Entertainment

United, American add to free entertainment menu

Now there are even more excuses not to talk to your seatmates on American Airlines and United Airlines flights.

Starting February 1, American Airlines passengers will have access to Apple Music songs, playlists and music videos on domestics flights equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi.

To access the service, passengers will connect to the inflight Wi-Fi at no cost and then log in with their Apple Music subscription. Customers who don’t already have an Apple Music subscription will still be able to get access to the music by connecting to the Wi-Fi (at no cost) and then signing up for free access to the service for three months.

Not to be outdone in the “more free entertainment” department, United Airlines announced that, starting now, passengers have access to free live DIRECTV channels on the carrier’s 211 Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with seat back TV.

That’s in addition to all the movies and TV shows available on personal devices through the airline’s app.

Airport amenity of the week…

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com we’re big fans of the Hollywood Theatre at PDX.

The theater is a free 17-seat microcinema at Portland International Airport that offers a quarterly-changing program of locally made short films on a looping reel.

One of the current short films is all about an Oregon Christmas tree farm that harvest trees by helicopter.

This week, the Hollywood Theatre PDX tried something new: it invited a local musician to come by and play a live score to several silent films, including Buster Keaton’s “The General”.

This may be the first time silent films have been scored in an airport. And that’s pretty darn cool.

So we’re declaring this the “Airport Amenity of the Week.”

Spot a great amenity at an airport? Send a note to nominate it as Airport Amenity of the Week.

Help Cleveland Hopkins Int’l Airport celebrate the city

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is hosting Celebrate Cleveland, Sept. 26 – 28.

The fourth annual “hometown salute” features popular attractions, activities for the family, special guests and treats that showcase the region.

 

Here’s the line-up:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 26: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Professor Wylde Traveling Show will be on site with artifacts and appearances by a variety of zoo animals, including a bearded dragon, an armadillo, a hedgehog, a kookaburra, a sand boa and a python.  Find them at Gate C4 and at the beginning of Concourse A.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27: From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Cleveland Indians’ beloved mascot, Slider, will visit with passengers and treat them to Malley’s CLE chocolate bars. (While they last.)
  • Friday, Sept. 28: Mitchell’s Ice Cream Social, with free scoops from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. inside the security checkpoint on Concourse B.

While you’re at CLE, be sure to check out the permanent and temporary art exhibits, including 10-ft tall versions of Fender Stratocaster guitars that have been transformed into works of art by local artists and national celebrities. (Cleveland is, after all, the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).

 

 

And while at CLE, be sure to visit the baggage claim area to see an exhibit devoted to Superman. The caped hero was created in  the early 1930s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who lived near each other in Cleveland.

 

 

Travel Tidbits from Alaska Airlines and Virgin Atlantic

Here is are some travel tidibts from Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus

VR on Alaska Airlines

First Class passengers flying Alaska Airlines on two routes – Seattle-Boston and Boston-San Diego – will be able to test out virtual reality headsets for inflight entertaiment.

The Seattle-based carrier will be piloting SkyLights’ new Allosky Cinematic VR with a selection of 2D and 3D movie titles such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Spielberg’s Ready Play One in 3D and the kids title, Ferdinand.

360° films subjects will showcase freediving, classical music and acrobatics.

Virgin Atlantic and Aviation Gin

Virgin Atlantic announces today its that it will begin serving Aviation American Gin in its clubhouses and on its planes.  The gin is owned by actor and producer, Ryan Reynolds and batch-made by House Spirtis Distllery in Portland, OR.

To kick off the partnership, on September 30 some passengers on board Virgin Atlantic flights will be served cocktails mixed up by bartenders from some of the world’s super “in” bars, such as The Dead Rabbit in New York and Smugglers Cove in San Francisco.

Here’s a video Sir Richard Branson and Ryan Reynolds made to promote the partnership.

Not flying Virgin Atlantic? House Spirits Distillery  has a tasting room at Portland International Airport.

 

PHL Airport has a short story dispenser

Here’s a great contender for Airport Amenity of the Week: Philadelphia International Airport has a short story dispenser.

PHL short story dispenser

Courtesy PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)’s newest amenity is a Short Story Dispenser.

The five-foot tall, screen-less, translucent glass kiosk is now in the airport’s ‘Virtual Library’ (in the D/E Connector) and prints a free fiction story that can be read in one, three or five minutes.

To get a story, users press one of three buttons indicating which length of story they prefer and then  the machine delivers a story printed on eco-friendly paper.

The stories are drawn from a catalog of stories submitted to and edited by Short Édition, a French community publisher that developed the dispenser. Some stories dispensed are short works by classic authors such as Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, but Short Edition says it has work submitted by 9,000 authors in its database and pay royalities to authors every time their work is accessed in a Short Story Dispenser.

PHL is the first US airport to get a Short Edition Story Dispenser, although the machines debuted a year or so ago at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and are also installed at Canada’s Edmonton International Airport and about 150 other non-airport locations out in the world.

courtesy Short Edition
PHL has had a Virtual Library since 2014 that is designed to bring the city’s Free Library’s vast electronic resources to passengers. In addition to the short story dispener, travelers can log on to PHL’s free Wi-Fi to access the Library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content.

A great airport amenity!