Music

British Airways & Heathrow Airport honor Freddie Mercury

Before he sang with Queen, Freddie Mercury was a baggage handler at London’s Heathrow Airport.

And today, September 5, 2018 – on what would have been Mercury’s 72nd birthday – Heathrow Airport and British Airways came up with the idea to put modern-day baggage handlers together with choreographers to create a performance of Queen’s “Break Free.”

If you happen to be in Heathrow Terminal 5 today, keep an eye out of these baggage handlers performing the dance in person during the airport’s “Freddie for a Day” tribute.

Or watch a video of the dance here.

Want more Queen and Freddie Mercury?

On September 5, passengers at Heathrow will find Queen songs on the Arrivals boards in Terminal 5.

Also on September 5, any travler named Freddie, Frederick or Farrokh (Mercury’s real name) departing from Terminal 5 will be invited (along with their traveling companions) to use British Airways’ First class lounge.

And on November 2, Twentieth Century Fox will release a film about Queen and the life of Freddie Mercury, called “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in the U.S. (The UK opening is October 24.)

Travel Tidbits: free inflight wif + a call for your vacation audio

As we head into the Labor Day holiday, here are some travel tidibts for you.

Free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on Labor Day 

Free Wi-FI at airport

Here’s a nice Labor Day perk for anyone flying on a Gogo-equipped domestic flight:

On Monday, Sept 3, you can get 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, courtesy of T-Mobile. The off is good even if you’re a Verizon or AT&T customer. (T-Mobile customers get a free hour, as always; a great perk!)

Get more details about the free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi offer from T-Mobile for Labor Day.

 

Heathrow Airport seeking your vacation sounds

Pictures from vacations help us remember a great adventure, but so do sounds.

Studies show that the same part of the brain in charge of processing the senses is also responsible for storing emotional memories. That means sounds, noises and songs you might hear on your trips will be part of travel memories that will be able to transport you back in time.

Think: waves lapping on the beach; the “Mind the Gap” announcement on the London Tube; and that street busker you stopped to listen to in Paris.

Heathrow Airport has decided to capture the essence of great vacations by gathering audio from travelers and commissioning a composer to create a collection of travel mood music and vacation sounds.

Heathrow says submissions sent in by the public will be turned into a “captivating and immersive soundscape” by British Academy Award-winning composer and sound artist Nick Ryan.

“We all record holiday memories with pictures, yet listening to the sound of a voice or a place can trigger far more intense emotions than a photograph on a phone,” Ryan said in a statement.

Travelers are invited to submit their holiday sounds over the next four months as an mp4 clip at soundescapes@heathrow.com. 

Ryan will collection the audio, do this thing with it and release the inaugural Sound Escapes audio installment in January 2019.

What vacation sounds will you send in? 

Airports join police lip sync challenge. And rock it.

Police departments at some airports around the country are joining the viral police lip sync challenge that is sweeping the country.

And from the looks of it, everyone is having lots of fun.

The airport police lip sync videos I’ve found so far come from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and the Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB), which says it is “#MLBproud of our brave police officers and their epic lip sync skills.”

If you learn of other airport police lip sync videos, please let me know and I’ll add them to the collection.

 

 

San Antonio Airport Police Department Lip Sync Challenge

K9 Cora heard about the recent lip sync challenge and is putting her paw in the ring… with the help of Sgt. Lopez. Let's see if any other K9 teams will answer the challenge. Where you at, SAPD K9 and BCSO K9?

Posted by San Antonio Airport Police Department on Tuesday, June 26, 2018

British Airways gets a makeover from Late, Late Show’s James Corden

The Late, Late Show spent a week in London and we get some fun video souvenirs.

British Airways let show host James Corden and his crew give one of its jets a makeover.

In addition to decorating the cockpit and different cabin areas with props to evoke New York City and Mexico, Corden introduces a ‘new’ in-flight tool crew members might use to calm down frantic pasengers: tranquilizer darts. “If you don’t do it, Delta will,” he says.

 

And if you haven’t seen it yet, watch this instantly classic Car Karaoke video with Paul McCartney. Try not to cry, but definitely sing along.

Travel Tidbits for air travelers

 Brazilian restaurant for Miami International Airport

A popular chain restaurant from Brazil – Viena – has opened on the top (seventh) floor of the pre-security MIA Hotel at Miami International Airport.

The restaurant, which replaces the “Top of the Port” restaurant that was in that spot for many years, has a menu featuring Brazilian and European dishes, including salt cod fritters (Bolinho de Bacalau), Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

In addition to great views, this new restaurant has free Wi-Fi, happy hour, large-screen TVS and electronic charging stations.

Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport

 March 12-18 is Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) with seven restaurants in Concourse B offering special entrees at a discount – $12 – throughout the week

  • Baba Bar: Harissa Chicken Sandwich
  • Boule Café: French Onion Grilled Cheese
  • Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar: Shrimp Calabrese
  • Germantown Biergarten: Cheddar Brat Platter
  • Love Grille: Cheesesteak Hoagie
  • Mezzogiorno: Short Rib and Tomato Pizza
  • Noobar: Spicy Chicken Fried Rice

United Airlines passengers can buy a place in line

United Airlines now allows standard economy passengers to purchase Priority Boarding, allowing them to board in group 2.

The cost is $9 per segment and, according to United, the number of passes sold will be “closely controlled based on flight, date, time of day and day-of-week restrictions.”

For those who already have TSA Precheck and really want to move up in the boarding process, this is a less expensive add-on than Premier Access, which offers priority boarding benefits along with other benefit such as access to premier check-in lines and security lanes. Prices for this add-on start at $15 per segment.

Keep in mind: the new Priority Pass option, like Premier Access, is non-refundable and is not available to you if you’ve purchased a Basic Economy ticket.

SXSW bring extra music to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport  

The SXSW mash-up of conferences and festivals is underway in Austin and the airport in the Live Music Capital of the World is doing its part to make sure everyone gets their fill of music.

In addition to the usual 21 live music events it offers each week, Austin Bergstrom International Airport is adding six extra performances during peak SXSW travel days – March 12, 13 and 19.

Of the extra performances, bands will play at the airport’s Asleep at the Wheel State at Ray Benson’s Roadhouse near Gate 10, while extra solo acts will perform at Annie’s and Waterloo. See the full schedule here.

Post Office plus at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports

The Parisian postal service – La Poste – has opened enhanced post offices at both Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle airports, In addition to 24-hour postal machines, these post offices will have gift shops, terminals where customers can make photo postcards, rentable work spaces, and other services, including a key drop.

Your face is your boarding pass

Passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick can now opt to use their face as their boarding pass, thanks to SITA’s biometric boarding technology, which scans a person’s face and matches it up with the data U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has on that passenger in their files.

The process is already being used with certain JetBlue flights at Boston Logan International Airport and British Airways flights at Los Angeles International Airport.

Going biometric isn’t a requirement to board the flights testing the new technology, but last year’s SITA’s passenger IT survey showed that 57% of passengers would use biometrics instead of a boarding pass. SITA reports that real world rates are even higher than that: nearly 100% of passengers are opting to use the biometric boarding during the trials.