party exhibit, which invites travelers to take selfies and, of course, share them.

2. Rocking Chairs at BOS

Like many other airports now, Boston Logan International Airport has rocking chairs scattered about. Here, some of the rocking chairs are plain white while others are painted by artists.

Boston Logan Rocker

3. Shopping at Boston Logan Int’l Airport

Stuffed lobster at Boston Tops shop at Logan Airport

We love shopping for souvenirs at Boston Logan International Airport.

In addition to all the fun Boston-centric and lobster-themed gifts available, it is also possible to pick up live lobsters to-go at Legal Sea Foods. (Although this is one of the amenities temporarily unavailable due to COVID concerns.)

4. Family Friendly amenities at BOS

BOS has nursing pods in each terminal and Kidport play spaces in several terminals.

If your kids (or you) can’t sit still in a restaurant or can’t agree on what kind of food to eat, Boston Logan is one of the airports where you can have AtYourGate deliver food to you from eateries across all terminals.

5. The 9/11 Memorial at BOS

The Logan Airport 9/11 Memorial at Boston Logan International Airport honors the passengers and crews of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. These two planes departed Logan Airport for Los Angeles on September 11, 2001 and were hijacked by terrorists who flew them into the World Trade Towers in New York.

The memorial was dedicated on September 9, 2008 and is 20-by-20-foot glass cube that glows with a soft light at night. Inside the cube are two glass panels etched with the names of the people who were on each flight.

The memorial is in a small, park-like area between Terminal A and the Hilton Boston Logan Airport and is open 24 hours.

SNA: 5 Things We Love About John Wayne Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we land at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA), located in Santa Ana, about 35 miles south of Los Angeles, between the cities of Costa Mesa, Irvine and Newport Beach, and 14 miles from Disneyland.

Keep in mind that some of the amenities we mention at SNA Airport may not be available due to current health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.

If we miss a feature that you love at John Wayne Airport (SNA), please let us know in the comments sections. And if there’s an airport you’d like to see featured in the series, please speak up.

SNA: 5 Things We Love About John Wayne Airport.

1. The OC Air Pass

We’re not sure why didn’t know this, but John Wayne Airport has a gate pass program, the OC AirPASS, which allows guests without boarding passes access to the secure side of the Terminal.

The program is currently still operating, which means pass-holders can shop, dine, watch planes, and send off or greet friends and relatives at their gates from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To apply for a pass, check-in at Information Booth B in Terminal B (Lower Level, Baggage Claim) with a valid government-issued ID.

2. Live music at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport has an impressive roster of professional musicians who perform live in the Terminal as part of the JWAlive program.

Twice a month these performances are live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram as well.

For a sampling, here’s Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ performed by the JWAlive musicians.

3. THE JWA AirPAWS team

John Wayne Airport launched its AirPAWS Therapy Dog Program in late February 2020. The program works in partnership with Orange County Animal Allies to bring trained therapy dogs to the airport terminal to make everyone’s journey a little less stressful.

4. The JWA Art Program

Flight of Ideas, by Beth Nybeck

In addition to permanent public art installations in the terminal, the art program at John Wayne airport hosts museum-quality exhibitions in the terminal throuhgou the year.

Some of the hang glides on display at JWA

5. The Helping Hands program at SNA

Traveling through an airport is usually fun and exciting. But all those people, the bright lights, the odd noises, the security checkpoint experience, and the crowds can be overstimulating and overwhelming.

John Wayne Airport has a program called “Helping Hands” to help people especially sensitive to these situations and those traveling with people who may have a hidden disability, such as autism.

The Helping Hands team can do a lot to help make the airport journey smoother. The team can also provide an optional yellow bracelet to signal to airport employees that they may need to spend a little more time helping the bracelet wearer with for check-in, security screening, or other activities.

Did we miss one of your favorite features at John Wayne Airport (SNA)? Don’t forget to add it in the comments section below.

Where should we land next?

STL: 5 Things We Love About St. Louis Lambert International Airport

[Updated August 30, 2020 with two ‘bonus’ items]

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world lands today at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL).

The airport is named in honor of Major Albert Bond Lambert, who learned to fly with the Wright Brothers and in 1911 was the first person in St. Louis to receive a private pilot’s license.

Keep in mind that some of the modern-day amenities we love at STL may not be available or accessible due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.

If we miss one of the STL features you love, be sure to leave a note in the comments section below.

And be sure to take a look at the other airports in the “5 Things We Love About...” series as well.

5 Things We Love About St. Louis Lambert International Airport – STL

1. The Historic STL Terminal

In 1956, famed Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki’s iconic arched terminal opened at Lambert.

Yamasaki also designed the original World Trade Center in New York City and many other iconic buildings.

The signature terminal at STL was originally built as a multi-level facility with a grand ticketing hall topped with three 30-ft high domed, concrete vaults.

The STL terminal expanded in 1965 with a fourth identical dome.

That original mid-century design has been credited with influencing the designs for other iconic terminals, including the TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (now the TWA Hotel) and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., both designed by Eero Saarinen. 

2. The art collection at STL

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) has an art museum feel, with ten major works on temporary or permanent display in both terminals.

One of the most notable art pieces at STL is Zhu Wei’s China China bronze statue (above), on loan from the Gateway Foundation.

Here’s a sampling of some of the other artwork you’ll find at STL in the Lambert Gallery (in Terminal 1) and on Concourses A and C.

The Confluence, by Joan Hall. Gate C5 in Terminal 1


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Nucleic Life Formation – by Amy Cheng


3. STL’s Historic Black Americans in Flight Mural

August 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the impressive and important Black Americans in Flight mural.

The 5-panel mural is eight feet tall and 51 feet long. It pays tribute to African-American achievements in aviation from 1917 onward.

You’ll find it on the lower level of Terminal 1, outside of security, near Exit 11.

4. STL’s Red Rocking Chairs

Rocking chairs are one of the calming amenities travelers most enjoy when they’re stuck at the airport.

At some airports, the rockers are white or plain brown. Elsewhere, they’re painted by artists and each is different.

At STL Airport the rocking chairs are bright red and emblazoned with the STL logo.

Is it the cardinal red of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team? Maybe. But these rockers are hard to miss and clearly very, very comfortable.

5. The bonus views

In the 1960s, Lambert International Airport was the home to a McDonnell Douglas facility that built the Gemini space capsule.

Today, there’s a Boeing plant on the STL property that builds the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Hornet jet fighter, which can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. The plant also produces the T-7 Air Force trainer jet and the Navy’s MQ-25 refueling drone.

Passengers landing at STL are sometimes treated to the sight of a military or Boeing test pilot making a vertical ascent.  

Like this:

Even more thing we love at STL Airport

Here are two extra bonus items we love at STL Airport: Vending Machines for Ted Drewes Ice Cream and the Glatz Monocoupe.

Ted Drewes Ice Cream Machines at STL

If you live in St. Louis – or have visited – you’re probably a fan of Ted Drewes frozen custard. Lucky thing, then, that there are four Ted Drewes vending machines at STL airport. Two are in the Southwest Airlines Terminal 2 near Gates E10 and E20. Two other machines are in the historic Terminal 1, by Gate A15 and Gate C15.

StuckatTheAirport.com first wrote about the arrival of the Ted Drewes vending machines at STL airport back in 2015.

The Glatz Monocoupe at STL

In STL Terminal 2 you’ll find a Monocoupe 110 Special on display.

The “Glatz” Monocoupe, as it is known, is on loan from the Missouri Historical Society and was manufactured by the Mono Aircraft Corporation of Moline, Illinois in March 1931. The plane has been on display at STL since 1998.

Did we miss one of your favorite features or amenities at STL? Be sure to leave a note in the comments section below. And let us know where our “5 Things We Love About …” series should land next.

LGB: 5 Things We Love About Long Beach Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series on StuckatTheAirport.com celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we’re landing at California’s Long Beach Airport.  Founded in 1923 it is the oldest municipally owned airport in California.

Keep in mind that some amenities we list here may not currently be available due to health concerns. We are confident they’ll be back.

5 Thing We Love About Long Beach Airport

1. The outdoor atrium at LGB 

The open-air atrium at Long Beach Airport has palm trees and a drought-tolerant garden. It is a rare treat to have an outdoor space an airport and this one even has a wine and beer bar (4th Street Vine) with a fire pit.

2. Outdoor boarding at LGB

LGB’s boarding experience harkens back to the golden age of flying; the outdoor boarding takes advantage of the year-round Southern California sunshine.  

3. Art and History at Long Beach Airport

The LGB terminal was built in 1941 in the Streamline Moderne style, with smooth walls, flat roofs, railings and porthole windows that make it look more like a ship than an airport terminal.

The airport also boasts floor mosaics and wall murals designed as part of the Works Project Administration (WPA) in the 1940s

Newer pieces include the sculpture below, by Aaron De La Cruz. Before being purchased by LGB, the untitled work was a temporary installation at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. There it was displayed vertically.

To accommodate LGB’s layout and keep sight lights to the airfield open, the artist’s team reconfigured the piece so it would hang from the ceiling.

“The sculpture is now in the shape of an arc to represent the motion of flights taking off and landing,” says the airport.

4. Local dining options at LGB

All the dining venues at LGB are local, which is pretty unusual for an airport.

Options include Long Beach Burger Bar, Polly’s Coffee, Sweet Jill’s Bakery, George’s Greek Café, Boathouse on the Bay, and the 4th Street Vine Wine & Beer Bar mentioned above.

5. Shopping at LGB 

Some airports sell snow globes in the gift shops. But at Long Beach Airport travelers can pick up sand globes.

Bonus: two cool videos from Long Beach Airport

Here are two fun videos from the Long Beach Airport website.

This first one features Earl S. Daugherty, who was a pioneer aviator, an advocate for the creation of the Long Beach Airport, and one of the earliest aviation photographers. He was known locally as the “King of Aviation” and is the person for whom the airfield is named for.

This video shows the barnstorming legend flying over Long Beach in the 1920s.

The expertly edited film below shows a day at Long Beach squeezed into two and a half minutes.

Did we miss your favorite feature of Long Beach Airport? Let us known in the comments section below.

And be sure to check out the other airports in our “5 Things We Love About…” series.