Entertainment

LaGuardia Airport has a cool new water show

We may be staying home but airports are still rolling out fun services, amenities, and cool attractions.

The latest is a state-of-the-art water feature in New York at LaGuardia Airport Terminal B.

It looks like an upside-down water fountain. But this fountain has a suitcase full of tricks.

The 25-foot-tall installation is designed by the French company Aquatique Show and features two large concentric rings and a 4,000-gallon circulating water system.

There are 450 programmable nozzles on the rings which allow water to fall in patterns or in a curtain onto which shapes, images, and themed shows can be projected with lasers.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, which manages this new terminal at LGA, has shared these two videos of New York-themed water shows.

One features arts and entertainment in New York; the other celebrates iconic New York sites.

Travelers won’t have to see these same shows over and over; new shows are promised for holidays and to mark special events.

LaGuardia Airport’s new 25-foot-tall water feature is an impressive and welcome addition to the new terminal.

It is a far cry from Singapore Airport’s 7-story tall Rain Vortex, but a wonderful amenity we’d love to see in more airports.

Pottery spinning in PHL Airport; Pigs flying from STL Airport

PHL re-ZOOMs artist demo series

Stuck at the Airport is a big fan of the live music, art, and performance programs offered by airports around the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to much of that great in-terminal entertainment over the past six months.

But as the holidays roll around and travelers return, cautiously, to the skies, some airports are getting creative about bringing back live art and music.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), artist demonstrations are back via Zoom.

In the debut program, local ceramic artist Ruth Easterbrook was in her studio for a pottery demonstration Zoomed into the airport.

During the virtual demo, Easterbrook chatted with passengers about how to throw pottery on the wheel, answered questions, and took suggestions from the in-terminal audience about what to make next: a mug, plate, or pitcher.

And, of course, she also posed with passengers for selfies.

PHL promises more visual arts demonstrations over the holidays. So this may be the next big airport thing.

At STL Airport, pigs fly

Passengers may be staying home but cargo is still flying. And that is helping save the bacon for many airports.

At St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), for example, cargo operations are climbing, with livestock now added to the mix.

STL reports that this week approximately 200 breeding pigs set out from the airport for Viracopos International Airport located near Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Their ride: a Boeing 747-400F.

STL is working with multiple operators throughout the Midwest to use its USDA-approtved Export Inspection Facility as an option to ship livestock. And more shipments are being discussed for early 2021.     

So, yes, in this crazy 2020 pigs do fly.

Airport songs for safety

Like other airports around the country, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is keeping the facilities clean.

The airport is also using signs and floor stickers to encourage passengers to remember to keep their distance and wear face coverings.

Now, SJC is also getting even more creative with getting those messages out.

The airport has enlisted Santa Cruz-based singer/songwriter artist Nick Gallant to write and record three original songs to remind passengers and employees what they can and should do to keep things safe.

The ditties are catchy.

And you’ll have plenty of time to learn them by heart. Each song is being played throughout the Airport’s terminal buildings once an hour on a 20-minute cycle.

Give a listen:

FlySJC · SJC Go Somewhere Safely

Why play safety songs in an airport?

“By now our travelers and employees know what they need to do to keep each other safe while traveling,” said SJC Assistant Director of Aviation Judy Ross, “So the challenge for us was to find a unique, engaging way to remind everyone to stay vigilant.”

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) isn’t the first to have safety songs to remind passengers to pay attention to the rules.

Way back in 2011, Montana’s Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) was running a video of a local band named The Singing Sons of Beaches to remind passengers of the rules and routines required at the TSA checkpoint.

The “bonus reminders” aren’t always songs.

Over the years McCarran International Airport Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas has enlisted celebrities to create instructional reminder videos as well.

LAS has the airport amenity of the week

McCarran International Airport (LAS) has lots going for it.

Besides being in Las Vegas.

McCarran has a liquor store in the bag claim area. It has an aviation museum in the terminal. It has vending machines that dispense everything from cupcakes and Legos, to artist-made souvenirs and – sign of the times – hand sanitizers and masks.

McCarran International Airport also has about 1200 slot machines.

But those have been shut down for weeks along with all the casinos in town.

But now that the city’s lockdown has been lifted, the slot machines at LAS airport are turned back on.

So we will declare this our Airport Amenity of the Week!

Stuck at the Airport: Music, masks and lots of lights

Very few people are flying right now, but airlines and airports are still in the news.

Masks – on the plane and in the airports

The list of airlines requiring crew members and passengers to wear masks, and the number of airports requiring anyone passing through to cover their mouth and nose keeps growing.

United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue and Lufthansa are among the airlines already doing it. More will do the same.

Many of these airlines are also requiring that passengers wear masks during check-in, boarding and deplaning. And because an increasing number of airports are and soon will be requiring anyone in their terminals to wear masks, it’s a fair bet that wearing masks in airports is already the ‘new normal.’

Virtual music festival hosted by 23 airports

On May 6, starting at 5 p.m. CST, 23 airports across North America will be hosting the JetStream Music Festival, an online celebration of local music.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, located in the “Live Music Capital of the World” will be the official host airport, but the 23 participating airports will each stream the festival on their respective Facebook Live pages and each will feature a local musician from their city. Viewers will be able to tip the performers during each set.

Participating airports include:

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) – host 
  • Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
  • Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
  • Evansville Regional Airport (EVV)
  • Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)
  • Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Yeager Airport (CRW)

Airports lighting up

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Dulles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and many other airports are lighting up their terminals in different colors to show their support for health care workers, first responders, front line workers, hospitality workers and airport and airline employees who are helping people get where they need to go.

Here’s SFO’s color-code and its upcoming lighting schedule.

  • First responders: red, white and blue (most Thursdays)
  • Front-line workers: gold (most Tuesdays)
  • Health care workers: blue (most Wednesdays)
  • Hospitality workers: purple (most Mondays)