airport history

What I learned about Dallas Love Field Airport

The team that produces “Love Field Stories,” the official podcast of Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL), was kind enough to include me as a guest for two upcoming episodes.

The two-parter delves into the unique history of the airport and highlights some of the wonderful art that can be spotted in and around the terminal.

The episodes will be live-streamed on Tuesday, April 12, and on May 10 at 12:30 p.m. (Central) on Love Field’s Facebook and YouTube and will include images of many of the historical events and artwork we discuss.

The podcast can also be heard on Apple Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora.

To produce the podcast, DAL teamed me up with Bruce Bleakley, who is an aviation historian and co-author of The Love Evolution: A Centennial Celebration of Love Field Airport and Its Art.

We called it a conversation. But really, it’s me getting to pick the brain of the airport’s historian. I asked Bleakley about how, in 1958, Dallas Love Field’s new terminal building came to have the first moving walkway at any airport in the world. And why there was an ice-skating rink in the terminal. And about the role that Dallas Love Filed played on that day in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas and Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as president on the DAL tarmac.

In this two-part podcast, we also learn the stories behind some of the great art that passengers walk over and walk by at DAL.

And I get Bleakley to tell us which city’s name is spelled wrong in the airport’s first commissioned piece of art. A detail he didn’t even share in his book.

I hope you’ll tune in!

Courtesy Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Celebrating the history of airports

The history department here at StuckatTheAirport.com is a big fan of anything having to do with the history of airports.

Airport libraries? We’ve read up that.

Moving walkways at airports? We’ve researched that too.

And we’re always glad to learn more about airport history over on the AirportHistory.org site.

The team there recently posted their top five illustrated airport history stories from 2021, starting with #5: a photo feature celebrating Vancouver International Airport on its 90th anniversary. You can see that feature here.

#4 on their list is a great story about the history of Montréal–Mirabel Airport. #3 is a story about Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the 1960s (see that story here).

And #2 on their list is a roundup of the world’s 10 busiest airports at the dawn of the Jet Age in 1961. See that story here.

And we are not surprised to see that their #1 story for 2021 is a piece featuring some great photos celebrating the 40th anniversary of Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of our favorites. See that story here.

At the Airport: News from GSP, FLL & Alaska Airlines

GSP Airport Debuts a History Museum

South Carolina’s Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) celebrated its Dedication Day on November 4, 1962.

Fifty-nine years later, the airport unveiled its History Museum, detailing decades of serving the community.

The 350 square foot History Museum is near the Escape Lounge in GSP’s Grand Hall and is accessible to departing and arriving passengers 24 hours a day.

The museum gives visitors a detailed look at GSP from the founders’ vision in the 1940s through the present day and on to future plans. Exhibits include photos, videos, and first-hand accounts of the airport’s impact on the region. A special section is dedicated to the Flatwood Peaches baseball team that played on fields where the airport is located.

Airport Employees Share Their Art at FLL

In Florida, Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is hosting the sixth installment of its employee artwork exhibition titled I Bet You Didn’t Know. This year, the exhibit showcases 46 artworks by 28 FLL employees and is on view through March 17, 2022, in the walkway connecting Terminals 3 and 4.

The work includes paintings, drawings, collages and acrylic pours, by artists whose airport jobs include security personnel, vendor operators, flight attendants, and other professions.

You can see all the works in the FLL exhibition online here.

John Berry ‘Jurassic Airport’

Alaska Airlines Now Serves Boxed Water

Next time you’re served a cup of water on Alaska Airlines, you’ll notice it being poured out of a box, not a plastic bottle into a paper, not a plastic cup.

This week Alaska Airlines did a great thing for the environment by swapping out single-use plastic water bottles and plastic cups for Boxed Water Is Better brand cartons and recyclable paper cups in the main cabin on all its flights.

The carrier made the switch in the First Class cabin a while back, so now Alaska is laying claim to the title of the first in the industry to move completely away from plastic for its water service.

That’s a big deal because this will eliminate about 32 million plastic water bottles and 22 million plastics cups per year from Alaska flights. The 1.8 million pounds of single use plastics per year avoided is equivalent to 18 Boeing 737s. You can read more about the program and the Boxed Water is Better Brand company in the story we wrote for The Points Guy.

LGB: 5 Things We Love About Long Beach Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series on StuckatTheAirport.com celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we’re landing at California’s Long Beach Airport.  Founded in 1923 it is the oldest municipally owned airport in California.

Keep in mind that some amenities we list here may not currently be available due to health concerns. We are confident they’ll be back.

5 Thing We Love About Long Beach Airport

1. The outdoor atrium at LGB 

The open-air atrium at Long Beach Airport has palm trees and a drought-tolerant garden. It is a rare treat to have an outdoor space an airport and this one even has a wine and beer bar (4th Street Vine) with a fire pit.

2. Outdoor boarding at LGB

LGB’s boarding experience harkens back to the golden age of flying; the outdoor boarding takes advantage of the year-round Southern California sunshine.  

3. Art and History at Long Beach Airport

The LGB terminal was built in 1941 in the Streamline Moderne style, with smooth walls, flat roofs, railings and porthole windows that make it look more like a ship than an airport terminal.

The airport also boasts floor mosaics and wall murals designed as part of the Works Project Administration (WPA) in the 1940s

Newer pieces include the sculpture below, by Aaron De La Cruz. Before being purchased by LGB, the untitled work was a temporary installation at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. There it was displayed vertically.

To accommodate LGB’s layout and keep sight lights to the airfield open, the artist’s team reconfigured the piece so it would hang from the ceiling.

“The sculpture is now in the shape of an arc to represent the motion of flights taking off and landing,” says the airport.

4. Local dining options at LGB

All the dining venues at LGB are local, which is pretty unusual for an airport.

Options include Long Beach Burger Bar, Polly’s Coffee, Sweet Jill’s Bakery, George’s Greek Café, Boathouse on the Bay, and the 4th Street Vine Wine & Beer Bar mentioned above.

5. Shopping at LGB 

Some airports sell snow globes in the gift shops. But at Long Beach Airport travelers can pick up sand globes.

Bonus: two cool videos from Long Beach Airport

Here are two fun videos from the Long Beach Airport website.

This first one features Earl S. Daugherty, who was a pioneer aviator, an advocate for the creation of the Long Beach Airport, and one of the earliest aviation photographers. He was known locally as the “King of Aviation” and is the person for whom the airfield is named for.

This video shows the barnstorming legend flying over Long Beach in the 1920s.

The expertly edited film below shows a day at Long Beach squeezed into two and a half minutes.

Did we miss your favorite feature of Long Beach Airport? Let us known in the comments section below.

And be sure to check out the other airports in our “5 Things We Love About…” series.

BWI & LAX airports mark anniversaries

Two airports celebrate dedication anniversaries this week: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

70 years ago, on June 24, 1950, President Harry S. Truman officially dedicated Friendship International Airport, which is now known as Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

11 years later, then-Vice President Lynden B. Johnson was on hand on June 25, 1961 for the dedication of the Jet Age terminals at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

A few years later, in 1964, Lucille Ball was at LAX to inaugurate the first “Astroway” – or moving walkway – at LAX .