Airport food

Travel Tidbits for air travelers

 Brazilian restaurant for Miami International Airport

A popular chain restaurant from Brazil – Viena – has opened on the top (seventh) floor of the pre-security MIA Hotel at Miami International Airport.

The restaurant, which replaces the “Top of the Port” restaurant that was in that spot for many years, has a menu featuring Brazilian and European dishes, including salt cod fritters (Bolinho de Bacalau), Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

In addition to great views, this new restaurant has free Wi-Fi, happy hour, large-screen TVS and electronic charging stations.

Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport

 March 12-18 is Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) with seven restaurants in Concourse B offering special entrees at a discount – $12 – throughout the week

  • Baba Bar: Harissa Chicken Sandwich
  • Boule Café: French Onion Grilled Cheese
  • Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar: Shrimp Calabrese
  • Germantown Biergarten: Cheddar Brat Platter
  • Love Grille: Cheesesteak Hoagie
  • Mezzogiorno: Short Rib and Tomato Pizza
  • Noobar: Spicy Chicken Fried Rice

United Airlines passengers can buy a place in line

United Airlines now allows standard economy passengers to purchase Priority Boarding, allowing them to board in group 2.

The cost is $9 per segment and, according to United, the number of passes sold will be “closely controlled based on flight, date, time of day and day-of-week restrictions.”

For those who already have TSA Precheck and really want to move up in the boarding process, this is a less expensive add-on than Premier Access, which offers priority boarding benefits along with other benefit such as access to premier check-in lines and security lanes. Prices for this add-on start at $15 per segment.

Keep in mind: the new Priority Pass option, like Premier Access, is non-refundable and is not available to you if you’ve purchased a Basic Economy ticket.

SXSW bring extra music to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport  

The SXSW mash-up of conferences and festivals is underway in Austin and the airport in the Live Music Capital of the World is doing its part to make sure everyone gets their fill of music.

In addition to the usual 21 live music events it offers each week, Austin Bergstrom International Airport is adding six extra performances during peak SXSW travel days – March 12, 13 and 19.

Of the extra performances, bands will play at the airport’s Asleep at the Wheel State at Ray Benson’s Roadhouse near Gate 10, while extra solo acts will perform at Annie’s and Waterloo. See the full schedule here.

Post Office plus at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports

The Parisian postal service – La Poste – has opened enhanced post offices at both Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle airports, In addition to 24-hour postal machines, these post offices will have gift shops, terminals where customers can make photo postcards, rentable work spaces, and other services, including a key drop.

Your face is your boarding pass

Passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick can now opt to use their face as their boarding pass, thanks to SITA’s biometric boarding technology, which scans a person’s face and matches it up with the data U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has on that passenger in their files.

The process is already being used with certain JetBlue flights at Boston Logan International Airport and British Airways flights at Los Angeles International Airport.

Going biometric isn’t a requirement to board the flights testing the new technology, but last year’s SITA’s passenger IT survey showed that 57% of passengers would use biometrics instead of a boarding pass. SITA reports that real world rates are even higher than that: nearly 100% of passengers are opting to use the biometric boarding during the trials.

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.

 

Gate-delivery service lands at San Diego Int’l Airport

 

You order take-out meals delivered to your home or office, so why not get a meal – or some merchandise – delivered to you while you’re sitting at your airport gate?

That’s the idea behind the app-powered services landing in airports.

Airport Sherpa started doing this last July at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and late last month San Diego International became the second airport in the country where passsengers and airport workers can use an app to order food, drink or merchandise for sale in the airport delivered to them wherever they are in the airport.

At Your Gate did a soft launch of its service in San Diego at the end of January with the company’s three founders joining two employees in making the initial in-airport deliveries to flight attendants, airline employees working gates and ticket counters, ramp break rooms and to a few passengers who caught wind of the program.

The service seemed popular among airport workers right away, with plenty of orders coming in from employee break rooms on Super Bowl Sunday.

Many flight crews with short turn-around times have already ordered food delivered to them at the gates, while at least one airline has set up an account with At Your Gate so they can order food for passengers in the first-class cabin in case the ground catering service doesn’t have time to restock a departing flight.

Another possible application for the app: delivering food to “through” passengers on Southwest Airlines flights who don’t have time on the short connections to get off the plane to buy a snack.

What does it cost?

At Your Gate is currently charging airport and airline employees a $2.99 delivery charge. Passengers in the airport will pay a $6.99 delivery charge when the service officially opens to them next month and there’s discussion of offering unlimited deliveries for a monthly subscription cost.

Sound like a good idea? Let me know what you think.

How to enter the cooking contest at O’Hare Airport

The “Channel Your Inner Chef” culinary competition is back for another year at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The HMSHost-sponsored competition gives amateur cooks, culinary students and anyone with a great recipe a chance to show off their favorite dishes and win some great prizes – including having their recipe featured at a restaurant at O’Hare Airport.

To enter: make a two-minute video of yourself preparing your favorite recipe, then upload your video by February 20, 2018 at ChannelYourInnerChef.com.

Five finalists will be selected based on the recipe, presentation, form, and showmanship.

Those finalists will win a trip to Chicago to compete in a live cooking showdown in front of an audience and a panel of judges at O’Hare Terminal 2 on March 20, 2018.

During the timed cook-off finalists will be asked to create an original recipe with ingredients revealed at the event and the winning dish will be featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at O’Hare.

The grand prize winner will also receive two roundtrip airline tickets for a flight within the continental U.S. and a VIP trip for two to attend the James Beard Awards Gala on May 7, 2018 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Deadline to enter is February 20, 2018. Full details at ChannelYourInnerChef.com.

 

Airport Restaurant Week at O’Hare & Midway Airports

Airport Restaurant Week is underway again at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports now through February 8.

The in-airport food fest brings a taste of the citywide Chicago Restaurant Week into the airport for ticketed passengers who will get to enjoy cooking demonstrations in the terminals, in-store-samplings, and a wide variety of giveaways and special offers in shops and restaurants.

Passengers who stick around after the cooking demos will get to taste the freshly-made dishes and take home free souvenirs, including an Airport Restaurant Week chip clip and a recipe book (while supplies last).

At O’Hare, cooking demos will take place each weekday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The stages are in Terminal 2 near Gate E1, in Terminal 3 near Gate H3 and in Terminal 5 near Gate M7. At Midway, the cooking demos will occur at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each weekday in the main food court, just past the security checkpoint.

Check the schedule to get more details about the cooking demonstrations, free-sampling events – and recipes –for Airport Restaurant Week events on special webpages set up for Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Chicago’s Midway Airport.

At O’Hare, check the schedule for Fannie May and Godiva chocolate sampling events taking place at Sarah’s Candies, popcorn sampling at Nuts on Clark, and other sampling events for smoothies, Chicago Hot Dogs, caramel apples and other treats. Many restaurants and shops will also be offering discounts and gift-with-purchase specials.

At Midway Airport, Airport Restaurant Week will not only offer in-store samplings and a full schedule of cooking demos, including beer, pizza, poke tacos, and more, but also a sneak peek at some of the new eateries being unveiled as part of a major concessions upgrade that includes BIG & little’s and the return of Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch.