Events

Flight of Lights returns to Dane County Regional Airport

Now that we’re into year two of “how things happen in a pandemic,” we’re coming up on some ‘2nd annual’ events that may stick around even after things return to normal.

The “Flight of Lights” program that Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Madison, WI is bringing back for a second year may be one of those keepers.

The free, drive-through light display along International Lane in Madison opens Saturday, March 20, and will run daily each evening from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm through April 4th.

The light-show will feature six different light displays along the route and will include tributes to first responders; the medical community; Wisconsin sports; animals and nature; tropical and nautical; and destinations people can fly to from MSN.

Organized last year at the onset of the state’s Safer at Home order, Flight of Light follows social distancing rules as a drive-through event with only members of the same household in each vehicle.

Here’s what the Flight of Lights event at Dane County Regional Airport looked like last year:

Lights displays are being installed now and MSN airport officials will share snaps from the test run when available.

In the meantime, we’ll put this on the nomination list for “Airport Amenity of the Week.”

Airports celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Airports around the country have been celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with live music, cultural performances, and art exhibits.

Here is what Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) and Miami International Airport (MIA) put together.

Some things to do while grounded.

Like these guys, no one is traveling anywhere right now.

But there are still fun things to do.

Neon Museum Las Vegas
Neon Museum Las Vegas – photo Harriet Baskas

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas has a colorful app on its website that will take you on a tour of its Neon Boneyard. (Password: Neon)

And while Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London is closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, the theater is rolling out a long list of free online performances.

The Globe will be dropping the on-demand streaming fees for some past productions, with a new play offered every two weeks. The line-up includes:

‘Hamlet’ (2018) from April 6-19;

‘Romeo & Juliet (2009), from April 20-May 3;

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), from May 4-17;

The Winter’s Tale (2018), from May 18-31;

‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ (2018), June 1-14 and;

‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ (2019), June 15-28

The free streamed performances will also include productions from the 2021 ‘Globe to Globe‘ series that included Shakespeare plays performed in a variety of languages.

One good reason to check a bag on your next flight

So many people are determined to travel with just a carry-on bag these days.

No fees and no waiting at the bag claim carousel are just two of the many good reasons for sticking with a carry-on only policy.

But here’s one good reason why you might want to check a bag next time you fly.

Prizes. And surprises.

On Monday, passengers on an arriving United Airlines flight at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) were greeted with a surprise welcome party at the bag claim.

Before spitting out real baggage, the bag carousel dispensed gift boxes with restaurant gift cards, socks, water tumblers, earbuds, holiday snacks, and more.

The party didn’t stop there.

Other travelers could visit the hot chocolate bar, snack on Graeter’s ice cream samples, and listen to carolers from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.

And check out this gift-delivering Grinch.

And it looks like other airports have the same idea this holiday season.

Here’s a tweet from the Krakow Airport, showing gift bags arriving for passengers at the bag claim as well.

What do you think? Would the possibility of prizes at the baggage claim carousel make you rethink your carry-on only policy?

Visit the New Orleans Airport without a ticket

Gate pass program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

As promised, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is joining the list of airports that invite and allow non-ticketed guests airside, past security to shop, dine, listen to live music and spend more time with friends and family leaving for trips or coming home.

The free MSY Guest Pass program kicks off December 4 and will be available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  MSY officials say the airport will issue no more than 50 passes on weekdays and no more than 100 passes each Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone seeking an MSY Guest Pass will need to sign up 24 hours in advance and provide their full name, date of birth and contact information. Visitors under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Pass holders must still pass through the security checkpoint and all pass holders will be limited to one visit per month.

Leah’s Kitchen at MSY

MSY is justifiably proud of its shiny new terminal, which has branches of local shops such as Dirty Coast and Fleurty Girl and restaurants from award-winning chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, John Folse, Michael Gullotta, Susan Spicer, and the late Leah Chase and her family.

We expect more airports to join this trend, but for now just a few other airports offer gate passes to non-ticketed guests: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has the MyPITpass program and Tampa International Airport (TPA) offers an All Access gate pass program.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is testing a gate pass program now through January 5.

Have you applied for a gate pass at one of these airports? If so, tell us how it worked.