Tidbits for travelers: PHL gets a new spa; United goes cashless; Alaska gets Wi-Fi

XpresSpa has opened a new location at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) – in the International Terminal, Terminal A West – offering massages, aromatherapy products, and other personal care items.  There’s another branch of XpresSpa on Concourse C that offers massages as well as manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and reflexology.


This week United Airlines announced that starting March 23rd, passengers will be asked to pay for on-board purchases (cocktails, sandwiches, snacks, etc.) with credit or debit cards instead of cash.  There are some exceptions. According to a United press release:

“United will continue to accept cash in addition to credit and debit cards on flights to and from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.  On United Express flights cash will continue to be the accepted form of payment.”money

And, starting this week, Alaska Airlines is testing its new in-flight Wi-Fi service on one Boeing 737-700 airplane.

The in-flight Wi-Fi is provided by Row 44 and will be  offered free for the next 60 days or so while the airline tests the service.  Then the plan is to install Wi-Fi on the airline’s entire fleet of aircraft – and start charging.


Airport spas, massage bars and more

One sure-bet souvenir of air travel these days is stress. That’s probably why airport concourses are dotted with bars, and why those bars always are always full of cranky road warriors.

But those seeking relief from the tensions of travel have an expanding choice of more soothing options: In addition to sports bars and wine bars, more and more airports are now home to massage bars, oxygen bars and lots of places to get pampered.

Just in time for the busy holiday season, my most recent column in offers a fresh guide to airports where you can get a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, and a wide variety of other stress-reducing services.

(Massage Bar – operates at Sea-Tac International Airport and many others)

MSP will soon pamper people and their pets

Last week the folks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport announced that a 24-hour pet boarding facility will open on airport property in October.  The “pet palace” will have an outdoor play and exercise areas, indoor play areas, and a spa and grooming area with a pet therapy pool and massage services.

Now travelers passing through MSP can also look forward to some pampering.   On Monday the airport announced that XpresSpa will open a wellness center inside the airport next fall.  The 5,000 square-foot center will offer spa and beauty services (hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, etc.) a full-service pharmacy, and a walk-in health clinic.