Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) celebrated a birthday on July 9, so this is a good week to feature SEA in our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrating features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.
Keep in mind that some amenities may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns. We’re confident they’ll be back.
If we miss something you love about Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), leave a note in the comments section.
SEA has a live music program that brings in top-notch performers to play everything from jazz and blues, classical, folk and acoustic pop in various parts of the airport throughout the day.
5. The special events at SEA
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport goes all out to celebrate holidays and special days.
Dancing snowmen and live reindeers show up around Christmas.
And the airport hosts celebrations for everything from the Luna Year to Dia de Los Muertos and North American Heritage Month.
Did we miss an amenity you love at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)? The mountain views, the CPR training machine or the fun kids’ play area? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to suggest an airport you’d like to see featured in the “5 Things We Love About…” series.
already underway to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon
landing and the first steps taken by humans on the moon.
July 20 is the official anniversary day, but United Airlines and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport are among the groups that have a planned more than a month’s worth of activities to mark the lunar milestone.
Win a seat on a
special United Airlines celebration flight
Top among the events
is a special flight from Newark to Houston on July 17, the anniversary of the day astronauts Neil
Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin made their first TV
transmission from Earth to space.
On that day, United Flight 355 from Newark Liberty International Airport to Houston will be a celebratory flight with space-themed entertainment, inflight gifts and special guests who have been to space.
Want to go along? United is hosting a social media contest on Twitter with a prize that includes seats on board the Apollo 11 celebration flight as well as a behind the scenes tour of NASA facilities in Houston. Deadline to enter is June 22, 2019 at 10:29 a.m. CT.
Beginning July 1, members of United’s Mileage Plus mileage program can bid miles on space-themed experiences such as VIP access to Space Center Houston’s Apollo 11 50thAnniversary Celebration featuring the band Walk the Moon. More information on that here.
No contest entry needed
for these Apollo 11 activities:
There’s more: Starting
July 1, seatback and personal device entertainment on United flights will
include a channel with dedicated space-related program from NASA, including
action cam footage of astronaut spacewalks.
In United’s Terminal C and E at George Bush
Intercontinental Airport (IAH), there are lots of activities planned as well:
In Terminal C, gate lounges will display digital photographs from the Apollo 11 mission on the monitors.
From July 9-11 Space Center Houston will provide Apollo 11-themed pop-up science labs in the terminals. In the United Clubs, customers will have a chance to meet and take photos with retired Astronaut Ken Cameron.
During July, travelers
will also have a chance to eat like an astronaut at In United Airlines’ at two restaurants at
IAH, one in Terminal C and one in Terminal E.
What did the astronauts eat?
Between liftoff and touchdown
back on earth, astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins were running
experiments, taking pictures, gathering samples and making history.
The press kit lists the day-by-day,
meal-by-meal menu for each crewman and explains how some of the meals were
“After water has been injected into a food bag, it is kneaded for about three minutes. The bag neck is then cut off and the food squeezed into the crewman ‘s mouth,” the release explains.
Freeze-dried ice-cream isn’t
on the list, but powdered fruit-drinks (not Tang; NASA doesn’t use brand
names), along with bacon cubes, shrimp cocktail, beef stew, frankfurters, fruit
cocktail, tuna salad and many other familiar foods are.
“Familiar foods, or even just fresh
foods, are often hugely satisfying in space for the memories they trigger and
warm feelings they generate,” said Jennifer Levasseur,
Museum Curator, Department of Space
History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which has 13 packets
of food the Apollo 11 astronauts didn’t eat.
Like modern day travelers, food is one of the few
things astronauts can control during a journey far from home. “Food must have
had a very important role on Apollo 11 because they were doing things that had
never been done before,” said Vickie Kloeris, NASA Food Scientist Emeritus.
Dine like an astronaut
Many of the foods found
on those original Apollo 11 menus are featured during July on a special menu at
OTG’s Ember Tavern and Tanglewood Grille in United Airlines’ Terminal C and E
To ensure authenticity, OTG’s culinary team visited NASA’s Space Food
Systems Laboratory in Houston to learn about and taste food prepared by NASA’s
“We wanted to understand what food meant to astronauts having that
experience and what it means now,” said Dan O’Donnell, OTG’s Head of Culinary, “We
wanted to know the science and philosophy behind space food; where they were
then and where it is now.”
The biggest take-away, said O’Donnell was that
the astronauts could choose a lot of the foods they wanted to eat. “It wasn’t
just about sustenance. Much of it was food that reminded the astronauts of home;
like beef and potatoes, tuna salad and sugar cookies. Our menu is a play on
Travelers who order from
the Apollo 11-inspired IAH menu won’t be served meals that need to be
reconstituted and squeezed into their mouths from bags. Nor will they find 1969
Instead they’ll find modern-day
versions of many menu items from the Apollo 11 mission.
“For instance, our take
on the Tuna Salad uses seared ahi instead of regular tuna, but we prepared it
in the same way with walnuts, grapes, celery, apple and some fresh yogurt,”
said O’Donnell, “The Beef & Potatoes is made with grilled ribeye, scalloped
potatoes and parsley pesto.
Although there was no alcohol on Apollo 11, there’s are cocktails on the IAH Apollo 11 anniversary menu.
“The original menus said, ‘orange drink,’ ‘grapefruit drink’ or ‘citrus drink.’ They were very flavor focused and on the sweeter side, because people taste things differently in space,” said Allison Kafalas, OTG Beverage Director, “I took those flavors and translated them to cocktails that are a bit more relevant and modern for today’s eater, including a peach bellini, a martini using an orange vodka from Texas and a pineapple margarita.”
Tampa International welcomes
visitors past security
This week Tampa International Airport (TPA) introduces a program that offers non-ticketed guests access to the shops, restaurants, artwork and gate areas beyond security.
TPA’s program is called All-Access and will issue passes to 100 people each Saturday, starting on May 4. Passes will be good all day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
TPA has four distinct Airsides (A, C, E and F) and each week the 100 passes will be divied up by 25 passes issued for each Airside. So, to figure out which Airside to request, visitors should check out TPA’s shopping and dining guide.
Tampa International Airport is the second airport in the nation to offer non-ticketed guests this perk. Pittsburgh International Airport’s MyPITPass started in 2017 and offer passes on weekdays.
HMSHost has brought back Airport Restaurant
Month to 60 of its dining venues in airports across the country.
Throughout May, diners can choose from a selection of three appetizers and four entrees at the participating restaurants.
The menus may vary a bit by restaurant, but most will offer their take on Seared Salmon, Flatbread Prima Vera, a Spicy Slaw Burger, a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and an AM Wrap.
The meals include a dark chocolate sea salt bar as well.
See the menus and find the full of list of
restaurants participating in HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month here.
SFO moves pick-up spot for ride-hailing pick
Starting June 3, travelers getting picked up by ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft or Wingz at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will have to head to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.
International Terminal pickups will continue in the current location (at the center island of the Departure level roadway) and all ride-hailing drop-offs will continue to occur at designated upper-level departure curbside areas.
The change is designed to lighten traffic on the airport’s terminal roadway and comes after Uber X and Lyft began offering their customers a $3 discount if they chose to be picked up in the Airport’s Domestic Hourly Garage instead of at curbside.
That didn’t do much to reduce congestion, so in June SFO is going ahead and moving all domestic ride-hailing ride pickups to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, McCarran’s Las Vegas International Airport and an increasing number of other airports direct ride-hailing customers to a central garage area for picks ups as well.
this from the TSA Week in Review:
Between April 22 and 28, TSA security officers
85 firearms in carry-on bags at airports. 75 of those firearms were loaded
and 28 of those firearms had a round chambered.
The $516.7 million overhaul brings lots more light and seating, a more efficient centralized screening checkpoint and all new dining and retails outlets.
I was on hand for the celebration. Here are some snaps from the day:
Ribbon cutting for Southwest T1 at LAX
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and Danny Trejo at Trejo’s Taco first airport branch.
In additon to Trejo’s Tacos, the dining and retail outlets include Urth Caffe, Cassell’s Hamburgers, Reilly’s Irish Pub, Rock & Brews, and Beaming Organic Superfood Cafe as well as Be RElax, I Love L.A., Treat Me Sweet, New Stand newstands, and SOL Surf.
LA Original is the first shop passengers encounter when they leave the checkpoint and take the escalators up to the terminal. The shop showcases LA-branded locally designed, assembled or manufactured goods. Proceeds go to supporting the Downtown Women’s Center’s “Made by DWC” program that teaches job training and maker skills to women transitioning out of homelessness.
In addition to rotating art installations, the new Southwest T1 at LAX features this specially-commissioned, photo-friendly piece by Pilar Castillo.
Marvin Earl brings his complimentary shoe shine service to Southwest T1 at LAX. Morris Biggers was delighted to be the first customer.
More snaps and info on Southwest’s new T1 at LAX to come.
(All photos by Harriet Baskas, except where noted.)