airport dining

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

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.

Airport Restaurant Month

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 ups

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.

And this from the TSA Week in Review:

Between April 22 and 28, TSA security officers found 85 firearms in carry-on bags at airports. 75 of those firearms were loaded and 28 of those firearms had a round chambered.

Alarmed?

Snaps from Southwest Airlines’ new Terminal 1 at LAX

Southwest Airlines has a new and improved 13-gate Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport.

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. 

 

Courtest LAX

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.)

Airport Restaurant Month is back

It’s back. For the fourth year running, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month.

 

Taking a cue from the popular Restaurant Week promotions that take place in many cities this time of year, HMSHost is hosting Airport Restaurant Month at more than 50 North American airports.

Prices and menus may vary a bit in the participating restaurants in airports across the country, but during HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month you’ll find a featured seasonal menu:

  • Seared Salmon – topped with basil pesto.
  • Vegetarian Flatbread – topped with basil pesto, goat cheese, tomato compote and sunflower seeds
  • Roasted Chicken Breast – topped with basil pesto and sage chicken jus
  • Better Than Bacon Burger – topped with fontina cheese and bacon-tomato compote
  • Grilled Pesto Shrimp Wrap – baby kale, roasted mushrooms, peppers and asparagus served with mushrooms and asparagus

Each entrée is being served with roasted mushrooms and asparagus, crispy smashed potatoes tossed with baby kale and a serving of fresh fruit.

This year there’s also a special cocktail for Airport Restaurant Month. In most of the participating venues you can order “The Temptation,” which features Templeton Rye whisky with a touch of malbec, lemon, and maple syrup – all topped with grapes. (Here’s the recipe, so you can mix this drink up at home.)

Go. Eat. Food in airports is getting better.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l will upgrade Terminal 3

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is going give its Terminal 3 a makeover, with lots of local dining options and fresh new shops. All should be open by 2010.

In addition to a branch of Shake Shack, locally-themed dining venues coming from both airport dining operators Host International and SSP American in the mix will include:

  • The Parlor– Wood oven pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads and more;
  • Mustache Pretzel – Gourmet pretzels, dips and drinks.
  • Postino – bruschetta boards, salads, sandwiches, beer, wine and more.
  • Joyride Taco House –  Tacos, burritos, craft cocktails and more.
  • Tru Burger Co. –Specialty burgers from a local favorite.
  • Original ChopShop – Salads, protein bowls, sandwiches, fresh juices and more.
  • Uberrito Fresh Mex –Burritos, tacos, and more are available at this fresh-Mexican eatery.
  • Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen – Locally-brewed beer makes,, pub fare, salads, craft beer and more.
  • Leoni’s Focaccia – Sandwiches made with cured Italian meats, focaccia bread, and a variety of cheeses.
  • Ajo Al’s Mexican Café – An Arizona original.
  • Crave Grounds – Fresh donuts with locally-roasted coffees and specialty teas.
  • The Tavern – From Phoenix Chef Mark Tarbell. Salads, sandwiches, burgers, and a variety of entrees.
  • Christopher’s Crush – From James Beard award winner Chef Gross, a local restaurant with a variety of pizzas, salads, entrees, meats and cheeses and more.

Some of the locally-themed retail concepts on the way include:

  • Discover Arizona– Arizona-themed gifts, souvenirs, books and more.
  • Indigenous/Mosaic – Combines two popular Sky Harbor stores. Ceramics, jewelry, artwork, collectibles.
  • Lolli and Pops – Candies, edible items and more.
  •  Travel Outfitters – Luggage and travel accessories from a local store that also has locations in Chandler and Scottsdale.

Some of these new outlets will open in late 2018/early 2019 as part of the Terminal’s new South Concourse. The rest should open when in 2020 when the north concourse renovation is finished. More details here.

 

Eat in a gondola at Munich Airport

Munich Airport has a lot going for it, amenities-wise.

There’s the brewery/beer garden, the play areas for kids, the sleeping cabins, the observation deck, and the MAC Forum that’s used to host everything from summer surfing to a full=blown Christmas Market.

Now there’s one more fun way to spend time at Munich Airport: eating in a gondola taken from a real ski lift.

The airport has a new restaurant – Sportalm – in Terminal 2, that serves Alpine specialties in a mountain-decor, a gondola, a sports bar and, opening next month, an upper level sun terrace with love seats and lounge chairs.

To set the scene of a traditional Upper Bavarian farmhouse, the decor includes tree trunks, knickknacks, an old barn door and a stone trough – all things that give the restaurant “authentic snugness and originality,” according to the airport.