Airport Terminals

Orlando Int’l Airport’s new Terminal C

Orlando International Airport (MCO) will officially open its new 15-gate, $2.8 billion Terminal 3 later this month. The first flights are set to take off beginning on September 20.

The Stuck at the Airport new terminal team will make its way to MCO soon. But in the meantime, here are some photos and information about what’s in store.

Airlines flying out of the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

Confirmed airlines that will operate out of the new terminal include Aer Lingus, Azul, British Airways, Caribbean, Emirates, Gol, Icelandair, JetBlue, Lufthansa, and Norse.

What’s inside the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

The Terminal features a skylight-capped Boulevard that connects ticketing, security, concessions, gates, and baggage claim.

Public art in the new Terminal C and Orlando International Airport will include a variety of giant digital canvases by Gentilhomme Studio.

Windows on Orlando, above, is a triptych of 32-feet-tall displays spanning 110 feet. Content includes a rocket launch sequence filmed in the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center and an afternoon ride under open skies with cowhands rounding up cattle.

The Moment Vault is an interactive 360-degree digital experience located in the Palm Court section of the terminal. The installation uses digital technology that allows travelers to interact with 23 different scenes that range from schools of bioluminescent fish to a trip to the surface of Mars.

The Portal, still to be completed in the arrivals hall, will be three stories high, with 32 custom curved screens suspended in a helical frame. 26 scenes will tell the story of the transformation of Central Florida from natural springs and ranchlands to the dawn of Disney and the launch into space exploration.

Shops and dining at the new Terminal 3 at Orlando Int’l Airport

 Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld will be represented among the dozen retail locations. And among the two dozen food and beverage outlets will be Shake Shack and Orange County Brewers.

Stay tuned for more photos and details about what the new Terminal 3 at Orlando International Airport (MCO) has in store.

2 airports are finalists for America’s Best Restroom

The list of the top 10 finalists for the 2022 America’s Best Restroom contest is out.

And this year restrooms at two airports are in the running to be crowned as the best throne in the country.

Newark Liberty Int’l Airport (EWR)

The Terminal B all-gender restroom at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is one of the airport restrooms nominated as an excellent example of how businesses develop and maintain innovative restroom facilities.

EWR’s new loo is in a 1970’s-era terminal departure lounge. The loo’s creative, gender-neutral design offers “potty parity” and means that more users can be accommodated than with a traditional restroom design.

The restroom includes areas for traveling companions to wait and for passengers to reorganize their belongings. Local imagery on the glass and tile establishes a sense of place. And sound and scent help create a calming environment.

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

The nominated restrooms at Tampa International Airport (TPA) are on Airside C.

These loos welcome travelers to a uniquely Florida experience with large graphics. A natural, deep blue stone with undulating veining is intended to be reminiscent of waves crashing along the shore.

“Once inside, large format tiles skin the floors and seamlessly fold up the walls, bolstering the well-lit environment and furthering a ‘freshly cleaned’ aesthetic,” the restroom nomination explains. “A wood-look wall tile adds warmth and softness for a balanced, resort-like feel.”

The vanities in these restrooms also offer TPA’s signature “cockpit” concept, which gives each guest their own sensor-activating sink and soap, personal paper towel dispensers, and a nearby trash receptacle.

The other nominated public bathrooms on this Best Restroom list include the self-cleaning restrooms at North Hollywood Recreation Center; prohibition-themed restrooms in Stone Mountain, GA; and a Japanese pub in Orlando, FL modeled after the green restroom seen in “The Aviator” film.

Here’s the image from the movie:

Here’s a snap from Orlando’s Tori Tori pub.

The public is invited to vote for their favorite finalist through August 31 here.

Which is your favorite?

Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport debuts its eighth new concourse

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) begins welcoming passengers at a new concourse today.

The new, state-of-the-art, eight-gate concourse will be used soley by Southwest Airlines. Amenities include charging stations in every seat, an Animal Relief Area, a Family Restroom and a Nursing Room. Hearing loop connectivity allows those with hearing devices to connect to the PA system.

For now, passengers will find kiosks offering food, beverage, and retail items. Shops, restaurants, and a Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club are set to open in the coming months.

Local favorites Pedal Haus Brewery and Berry Divine – Acai Bowls will be in the new concourse as well as regional concepts Bobby’s Burgers, Eegee’s and others.

Retail shops will include national brands as well as local products from Changing Hands Bookstores, Made Art Boutique, and Melrose Pharmacy.

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The new concourse also showcases the arts and includes a terrific-looking terrazzo floor depicting aerial views of the Phoenix landscape. 28 terrazzo wall pieces are shaped like airplane windows.

The work is called “Phoenix Lights, Phoenix Rising” and is designed by artist Susan Logoreci.

Landing at SEA is now much different

The swanky, new, state-of-the-art, International Arrivals Facility (IAF) officially began welcoming and processing all international arrivals at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on Tuesday.

We stopped by to take some snaps, witness the official first-day operations, and collect some of fans SEA was giving out bearing the names and skylines of international cities served.

What’s the big deal about SEA’s new arrivals facility?

Well, the old one was dark, cramped, out-of-date, and overall just a sad way to say “Welcome to Seattle and the United States.”

The new one has a stunning 85-foot-high aerial walkway and a giant (450,000-square-foot) grand hall for baggage claim and customs processing.

We’d watched as the facility was built. But now that it’s fully operational, we’re glad that StuckatTheAirport.com’s headquarters is in Seattle so we get to use it.

Here are some more snaps from our visit on the cut-over day.

The aerial walkway is the star of the show. Passengers get great views out to the mountains and off to the city. Plus, there’s the treat of seeing planes go by below from the longest structure over an active taxiway.

Accessing the walkway is a thrill too on a ride up one of the longest sets of escalators in the country. Too long? There’s an elevator option as well.

Passengers may travel along the aerial walkway by foot or hitch a ride on the moving sidewalk. With such great views, we recommend a slow amble.

And then there’s the bag claim and arrivals hall. Which is now a million times more welcoming than what greeted passengers before.

Who left this rat at Norway’s Bergen Airport?

You may notice the heartwarming news and social media posts about airports working hard to reunite left behind stuffed animals with their rightful owners.

Like the story of 5-year-old Ezekiel, who was reunited with the teddy bear he left behind at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) last month.

Or, the story that likely started the heartwarming “airports goes-all-out-to-reunite stuffed animal with child” trend. Back in 2015, Tampa International Airport took a stuffed tiger named Hobbes on an airport adventure before sending Hobbes home.

We love these stories.

So, when making our way through Norway’s Bergen Airport (BGO) last week at about 5 am we did a double-take when were spotted a stuffed rat taped to a lane post.

It was very early in the morning. But we did notice that Bergen Airport is spotless. So it didn’t seem likely that the stuffed rat was there as a social comment. Nor did it seem like an official guidepost to point travelers to their gates.

So all we could conclude was that this stuffed rat had been left behind by a small child. And that it may soon show up on Bergen Airport’s social media feed in search of its owner.

We’ll check back to see.

Other amenities spotted at Bergen Airport

Besides the stuffed rat, there are some other sights at Bergen Airport that made us smile.

The sign for the bathroom employs the hard-to-miss universal symbols for “gotta go, now.”

And the kids’ play area in the main terminal area has this fun hopscotch board with an airplane, of course, in the top box.

Have you spotted a cool amenity (or a stuffed rat) and an airport? Send us a photo and we’ll try to include it in a future post on Stuck at the Airport.