Gate pass program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
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
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.
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.
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.
The rink opens will be open through January 20 and is in the pre-security area on the DEN Plaza between the airport terminal and the Westin hotel. Skate rentals will also be free.
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through January 20, 2020. As a bonus, on Friday
afternoons there will be hot chocolate, hot cider and a variety of winter
activities, including live entertainment.
The TWA Hotel, across the road from the
JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport will also be setting
up an ice-skating rink.
This rink opens November 30 adjacent to the hotel’s 1958 Lockheed Constellation Connie airplane-turned-cocktail lounge and will stay open through February.
Free skating shows are planned, but if you want to get out on the ice admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for kids under 12. Skate rentals will be $10; $8 for kids under 12. Hours: Monday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For the 21st year, the large roofed open space between Terminals 1 and 2 at Munich Airport has been transformed into a winter wonderland, with a winter market, more than 45 Christmas trees, live music, activities for kids and adults, a pine forest and a free ice-skating rink. Skates can be rented for a small fee.
Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport has ice-skating too.
“Airport on Ice“ offers passengers and visitors free ice-skating from November 30 until January 5. Skate rental is also free. Hours: Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: 11 am to 7 pm.
Free short stories
The list of airports where hurried passengers can pick up a free short story is growing.
The dispensers, by French Company Short Edition, are slim kiosks that invite curious readers to push a button to request a short story that will take an estimated one minute, 3-minutes or 5-minutes to read. Stories print out on eco-friendly paper and there’s an option to request kid-friendly stories.
Colorado has a robust craft brewing scene and there are
plenty of places to order a local or regionally brewed beer at Denver
International Airport (DEN).
The airport even has a Beer Passport you can use to score a
Here’s how it works:
Pick up a beer passport at an airport information booth or at
one of the four participating airport brewpubs, which include: the Tivoli
Brewery (pre-security inside Tom’s Urban); Breckenridge Brewery (Concourse A,
by Gate A71); New Belgium Brewery (Concourse B, by Gate B30); Great Divide
Brewing Co. (Concourse C; by Gate C32).
Order a beer at each of the four brewpubs and be sure to get
your passport stamped when you order.
Once you have all four stamps, swap the passport for a free pint at any of the participating breweries.
No need to drink all four beers in one airport visit: the free Beer Passport program runs through April 1, 2020.
At Nashville International Airport (BNA) your beer crawl can score you a free beer koozie.
Cuddle a cat before your flight
More than 70 airports around the country now have
programs that invite certified therapy animals and their owners into the
terminals to hang out with and help de-stress travelers.
Dogs make up the bulk of the animal team members but
there are a few exceptions, including Stiches, an 11-year-old, 13-pound
mixed-breed cat that recently joined the Animal Ambassador program at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Boston Logan International (BOS) is serious about its
commitment to reduce congestion and encourage passengers not to drive to the
Their latest incentive is as creative as it is unusual and fun.
Passengers who take a ferry operated by the Massachusetts
Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) or commercial water taxi service to the
Logan Airport Boat dock are given an orange “Ticket
to Skip” pass when they board the free Logan Airport shuttle from the dock
to the terminals. Passengers can then
give that orange pass to a security checkpoint officer to get preferred lane
access and move ahead of the line.
The MBTA ferry and the water taxis run year-round and serve
the Boston waterfront as well as the nearby Hingham and Hull communities.
More airports add gate pass programs
At first it sounds counter-intuitive: why
would someone who is not flying want to go through the security checkpoint
hassles just to hang out inside an airport?
Especially during the holidays.
But it can be a real bonus if you want to have
a send-off meal or drink with a friend or family member, accompany them to
their gate or be there to greet them when they step off their flight.
Through the holiday season (until January 5,
2020) Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is
testing the DTW Destination Pass program. The program invites non-flying guests
to apply for day passes to visit the airport. Passes are issued for both DTW terminals,
Tuesday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Two other airports, Pittsburg International Airport (PIT) and Tampa International airport (TPA) have permanent gate pass programs in place.
The number of passes issued each day is limited at each airport, but on December 7, Pittsburgh International is inviting the community to come by for a Holiday Open House, which will include dining and shopping specials, live music and other entertainment and, of course, visits with Santa.
And officials at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) promise that a 7-day a week gate pass program will be rolled out “in the coming weeks” for the brand new MSY terminal.
It’s only Monday, but we may already have a nomination for Airport Amenity of the Week.
Especially if you’re a fan of Star Wars and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Passengers traveling through Orlando International Airport (MCO) will find that some of the tram shuttle stations are now decorated to evoke Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new 14-acre land inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Arriving passengers getting ready to board the shuttles for the airport’s Main Terminal will see life-size depictions of characters and scenes from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
One scene creates a dimensional landscape that feels as if visitors are standing inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. They’ll see the iconic Millennium Falcon and other landmarks from the new amusement park land.
In another scene, it will appear to passengers as if First Order Stormtroopers are waiting to step off the shuttle as the train arrives in the station.
At the Magic of Disney store located inside the main terminal in the pre-security West Hall, there’s now a fun new photo op location featuring droids from the Star Wars galaxy.
And when the airport’s second Magic of Disney store reopens on November 22 in the Main Terminal East Hall, an exterior wall will feature a 36-foot-long video screen showing scenes from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Should we just go ahead and make this the Airport Amenity of the Week?