airport amenity

PHL Airport has a short story dispenser

Here’s a great contender for Airport Amenity of the Week: Philadelphia International Airport has a short story dispenser.

PHL short story dispenser

Courtesy PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)’s newest amenity is a Short Story Dispenser.

The five-foot tall, screen-less, translucent glass kiosk is now in the airport’s ‘Virtual Library’ (in the D/E Connector) and prints a free fiction story that can be read in one, three or five minutes.

To get a story, users press one of three buttons indicating which length of story they prefer and then  the machine delivers a story printed on eco-friendly paper.

The stories are drawn from a catalog of stories submitted to and edited by Short Édition, a French community publisher that developed the dispenser. Some stories dispensed are short works by classic authors such as Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, but Short Edition says it has work submitted by 9,000 authors in its database and pay royalities to authors every time their work is accessed in a Short Story Dispenser.

PHL is the first US airport to get a Short Edition Story Dispenser, although the machines debuted a year or so ago at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and are also installed at Canada’s Edmonton International Airport and about 150 other non-airport locations out in the world.

courtesy Short Edition
PHL has had a Virtual Library since 2014 that is designed to bring the city’s Free Library’s vast electronic resources to passengers. In addition to the short story dispener, travelers can log on to PHL’s free Wi-Fi to access the Library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content.

A great airport amenity!

Heathrow Airport’s Pride flag made of 6,000 kisses

Photo courtesy Heathrow Airport.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow Airport commissioned a unique version of the iconic rainbow flag: this one is made entirely of colored kisses planted by 6,000 international passengers.

The flag started coming to life in Terminal 2 on 1st July, in the departures area, where passengers were invited to stamp their kiss in a choice of vibrant red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple lipstick, onto the blank canvas. After the passsengers donated kisses, airport staff added more as the flag made its took a tour of the control tower, fire station and BA Crew Centre, before being sealed and placed on the flag pole.

Here’s a video Heathrow shared about the making of the flag, which will be flown over Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal until the end of July.


Airport Amenity alert: Beer taps at your table at MKE Airport


I thought I had dreamed this one up…but it’s for real.

At General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin there’s a bar with beer taps right at the table.

Thirsty? The are two high-top tables with built-in taps at Miller Brewhouse in MKE’s main terminal. To use them, you simply “swipe your credit card & pour,” says an airport spokesperson.

Airport amenity of the week: coat check


Amelia Earhart’s buffalo coat – courtesy Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

When you’re flying off somewhere where you won’t need warm weather gear, wouldn’t it be great to be able to leave your heavy coat at the airport and pick it on the way home?

If you’re flying on JetBlue out of JFK’s T5 you now can.

CoatChex has set up a kiosk in the main marketplace area offering a ticketless coat checking service that costs $2 a day or $10 for a full week.

Instead of getting a paper claim ticket that could get lost on a trip, a traveler enters a phone number and their initials into a digital kiosk and then poses for a photo with their coat before handing it over for storage.

To get the coat back after their trip, the traveler keys in the last four of digits of their phone number at the claim desk to bring up the original photo and an ID number that tells the CoatChex staff where to find the coat.

Right now, the CoatChex kiosk at JetBlue’s T5 is in a temporary location, but plans are to have a larger, more centrally located kiosk that can accommodate more items.

JFK is not the first airport to have a coat check service. Frankfurt Airport is offering coat check service for less than a dollar a day through the end of April and for several winters Korean Air has been offering five complimentary days of coat storage to passengers flying out of Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea.