SFO will rename its International Terminal for Diane Feinstein

The San Francisco Airport Commission approved a resolution to rename the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for the late Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who died in September.

Feinstein was a big supporter of the airport. She advocated for the construction of the airport’s first International Terminal, which opened in 1983 and played a major role in making sure BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit service, was extended to SFO.

While we’re at SFO

The SFO Museum shared this image of a model airplane to mark the anniversary of the first Pan American Airways scheduled flight, which took off on January 16, 1928 from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba.

The museum notes that the eight-passenger plane made the 90-mile trip in just under 90 minutes and that the fare was 50, or about $887 in today’s dollars.

Travel tidbits from airports near you + go here.

Fort Wayne Int’l Airport celebrates passengers with food treats

Year-round, Hospitality Hosts at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) welcome passengers with a (wrapped) cookie from a nearby bakery. But this week, during Customer Appreciation Week, the airport has been going above and beyond by treating passengers to a different free, fun food each day.

So far, they’ve hosted a popcorn bar, a caramel apple bar, a hot dog bar, and a walking taco bar- with all manner of toppings.

What’s on the menu for Friday?

A coffee and hot chocolate bar with all the creamers, syrups, and toppings that passengers might want to mix and match with their drinks.

Definitely the Airport Amenity of the Week!

Restaurant Week at PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is hosting its Restaurant Week through October 29, offering multi-course lunches for $20 and dinners for $30.

If you’re heading to PHL, be sure to study the wide range of menu offerings before you arrive at the terminal. While tax is not included in this offer, a Pepsi beverage is.

Just in time for Halloween – Gargoyles back at DEN Airport

Since 1995, two bronze gargoyles sitting inside suitcases have been on guard in the east and west bag claim areas at Denver International Airport (DEN) trying their best to help baggage arrive safely.

The gargoyles make up an art piece by Terry Allen called “Notre Denver.”

And due to construction in the airport’s Great Hall, one of the gargoyles has been in storage.

Now both gargoyles are back on duty. And we’re hoping that someday the chatty gargoyle (see video below) will return to the airport as well.

Planning 2024 Travel? This Lonely Planet’s list may help.

The world is a big place and it can be overwhelming choosing your next adventure. That’s why the “where to go” lists put out by all sorts of publications and groups can be helpful.

Lonely Planet is early out of the gates for 2024 with its “Best in Travel 2024” list of suggestions across five key categories: top countries, regions, cities, sustainable travel destinations, and best-value locations.

Each category features 10 destinations chosen for their topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor, and ongoing commitment to sustainability and community. Below is a summary chart of the ‘winners.’

Where have you been? And where would you like to go?

MongoliaWestern Balkans’ Trans Dinarica Cycling RouteNairobi, KenyaSpainThe Midwest, USA
IndiaKangaroo Island, South AustraliaParis, FrancePatagonia, Argentina & ChilePoland
MoroccoTuscany, ItalyMontreal, CanadaGreenlandNicaragua
ChileDonegal, IrelandMostar, BosniaWales’ trailsDanube Limes, Bulgaria
BeninPaís Vasco, SpainPhiladelphia, USAThe Portuguese Way / Caminho Português de SantiagoNormandy, France
MexicoSouthern ThailandManaus, BrazilPalauEgypt
UzbekistanSwahili Coast, TanzaniaJakarta, IndonesiaHokkaido, JapanIkaria, Greece
PakistanMontana, USAPrague, The Czech RepublicEcuadorAlgeria
CroatiaSaalfelden Leogang, AustriaIzmir, TurkeyBaltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia, LithuaniaSouthern Lakes & Central Otago, New  Zealand
St LuciaFar North ScotlandKansas City, MissouriEco-lodges in South AfricaNight trains, Europe

5 Things We Love about Oregon’s Eugene Airport

Eugene Airport (EUG)

Oregon’s Eugene Airport (EUG) is also known as Mahlon Sweet Field and was named in honor of Mahlon Sweet. He was the automobile dealer and aviation enthusiast who built the city’s first airstrip – Eugene Airport Park – in 1919.

Today, EUG has 10 gates and is served by 7 air carriers – Alaska, America, Avela, Allegiant, Delta, Southwest, and United – and offers direct flights to 14 cities.

Here are 5 Things to Love About EUG Airport

1. Free Short Stories

EUG is one of a handful of airports around the country that hosts a Short Story Dispenser from French Publishing House Short Édition.

The dispenser at EUG is in a prime location: right at the top of the stairs on the way to the busy A Gates and is offered in partnership with the Eugene Public Library.

Passengers may choose one of three buttons and request a local, international, or kid’s story. Once a selection is made, a free short story or poem is printed right away on an ink-free, eco-friendly strip of paper.

2. A Great Art Collection at EUG

A mural-sized version of a license plate that benefits the Oregon Cultural Trust is on display near the A Gates. Travelers are invited to search for the 127 Oregon cultural symbols featured in the artwork.

The airport has plenty of other art throughout the terminal, including a changing gallery of work by adults in the Oregon Supported Living Program; a collection of images taken from data collected by University of Oregon researchers in astronomy, biology, and other sciences; and a fun multi-site work called “Flight Patterns,” by David Joyce that features almost life-sized photos of people in various mid-flight poses.

3. Rocking Chairs

EUG offers seating with power ports, seating at high tables, and, of course, banks of traditional airport seating.

But the most coveted seats at Eugene Airport, as at many other airports, are the rocking chairs.

4. Big Duck Statues

A handful of the 6-foot-tall fiberglass ducks that were once part of an art installation around town back in 2002 have waddled their way to the airport.

5. Souvenir Sasquatch Poo

There are lots of local and regionally-themed souvenirs to buy in the airport shops. But one of the most popular items is Bigfoot Poop.

5 Things We Love About Eugene Airport is part of the ongoing 5 Things We Love About .. series on Stuck at the Airport. Let us know if you’d like us to add your favorite airport.

Study finds rise in overall airport satisfaction

There may still be a pilot shortage and plenty of issues causing airport terminals to be crowded and confusing.

However according to J.D. Power’s latest Airport study of North American airports, out today, travelers are feeling more satisfied with airports now than they were a year ago.

J.D. Power’s 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, shows an uptick of 3 points (on a 1,000-point scale) this year, driven by improvements in three factors: terminal facilities; food and beverage and retail service; and baggage claim.

“While airports are doing a good job coping with the current issues, there is still more they could do to improve [the] passenger experience while also improving their own bottom lines,” said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power. “Happy passengers spend a lot more money at the airport, so ongoing efforts to spread passenger volumes throughout the day and deliver superior service at all customer touchpoints will be critical.”

Did your favorite airport shine?

The Airport Satisfaction Study measures overall traveler satisfaction with mega, large, and medium North American airports and looks at six factors (in order of importance):

terminal facilities;

airport arrival/departure; baggage claim;

security check;

check-in/baggage check;

and food, beverage & retail.

This year’s study was conducted from August 2022 through July 2023.

Here are the top rankings:

Mega Airports

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport ranked highest with 800 points (out of 1000),

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (796), ranked second

And Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas ranked thrid (787).

Large Airports

Tampa International Airport ranks highest with a score of 832.

John Wayne Airport, Orange County (829) ranks second

And Salt Lake City International Airport (825) ranks third.

Of note among large airports is the ranking this year for New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one of the airports where recently completed construction and redevelopment projects have greatly improved the passenger experience.

LaGuardia Airport, which ranked last in passenger satisfaction in 2019, now ranks at the large airport segment average, tied with Kansas City International Airport, which just opened its shiny new terminal, and just below Portland International Airport, which is about to.

Medium Airports

For a second consecutive year, Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest among medium airports, with a score of 843.

Southwest Florida International Airport (839) ranks second and Ontario International Airport (834) ranks third.

Travel Tidbits: Found Dog at ATL + Orlando Int’l Airport’s Visitor Pass

That dog that escaped at ATL airport has been found

If you’ve been following the story of Maia, the dog who escaped from her carrier at Hartsfield-Jackon Atlanta International Airport (ATL) three weeks ago, you’ll be glad to know that the dog has been found.

Maia, a chihuahua mix, has been AWOL at ATL airport since the middle of August. The dog arrived on a Detla Air Lines flight from the Dominican Republic with its owner, Paula Rodriguez, who was making a connection on the way to San Francisco.

Rodriguez, who had a tourist visa, was denied entry into the United States and had to spend the night in an airport detention center. The dog wasn’t allowed in the center with Rodriguez and somehow got loose from its carrier while in Delta Air Lines’ care.

Orlando International Airport now has a Visitor Pass Program

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the latest airport to create a program to allow non-ticketed visitors into the terminal.

The Experience MCO Visitor Pass only gives access to Terminal C – MCO’s newest and fanciest terminal – and only permits 50 non-ticketed visitors per day.

As with visitor pass programs at other airports, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), and others, visitors must fill out an application online and have it reviewed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).