Note the small string of lights wrapping one of the Bigfoot items. It’s a charming signal that the holidays are coming right up. And a gentle reminder that there are lots of reasons to do all your holiday shopping at airports.
We agree. Stay tuned for more gift-worthy items we’re finding in airport shops this year.
The pre-security event gives travelers and locals a chance to sample dishes from more than 30 airport eateries.
Participants range from One Flew South, Cat Cora’s Kitchen, Atlanta Chophouse and Brewery, Atlanta Braves All-Star Grill and Paschal’s to Piece of Cake and Krispy Kreme.
Tasting tickets are $15 for a
book of 10 and you’ll need to hand over 1 ticket per taste.
You can purchase tickets on-site and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, a local nonprofit that distributes millions of pounds of food to community kitchens, shelters, senior centers, food pantries and more throughout the year.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4
p.m. and includes music and a cooking competition with two airports chefs
competing for the title of Taste’s Top Chef 2019,
Well-known airlines such as Pan Am, TWA, US
Airways and Virgin America are long gone. And in just the past two years more
than two dozen other airlines went from soaring to shuttered.
So, it is noteworthy that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines turned 100 on October 7.
The Dutch flag carrier is not only one of the world’s oldest airlines, it is also the oldest airline still flying under its original name.
It’s also the only airline where the
guest of honor at its annual birthday party is the newest version of the three-inch
tall porcelain house gifted to business class passengers flying on the
carrier’s intercontinental routes.
The history of the houses
Back in 1952, KLM began giving its first-class
passengers a gift of a miniature Delft Blue pottery house portraying a
historically or architecturally significant Dutch building.
Because there were rules and limits regarding
the value of gifts to passengers, the airline filled the houses with gin so
that they were technically not gifts but free cocktails that just happened to
be served in souvenir containers.
New editions of the souvenir houses were created on and off for many years until 1994 – KLM’s 75th Anniversary – when the airline commissioned a bonus catch-up batch of miniature houses so that the number of souvenir houses in the series lined up with airline’s age.
Now one of the airline industry’s most
sought-after complimentary inflight amenity, a new miniature Delft Blue porcelain
houses filled with Bols Genever, a popular Dutch gin, is unveiled at the
carrier’s birthday party each October 7. The new house is cycled into the
assortment of miniature houses business class passengers can choose from on
A handy app helps passengers and collectors track the KLM houses they
have, or still need. Swapping is popular and there’s a robust secondhand market
in Amsterdam shops and online, with prices ranging from about $15 for the
common houses to upwards of $550 for some of the rarer editions.
Over the years, KLM’s miniature houses have depicted everything from the home of Dutch exotic dancer and spy Mata Hari to the Anne Frank House and the Rembrandt House.
In 2014, KLM’s miniature house portrayed
the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.
Rotterdam’s Hotel New York, in the
former headquarters of the Holland America line, was the featured house in
2016. And the home in Haarlem where Dutch aviation pioneer and aircraft
manufacturer Anthony Fokker once lived was honored with a miniature gin-filled
house in 2017.
KLM’s 100th anniversary house
KLM’s much-anticipated 100th
Delftware miniature building was revealed at the carrier’s 100th
birthday party, held in a hangar at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on October 7.
The event was attended by more the 3500
people, some of whom had flown in just to be among the first to get their hands
on the newest miniature house.
The palace was built in the mid-17th century
for Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange and his wife Amalia van Solms and was
chosen to be KLM’s 100th miniature house to honor the strong ties between
the Dutch Royal Family and KLM since the airline’s early days.
The future of the KLM houses
While KLM’s Delftware miniatures
are highly collectible and closely tied to the carrier’s branding, KLM is also
committed to making aviation more sustainable.
To that end, the carrier uses electric baggage towing tractors, purchases carbon offsets, operates many flights using a biofuel mix and works to reduce waste and weight on flights.
But ditching the miniature
porcelain houses to lighten loads has not been considered.
“There are things you should do and things which you shouldn’t do. Period,” said KLM’s President and CEO Pieter Elbers, “For sustainability, we are investing in lightweight containers, trolleys, cargo nets, bottles, glasses and many other things to reduce weight on our planes,” said Elbers, “But those houses, we won’t touch.”