Airport shopping

Chicago’s Midway Airport gets a classic toy store

FAO Schwarz may have closed it iconic toy store on New York’s 5th Avenue back in 2015, but the brand is working its way back into our hearts with its appearance in airports.

During the holiday season in 2017, there was a 300-square-foot pop-up FAO Schwarz shop at JFK’s Terminal 4.

In December 2018, an FAO Schwarz store opened in the new concourse at LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B.

And on Monday, the Chicago Department of Aviation will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of an FAO Schwarz toy store by Gate A5 at Midway International Airport.

The store is located by Gate A5 and features the toy store’s well-known toy soldiers, large toy displays and a piano key dance mat.

Coming soon: an FAO Schwarz toy store at Indianapolis International Airport.

Now parents who do their “What did you get me?” shopping at the airport will have an easier time wowing the little ones after a business trip.

Even more last-minute gifts to buy at airports

Getting ready to travel for the holiday? Do you have all your gifts? Yesterday, Stuck at The Airport  shared a list of great gifts you can buy at airports shops.

Here are some more, from Jacksonville International in Florida and Hollywood Burbank Airport in California.

At Jacksonville International Airport, Made in JAX, located in the pre-security courtyard, offers a variety of items crafted by Northeast Florida artists and artisans from Jacksonville, Amelia Island and St. Augustine.

Amelia Island Marketplace, modeled after one of Northeast Florida’s most popular tourist destinations, has a variety of souvenirs for beach lovers and apparel from local sports teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp , Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles. 

At Hollywood Burbank Airport, there are adorable pet-themed gifts at Up, Pup ‘N’ Away in Terminal A. 

Have you found some great holiday gifts in airport shops this year? Share a photo if you can. 

11 gates open at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

New York’s LaGuardia Airport is in the midst of an $8 billion makeover and the first 11 gates are now open in the state-of-the-art Terminal B.

Airlines operating out of this new concourse include Air Canada, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. They’ll be joined by United Airlines in 2019.

The space includes soaring ceilings, a colorful children’s play area, charging stations throughout the seating areas and a nursing room.

The kids’ area has a 16-foot interactive display that allows users to design their own aircraft on a tablet and watch it come to life on a giant digital wall. Next to the kids area is an indoor green space with greenery, benches and plenty of natural light.

A slection of New York-inspired food, beverage and retail offerings include a branch of toy store FAO Schwarz and dining options such as Shake Shack, La ChulaBar & Taqueria (Mexican taqueria), Osteria Fusco (Italian), Kingside Bar & Restaurant, Irving Fam Coffee Roasters and Five Boroughs Market.

In-airport food and retail delivery service ‘At Your Gate’ is up and running in LGA Terminal B as well.

The terminal also has an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, with a United Club scheduled to open in 2019.

Other retail offerings include independent bookseller McNally Jackson, Hudson, LaGuardia Dufry Duty Free Shops, Spa Here, M∙A∙C,  and District Market, with specialty Made in Queens products.

“You’re going to love the new LaGuardia Airport,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet.

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.)

Party at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Would you go to an airport if you don’t have to?  What is there’s a party going on?

On Saturday, Dec 1, for the fifth year in a row, Pittsburgh International Airport is holding a Holiday Open House in the post-security side of the terminal and inviting the non-flying public to join in.

Festivities will include a live performance by LoveBettie, a chance to create your own giftwrap, a visit by the National Aviary’s African penguin, a juggler, an artist doing airbrush tattos and, of course,  a visit from Santa.

Shops and restaurants will be offering special treats and discounts. And everyone gets free validated parking! Plus, there’s no sales tax on most clothing in Pennsylvania.

Beyond the party, this is a great time to see and learn about the art at the airport on a self-guided or guided art tour.

In addition to a shrine to Mister Rogers, who lived in Pittsburgh and produced his Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood program there, PIT’s art collection includes art prints by Pittsburgh-born artist Andy Warhol, a giant mobile by Alexander Calder, a Robot Repairt shop, and a large scale robotic figure named Arch.

Mr Rogers shrine at Pittsburgh Airport

Andy Warhol Wallpaper at PIT

PIT Calder Mobile

 Interested?  The party runs from 10 a. m. to 6 p.m.  To attend, non-ticketed guests must register in advance, arrive by 5 .m. and make to sure bring along a valid government-issued photo ID.

See you there!