Airport Terminals

Listen up at LAX

Airports serve as the front doors to their cities and many do a great job of rolling out the welcome mat for visitors.

Some airports do it with art. Some airports do it with “Welcome to” signs.

And others do it with recorded messages.

Los Angeles International Airport has been welcoming visitors with its “Voices of Los Angeles” project. The program greets passengers with recorded messages from notable and well-known local figures.

Since the inauguration of the Voices of Los Angeles program in July 2019, passengers and visitors at LAX have been treated to welcome messages recorded by entertainers, sports figures, musicians, actors, and chefs. The common theme: they all have what the airport calls “the spirit of Los Angeles.”

Now there are three new familiar voices in the line-up:

TV and film actor Danny Trejo – who also owns several restaurants, including Trejo’s Taco at LAX;

Academy Award-winning actress Allison Janney;

And former LA Lakers basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Give a listen:

These messages are now playing on the overhead public announcement system in each terminal. New voices and new messages will continue to be rotated in on a regular basis.

Who would you like to hear welcoming you to LAX?

While you were sleeping big things were moving at SEA airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is building a new International Arrivals Facility (the IAF) which has a 708-foot-long aerial walkway as one of its features.

When in place, the walkway will look like this and be the longest structure over an active airport taxiway.

Pretty impressive, right?

But as impressive is what it takes to make the project happen.

For example, overnight on Thursday, the center span of that elevated pedestrian walkway was – very carefully – moved down the closed center runway to its new home.

Here are some of the tweets SEA shared as the process unfolded.

And here is the aerial walkway in place!

Tampa Int’l Airport expands gate pass program

TPA’s All Access program goes daily

The Saturday-only gate pass program that Tampa International Airport (TPA) launched in May is going so well that starting January 18 the airport will being offering non-ticketed visitors access to the airside terminals every day of the week.

Why go to the airport if you don’t have to?

In addition to accompanying a friend or loved one to the gate or being there when they get home, a gate pass to an airside at Tampa International Airport offers the chance to plane spot, dine in one of the airport’s top-notch restaurants or shop in the stores.

Not sure what’s there? TPA has a handy dining and shopping guide on its website.

TPA’s All Access program operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and issues passes to 25 people per airside each day. (Each airside – A, C, E and F – has its own security checkpoint).

Visitors may sign up online 24 hours in advance and, if approved, go to the Information Kiosk on Level 3 of the Main Terminal on the day of their visit to show a photo ID and pick up their pass. After that, visitors go through the security checkpoints at their chosen Airside, just like regular ticketed passengers.

As we’ve reported before, airport visitor pass programs are definitely now a trend. Non-ticketed passengers can apply to visit Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), the still-shiny-new Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).

No doubt other airports will begin offering gate pass programs soon too!

Detroit Metro Airport gate pass program permanent

Courtesy Detroit Metro Airport

Gate pass programs expanding

The pilot DTW Destination Pass program at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) which allows non-ticketed passengers past the security checkpoint began in October and was supposed to end this week.

But so many non-ticketed visitors are interested in visiting DTW airport to shop, dine, check out airplanes and spend more time with friends and family starting or ending their travels that airport officials have decided to keep the program going indefinitely.

“We understand that our facility is more than just an airport—it is a place where memories are made,” said WCAA CEO Chad Newton, “One participant of the program shared with us that she was able to bring her 3-year-old nephew to the airport to greet his parents and see airplanes for the first time.”

The DTW Destination Pass program is limited to 75 visitor passes per day. Passes can be used from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Check the DTW website for details about applying for a pass.

Where else can you get an airport gate pass?

DTW is just the latest airport to welcome non-ticketed passengers past the security checkpoint.

Art at SEA airport

In December, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) brought back and made permanent the SEA Visitor Pass program, which gives non-ticketed guests access to the secure side of the airport.

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) started the trend by introducing the myPITPass program in August 2017. That program operates Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) began offering its All Access pass in April, 2019, welcoming guests on Saturdays.

Photo La Gourmetreise, Courtesy New Orleans & Company

And Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) began welcoming non-ticketed guests into the new terminal on December 4.

The MSY Guest Pass is offered seven days a week, with a limit of 50 visitors Monday through Friday and 100 visitors on Saturdays and Sundays.

New Orleans Int’l Airport getting a new terminal

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is set to open its new airport terminal on Wednesday morning, November 6.

Starting with an early morning flight at around 4 a.m., all 16 commercial airlines at MSY will operate from the new terminal. The old terminal will be close to the public tonight.

StuckatTheAirport is in town for the switchover. We will share snaps of closing and opening ceremonies. We’ll also check out all the fresh amenities in the new terminal.

In addition to some great, locally-themed shops and restaurants, the new terminal promises power chargers at 50% of the gate area seats, water bottle refill stations, the three Mothers Rooms and music venues. The “fully automated” restrooms promise “sanitary seat covers.”

That’s tomorrow.

Today we’re sharing some snaps of the old terminal gathered on our way in. In case you’ll miss is.

We’re hoping this mural of New Orleans Jazz musicians makes a return.