Airport shops

At the airport: snakes, Prince and plastic bottles

A new store called “Prince” is selling merchandise related to the late musician known as Prince in the south end of the mall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The concessionaire (Airport Retail Group) says it worked closely with Prince’s estate to make sure all products are the proper shade of purple.

What’s for sale in the Prince store? Apparel, souvenirs, CDs, LPs, and photography books. Also: tickets to Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate in production complex in Chanhassen, southwest of Minneapolis.

MSP’s Prince store also displays Prince memorabilia, plays Prince music and has a large bank of screens showcasing Prince’s music videos.

Snakes at the Airport

Courtesy TSA

TSA reports that this harmless 15-inch ring-necked snake was left behind at the security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, August 19.

“It’s common for travelers to accidentally leave items at the checkpoint,” said TSA’s New Jersey Federal Security Director Tom Carter. “Typically people leave items such as their keys, sunglasses, ID, hats and gloves, but this is the first time someone has left a snake behind. We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items, but this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”

Watch the water at SFO

And the ban on single use plastic water bottles has gone into effect at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). A good solution? Bring your own refillable bottle and use the airport’s free water bottle refill stations.

Souvenir Sunday at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

It’s Souvenir Sunday, a day to take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive and locally-themed items you can buy at airports.

You can’t go wrong with one of these colorful souvenirs from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Flowers – fresh, wooden, plastic or ‘future’ (as in bags of bulbs) – all look appealing.

And none of these souvenirs is anywhere near expensive.

And then of course, there’s cheese, stroopwafels and chocolate.

Have you spotted a great souvenir at an airport? If you do see something that’s fun, locally-themed and low cost, please snap a photo and send it along to StuckatTheAirport.com.

If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, we’ll send you a travel-themed gift.

Closer look at Jewel Changi Airport

World’s tallest indoor waterfall at Jewel Changi Airport-photo Harriet Baskas

I’ve been in Singapore this week checking out – and experiencing – the new pre-security attraction at Changi Airport called ‘Jewel‘.

Housed inside a toroidal (doughnut-shaped) glass and steel structure designed by noted architect Moshe Safdie, the Jewel attraction sits next to Terminal 1 on a piece of land that once housed a parking lot.

Inside there’s a lush four-story tiered garden, more than 280 retail and dining outlets, a Yotel short-stay hotel, and a multi-screen IMAX theater. But the attraction’s centerpiece is without a doubt the 140-foot-tall Rain Vortex that is now the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

A few ticketed activities in Jewel’s ‘Forest Canopy’ will open in June, including a 164-foot-long glass-bottomed bridge, nets for bouncing and walking above the forest, mazes, topiary sculptures and more.

Shopping galore

In addition to global brands such as Adidas, Coach and Levi’s, Jewel’s many shopping venues include a good number of new-to-market shops.

There’s the first Pokémon Center outside of Japan, shops selling gift foods and plenty of Singapore brands, such as In Good Company (clothing) and Supermama (design and crafts items).

Gift by Changi Airport carries many specially-made Changi Airport-themed items, including the airport’s signature orchid, spice and plant-sourced scent and work by sought-out local artists.

From Shake Shack to fine dining

Dining options in Jewel Changi Airport range from fast-food to fine dining and include cuisines from Asian to Western. Singapore’s first Shake Shack (with unique to Singapore menu items) is here as are numerous cafes that offer ‘outdoor’ dining with a view of Jewel’s forest and waterfall.

Bonus amenities for travelers

Many passengers have long layovers at Changi Airport or have many hours to wait between hotel check-out time and late-night flights.

For those passengers Jewel has early check-in counters, bag storage facilities and a pay-per-use lounge.

But the best bonus amenity by far is the YotelAIR hotel.

The newest in the Yotel chain of “cozy” in-city and airport hotels, the YOTELAIR in the Jewel Changi Airport has 130 cabin-sized short-stay rooms.

Each room has its own shower and toilet, TV, WiFi and a space-saving ‘Smartbed’ that can change positions at the push of a button.

There’s a gym for guests, but during my four-hour stay I discovered that the best part of this YOTELAir is the patio that sits out front. It was a perfect, private spot to have a coffee, gather my thoughts, view the waterfall, the forest and all the shoppers going by.

Photo – Harreit Baskas

Opening rates at the YOTELAIR are S$140 (about $103 US) for overnight  stays in a Premium Queen Cabin and S$80 (about $59 US) for day stays of four hours. (Shower-only packages will be S$20 – about $15 US).

What’s up at Kentucky’s Louisville Int’l Airport?


To celebrate Minth Julep Month – and the Kentucky Derby, where the Mint Julep is the official cocktail – the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport has created a living wall with more than 700 fresh mint plants.

Here’s a video of the installation.

This week the airport also hosted a party, with this great cake. The occation: a celebration of the inaugural American Airlines flight from SDF to Los Angeles International Airport.

Here’s are some of the other reasons we’re celebrating SDF airport this week:

They have a mascot named Skye. They just opened a new room for nursing mothers. And the post-security Distillery District Marketplace enables travelers to buy Kentucky-distilled spirits to take home.

Chicago’s Midway Airport gets a classic toy store

FAO Schwarz may have closed it iconic toy store on New York’s 5th Avenue back in 2015, but the brand is working its way back into our hearts with its appearance in airports.

During the holiday season in 2017, there was a 300-square-foot pop-up FAO Schwarz shop at JFK’s Terminal 4.

In December 2018, an FAO Schwarz store opened in the new concourse at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B.

And on Monday, the Chicago Department of Aviation will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of an FAO Schwarz toy store by Gate A5 at Midway International Airport.

The store is located by Gate A5 and features the toy store’s well-known toy soldiers, large toy displays and a piano key dance mat.

Coming soon: an FAO Schwarz toy store at Indianapolis International Airport.

Now parents who do their “What did you get me?” shopping at the airport will have an easier time wowing the little ones after a business trip.