Airport food

Travel Tidbits from here and there

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food and a dish many people turn to when they are stressed.

So where better to open a restaurant with a full menu of mac and cheese dishes than in an airport?

San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) is now home to the first airport mac and cheese restaurant: San José Mac + Cheese Kitchen.

Located in Terminal B, across from Gate 19, the restaurant is serving up a Signature Mac along with a wide variety of customizable mac and cheese dishes with cheddar cheese sauce, 5-cheese white sauce, grilled chicken, smoked bacon, and BBQ pulled pork.

The menu also includes Grilled Mac + Cheese Sandwiches, Breakfast Mac + Cheese Burritos, and a full bar.

Very comforting!

More airport comfort

Speaking of comfort, we spotted some comforting touches at South Carolina’s Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) Sunday morning as we made our way to a very early flight.

First, we spotted these very comfy chairs right by the baggage claim carousels.

Then, once through security, we made our way down a hallway filled with useful – and tempting – vending machines.

We’ve seen the Fuel Rod machine that dispenses handy fully-charged chargers in quite a few airports. But the machine that’s ” a carwash for glasses and jewelry,” and the one that dispenses tins filled with licorice aren’t as common. Yet.

And how’s this for service?

We saw a gate agent sprint off towards the security checkpoint and wondered what was up. In just a few minutes she came running back with a young man in tow who would have missed his flight had she not rushed over and hustled him to the front of the security checkpoint line.

Travel Tidbits From An Airport Near You

Courtesy Portland International Airport

Cool New Kids’ Play Area at Portland International Airport

The family travel team at Stuck at the Airport knows that traveling with kids can be trying.

That’s why we’re delighted to see airports adding or refreshing play areas with creative and engaging features.

The latest on the scene is at Portland International Airport (PDX). There, the Tillamook County Creamery Association has created a cool new kids’ play area on Concourse E.

The 600-square-foot space has steps, slides, and a flying van designed with children ages 3 to 8 – and people of all abilities – in mind. The bouncy flooring is made from post-consumer recycled materials and the mural on the wall is by illustrator Josephine Rais.

The Tillamook Market, also on Concourse E, serves up meals made with Tillamook’s famous cheese and other locally-sourced ingredients, scoops of Tillamook ice cream, exclusive branded merch, and grab-and-go favorites including famous Tillamook Cheese Curds.

Freshful Fridge at Santa Barbara Airport

Stuck at the Airport is 100% in favor of healthy food options at all airports.

And we’re big fans of the Farmer’s Fridge salad vending machines offering fresh meals at more than 20 airports.

The trend is growing.

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) has a new Freshful Fridge vending machine filled with locally-sourced snacks, salads, and beverages. Look for it in the SBA baggage claim area on the first floor.

More Limits at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport

For a while now, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) has been placing caps on the number of departing passengers and flights. The action is an effort to deal with staff shortages that are causing long lines, canceled flights, and giant baggage backups.

KLM, Schiphol’s biggest customer, and a handful of other airlines aren’t happy about those flight caps and have filed a suit against Schiphol.

Now comes word that Schiphol will further restrict flights in an effort to reduce noise pollution.

Beginning “no later than 2025 – 26,” Schiphol will ban aircraft takeoffs between midnight and 6 am and all aircraft landings between midnight and 5 am.

Private jets and the noisiest airplanes will no longer be welcome at Schiphol. And plans for an additional runway are being scrapped.

We need to be sustainable for our employees, the local environment, and the world,” said Ruud Sondag, Royal Schiphol Group CEO. “I realize that our choices may have significant implications for the aviation industry, but they are necessary. This shows we mean business.”

KLM said in a statement that while it believes “operations should be in balance with our surroundings and the climate,” the airline is “astonished” that Schiphol is “unilaterally putting forward proposals that will have far-reaching consequences for airlines, without involving the industry parties in this process.”

Instead, KLM said, it would prefer “to work with the rest of the aviation industry on developing further measures to reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution.”

Heathrow Airport handing out Holiday Gifts

Like all airports, London’s Heathrow Airport is very busy for the holidays, with more than three million travelers expected to pass through the terminals in just the last two weeks of December.

But unlike all airports, Heathrow is passing out thousands of gifts to passengers to help them on their merry way.

Throughout December, Heathrow’s team of ‘Little Here to Helpers’ are handing out 10,000 gifts across all four terminals. The gifts are provided by airport tenants, including airlines, shops, bars, and restaurants, and include everything from free flights and lounge access to Chanel perfumes, Pret breakfasts, and designer makeup from World Duty Free.

Want a gift? If you’re traveling through Heathrow look for the smiling folks in Santa hats hanging out near one of the 25 Christmas trees spread across the terminals. Not everyone will get a free gift, of course, but if you head that way, you’ll increase your chances.

Let us know if you score.

But wait, there’s more!

Heathrow also has an advent calendar on its website and on its app. Behind the windows, you’ll find discounts from Heathrow shops, bonus points from Heathrow Rewards, World Duty Free promotions, and deals on festive-inspired food and beverage menus.

Kids Eat Free

Airport meals can get expensive. And if you’re traveling with kids you’ll have to feed them too.

So it’s nice to know that Heathrow’s Kids Eat Free program is still in force.

Through January 3, 2023 participating restaurants at Heathrow Airport will offer once free child’s meal with each adult meal purchased, with a limit of four free kids meals.

This is a great airport amenity and is available during school holidays.

Voodoo Doughnuts Lands at Denver Int’l Airport

Doughnut fans rejoice!

Good things do come in pink boxes at an airport.

If you’re a fan of Portland-based Voodoo Doughnuts, you know what’s up when you spot people flying with a pink box carefully balanced on their laps.

And if you just love the idea of having a decadent doughnut as a treat when you travel, you’re in luck.

Voodoo Doughnuts has opened its first airport location. And it is at Denver International Airport (DEN) on the Concourse B mezzanine.

Voodoo Doughnuts is credited with creating the gourmet doughnut category way back in 2003 with doughnuts such as the Bacon Maple Bar, a Voodoo Doll doughnut, a doughnut made with Captain Crunch cereal, a Dirt Doughnut, and the Pepto Bismol Doughnut – which the FDA nixed.

Voodoo Doughnut now offers more than 50, often outrageous, doughnut creations in locations in Oregon, Texas, Colorado, at Hollywood’s Universal City Walk and Orlando Universal Walk.

Fans of the doughnuts often bring pink doughnut-filled boxes of these treats with them as gifts when they travel, And they have to figure out how to get them through airport security.

Now there’s the option of indulging in a Voodoo Doughnut or buying a box to go at Denver Int’l Airport. To celebrate, the opening of this first airport location, a planeload of United Airlines passengers was treated to a doughnut festival.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Happy Thursday. Today we present a quick round-up of some travel tidbits and news-to-use, courtesy of an airport near you.

Ride public transit free to Denver International Airport

How did we miss this?!

Chicken and Waffles Now Being Served at PDX Airport

Look at You, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Now That’s a Beer Run

Airport or Museum? You Decide