History

Old & new at TPA and DCA Airports + Places We’ll Go

Welcome to Stuck at The Airport.

Today we take a look back at some sweet photos from 50 years at Tampa International Airport (TPA). We get a look at some snaps from the new 14-gate concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). And we put some new items on our “Places To Go” list – as soon as we’re allowed.

TPA celebrates 50 years

Tampa International Airport’s Main Terminal complex turned 50 years old on April 15. As part of the celebration, the airport put together this sweet video with great vintage images.  

Reagan National Airport debuts new concourse

There’s a new 14 gate, 225,000-square-foot concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). 

Gates 46-59 will serve flights for American Airlines’ regional operations at DCA and give travelers amenity-filled waiting areas and direct, enclosed access to aircraft via jetbridges. This is a major upgrade from the previous set-up which involved shuttle buses out to the dreaded Gate 35X.

The new concourse has a panaramic views of the Washington, D.C. skyline, a variety of seating options with power plugs nearby, 14,000 square feet of concession space, four public restrooms, four moving walkways, two mother’s care rooms, an indoor pet relief area, and a new baggage handling system.

Here are some more photos shared by Reagan National Airport.

Places We’ll Go

Once we get the all-clear, we’re going to go. Everywhere.

Here are some places we’re putting on the list.

Celebrating James Brown in Augusta, GA

If soul legend James Brown was still with us, he’d turn 88 on May 3. His hometown of Augusta, GA will be the place to celebrate, with a citywide walking tour and an outdoor birthday block party.

Dollywood Flower & Food Festival

The Dollywood theme park in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee looks like fun. Especially if we could get there between April 23 and June 7 when more than half a million flowers will be blooming for the “Flower & Food Festival.”

Poetry in Miami

The O, Miami Poetry Festival is underway through the month of April, with the goal of having people encounter, enjoy, and engage with poems in unlikely places. One of the projects, Poetry About Town, consists of “call-up” poems about two streets in Miami Dade County.

Travel Tidbits: chocolate, aviation history, bonus miles for rides

Alaska Airlines + Seattle Chocolate: good match

We nibbled our way through the research for a story you’ll find on the Runway Way Girl Network about how Seattle Chocolate and Alaska Airlines worked together to develop an exclusive chocolate bar flavor for upper tier flyers as an in-flight perk. And how that bar is now available to the rest of us. Take a look.

An aviation site reboot

If you like aviation history and anything related to airlines, airplanes or airports then, like me, you’ll enjoy visiting the rebooted website called The Airchive, which I profiled for The Points Guy site. Take a look at that story here.

Bonus miles for vaccine access rides

Getting an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination is hard enough. But many people also have a hard time getting to and from the vaccination centers. So it is nice to see Delta Air Lines offering some bonus miles as a reward for those who donate cash to make rides available. Details that offer here.

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.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you



Wouldn’t it be nice right now to be making your way to an airport and getting ready to visit a new city or an old favorite?

That time will come. For now, here are some tidbits from airports around the country.

Pay respects to civil rights icon John Lewis at ATL Airport

In April 2019, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) unveiled an exhibit in the domestic atrium titled “John Lewis – Good Trouble” to honor the longtime U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon.

Lewis died late last week, on July 17, and the exhibit has turned into a memorial tribute where travelers can stop and pay respects.

New Concourse E extension at PDX Airport

Courtesy Port of Portland

We shared the news last week about the opening of the new Concourse E extension at Portland International Airport (PDX).

Here’s a bit more about the project.

The extension brings the first new gates to PDX in more nearly 20 years and offers views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia Rivier.

The new concourse extension also features two aerial sculptures by Jacob Hashimoto featuring 11,000 paper kits and 450 different graphics representing Portland’s river, bridges, and neighborhoods.

Hashimoto’s PDX artwork may be familiar to travelers. He also has his work displayed at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), in the lobby of SFO Grand Hyatt.

A new concourse at Nashville International Airport too

Portland isn’t the airport that cut the ribbon on a new concourse last week.

On Friday, July 17, the first Southwest Airlines flight took off from Nashville International Airport’s (BNA) new $292 million Concourse D.

Texas Ranger statue removed from Dallas Love Field

Courtesy Dallas Love Field

Statues are toppling and being taken down around the country because the historical figures they portray had a role in the oppression of others.

Included in this movement is the removal of the iconic Texas Ranger statue from the main lobby at Dallas Love Field Airport.

The 12-foot-tall bronze statue has been on display at the airport on and off since 1963 but was taken down in early June.

City officials decided to remove the statue. Their decision was prompted by published excerpts from a new book documenting the history of the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency and its connections to brutality and racism, the Dallas News reported.

In his book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers“, and in an article published in D Magazine, Doug J. Swanson explains how during almost 200 years of patrolling Texas, many Texas Rangers “performed countless acts of bravery and heroism.”

But, Swanson says, some Texas Rangers were also responsible for “terrifying atrocities, including massacres on the Texas-Mexico border.”

The Texas Ranger statue that was at Dallas Love Field turned out to be especially problematic.

Sgt. E.J. “Jay” Banks, the Texas Ranger who served as the model for the statue at Dallas Love Field, was the commanding Ranger on the scene in 1956 when attempts were made to integrate the high school in Mansfield, near Dallas.

“But unlike state police in other Southern racial hotspots, the Rangers in Mansfield did not escort black students past howling mobs of white supremacists. They had been sent instead to keep the black children out of a white school,” Swanson writes, “A wire service photo showed [Banks] casually leaning against a tree outside Mansfield High. To his left, above the school’s entrance, was a dummy in blackface, hanging from a noose.”

What will happen to the statue – the spot it once filled at Dallas Love Field Airport?

According to an airport spokesman, “It has been placed into storage and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture will lead the conversations and decisions as to what will happen to it next. There is no plan at this time to place anything else in that space.”