Events

Airports, airlines offers holiday treats

Airports, airlines offer holiday cheer for stressed out flyers.

This holiday season you’ll likely find long lines at security checkpoints, crowded gate areas and fully packed planes. But you’ll also get holiday treats, fun activities and perks. We’re updating our list

Munich Airport’s Christmas and Winter Market is celebrating its 20thanniversary this year.

Through December 26, more than 110,000 square feet of covered space between Terminals 1 and 2 is once again transformed into a pineforest surrounding a giant ice rink.

The market also includes more than 40 booths offering handicrafts and traditional Christmas treats, live music, kid’s activities and free ice-skating.

At London’s Heathrow Airport, British Bake Off winner Candice Brown and food artist Michele Wibowo teamed up to create a giant gingerbread model of the entire airport. Look for the airport terminals, the runways, control towers and thousands of details and decorations.

Fans of the airport’s popular and heartwarming series of holiday ads will even spot miniature versions of stuffed bears Doris and Edward Bair.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is holding a pop-up Holiday Marketplace from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on December 18, 20 and 21.

Vendors will be offering many “made in Cleveland” and “made in Ohio” goods in the Main Terminal Food Court and on Concourses A, B and C. 

For most of December, diners at OTG’s Marathi Indian restaurant in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson InternationalAirport will receive complimentary spice kits and a recipe for Chicken Biryani.

Marathi’s chef, Paul George, hails from India and is well known for his specially-curated spice blends. His spice blend for Chicken Biryani includes Fennel seed, Shaijeera, Cumin, Cashmirchilies, Black cardamom, Green cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Javathri, Nutmeg,Bay leaf, Star anise, Black peppercorn and Poppy seed.

The selfie-friendly Snoopy statue on the mall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is wearing a festive sweater this season, complete with 3D decorations, crocheted by local textile guilds.

And through January 6, Denver International Airport is offering free ice-skating with free skate rentals on the plaza between the main terminal and airport Westin. To keep spectators and skaters warm, there’s free hot chocolate and cider beginning at noon on Fridays.

Alaska Airlines will celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day on December 21 by offering early boarding on all Alaska and Horizon Air flights to any passenger wearing a festive holiday sweater. 

Alaska Airlines offers early boarding on Dec. 21 for guests wearing holiday sweaters.

And bonus: United Airlines will be giving 2,500 bonus award miles to passengers who will ‘miss’ December 25 because they’re booked on the carrier’s seven international flights that depart on December 24, but don’t arrive at their destinations until December 26.

Mural painting in airports

Here’s a fun way to stay entertained when you’re stuck at the airport.

HMSHost is hosting pop-up mural painting at several airports his holiday season.

Local artists are being invited to sketch murals that travelers will be invited to paint. 

There will be a mural at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on December 13 and one at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on December 15.

Each large-scale mural is different. At each airport, the artist will kick-off painting and then turn the art-making over to travelers, who will be treated to complimentary holiday drinks, sweet treats, holiday-themed giveaways and discounts to HMSHost restaurants.

“Our focus is on enhancing the travel guest experience while connecting with the local community.  Studies show creative activity, regardless of artistic talent, lessens stress,” said HMSHost Vice President of Marketing and Communications Atousa Ghoreichi. “With the craziness holiday travel can bring, our interactive mural painting pop-ups will be a unique airport experience.”

Here are some pictures from the mural painting that took place last week at Miami International Airport. This looks like so much fun that I’m adjusting my schedule this week to be on site for the mural painting at SEA airport. Stay tuned.  

(Photos courtesy HMSHost).

Party at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Would you go to an airport if you don’t have to?  What is there’s a party going on?

On Saturday, Dec 1, for the fifth year in a row, Pittsburgh International Airport is holding a Holiday Open House in the post-security side of the terminal and inviting the non-flying public to join in.

Festivities will include a live performance by LoveBettie, a chance to create your own giftwrap, a visit by the National Aviary’s African penguin, a juggler, an artist doing airbrush tattos and, of course,  a visit from Santa.

Shops and restaurants will be offering special treats and discounts. And everyone gets free validated parking! Plus, there’s no sales tax on most clothing in Pennsylvania.

Beyond the party, this is a great time to see and learn about the art at the airport on a self-guided or guided art tour.

In addition to a shrine to Mister Rogers, who lived in Pittsburgh and produced his Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood program there, PIT’s art collection includes art prints by Pittsburgh-born artist Andy Warhol, a giant mobile by Alexander Calder, a Robot Repairt shop, and a large scale robotic figure named Arch.

Mr Rogers shrine at Pittsburgh Airport

Andy Warhol Wallpaper at PIT

PIT Calder Mobile

 Interested?  The party runs from 10 a. m. to 6 p.m.  To attend, non-ticketed guests must register in advance, arrive by 5 .m. and make to sure bring along a valid government-issued photo ID.

See you there!

TSA’s travel tips for getting souvenirs home from Comic-Con

TSA’s blog has some helpful information for anyone heading home through San Diego International Airport after attending Comic-Con International this week – and for those traveling with collectibles and souvenirs from this or any other special event.

TSA suggests that if you’re traveling with a collectible item that has an original seal on it that you don’t want broken, that you ship it home instead of taking the chance that the seal will broken during a TSA search.

Getting dressed up in a costume to attend an event? TSA reminds travelers that neither replica weapons nor real weapons should be placed in carry-on bags and that while both replica weapons and real weapons can be packed in checked bags, actual firearms must meet packing guidelines and be declared.

And, TSA s suggests that if you’re traveling with a lot of brochures, comic books or other books that you put them in your carry-on bag and then place them in a bin prior before sending them through the x-ray machines.

Those items can show up as dense blocks and “Packing these items in checked bags may cause alarms leading to bag searches that can cause a significant slowdown in the screening process leading to delays and bags possibly missing their flights,” says TSA.