airport shops

PHX Sky Harbor Airport celebrates new concourse

The newly named John S. McCain III Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) now has a new South Concourse and post-security lobby area with 15 gates and all new shops, restaurants and amenities.

The area offers passengers lots of light and great view of Phoenix’s desert landscape as well as power at most every seat, a new state-of-the-art Delta Sky Club, a children’s play area (the PHX Play-Viation Park), a nursing room and an animal relief area.

Public art installations feature a colorful terrazzo floor by Arizona artist Teresa Villegas as well as Donald Lipski’s “Aviators” which are giant sunglasses on the wall of the arrivals atrium.

Retail includes national brands, such as Johnston & Murphy and Sugarfina, as well as locally-linked venues such as Best of the Valley and Travel Outfitters. Mosaic includes artwork by Phoenix and Arizona-based artists, and Indigenous pays tribute to Southwest Native American tribes and offers jewelry and crafts.

Dining options include Shake Shack and Panera Bread as well as chef Mark Tarbell’s Tavern, James Beard award winner Christopher Gross’ Christopher’s and other local favorites that include The Parlor (pizza and pasta), SanTan Brewing Company and Mustache Pretzels, which serves mustache-shaped pretzels (and dips), including the Nutstache, with salted caramel and topped with crushed peanuts, walnuts, almonds and filberts.

Terminal 3 serves Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and Sun Country and is being updated in phases.

There’s one more phase to completed: the renovation of the North Concourse, which will add all new shops, restaurants and customer amenities. That phase is slated to be completed in 2020.

Travel tidbits to start 2019

Easing into 2019 by catching up on some newsy item.

Last week United Airlines announced it was bringing back the sweet stroopwaffel on flights.

Besides being a nice sweet snack to have with a cup of coffee, the stroopwafel offers passengers something to do: United tells passengers to warm up the stroopwafel by taking it out of the package and setting it on top of their coffee.

On New Year’s eve, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport offered travelers a silent disco in the bag claim area.

Had we known this was on the agenda, the airport disco would have made our list of Best Airport Amenities of 2018.

Going forward, the folks at 10Best have teamed up with Airport Experience News (AXN) to ask travelers to weigh in on some of the best airport amenites in North America.

Categories include Best Airport Bar, Best Airport for Dining, Best Airport for Shopping, Best Airport for Local/Regional Dining – and more.

Cast your vote – once a day through January 28 – here.

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com we have some favorite airports and airport amenities, but we’re always on the lookout for airport offerings that are brand new.

What amenities do you hope to see at airports in 2019? Let us know!

You can (and maybe should) do your holiday shopping at the airport


I have it on good authority that Santa grabs a lot of last minute gifts in airports shops, just like so many of us time-pressed travelers. 

Need some ideas?  Here’s a version of a column I put together for CNBC that highlights great gifts you can find at airport gift shops around the country. 

To get you started, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, SanFrancisco International and Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport have put together gift guides highlighting unique items for sale in their terminals.

As the holidays get nearer, community groups will staff complimentary gift-wrapping tables (donations encouraged) in many airport terminals. So no one will be the wiser when you show up with a lovely wrapped gift you bought on the fly.   


Pendleton from Portland 

(2_ Pendleton store at Portland International Airport. Courtesy Port of Portland)

Oregon-made products to pick up at Portland International Airport range from parachuting DB Cooper action figures ($4.99)and Moonstruck Chocolate’s dark chocolate bar honoring the iconic PDX airportcarpet ($12) to woolen scarves, throw pillow, shirts, Native American-inspiredblankets and co-branded Waterstone rain boots at the Pendleton shop. Bonus: PDX has street-pricing and there’s nosales tax in Oregon.

Dainty candy from Detroit

The Frivolous shop at Detroit Metropolitan Airport lives up to its promise of being filled with “wonderfully unnecessary” gift items. Consider candy ‘coal’ and dainty boxes of raspberry gummi candies ($7.99) or brightly colored, fully functional retro push-button phones ($69.99).

Craft beer six-packs

A bottle of wine from any of the more than two dozen Vino Volo airport locations would make a lovely gift. At Nashville International Airport, travelers can pick up six-packs of bottled craft beer to go at the Tennessee Brew Works kiosk and at Yazoo! Brewing or 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at Fat Bottom Beer Brewing. 

The recently opened NoDa Brewing at CharlotteDouglas International Airport offers mix-n-match four packs of cans to go, with signature beers such as Coco Loco and Hop, Drop ‘N Roll.

Channel Seattle with flannel -or soap

Sleepless in Seattle” nightshirts($32.99) are still available at airport shops in Seattle, even though the film is now 25 years old. The Sub Pop retail shop carries some of record company’s cool clothing line, including a $65 “Fremont Flannel.” And, at Made in Washington, Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix is honored with PurpleHaze Lavender soaps ($9.99)

Crabs from Miami International Airport

Some Legal Sea Food branches at Boston’s Logan Airport will pack live lobsters to go, while at Miami’s International Airport, fresh Florida stone crabs can be packed for gift giving at Prive Gourmet Market or at My Ceviche.

Presents for pets and their people

At Phoenix Sky HarborInternational Airport (PHX), Connections (T4) sells Arizona Gourmet Doggie treats ($6.99), while Mosaic (pre-security T4) offers a wide range of fun dog-themed refrigerator magnets ($5.95).

Cute pet toys from BarkBox, which are usually available only by subscription, are for sale this season at numerous airport Hudson shops, including in Phoenix; Fresno, Los Angeles, San Jose, SanFrancisco, Orange County and Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; Seattle; andMinneapolis-St. Paul.

Vended treasures

Roeland Park, KS USA – October 13, 2017: zim’s 2017 Product Line

One great thing about doing holiday shopping at airports is that the stores open very early and close super late. Another plus: you can now find SouveNEAR’s vending machines stocked with locally-made gifts and craft items in Oakland International Airport (OAK), Kansas City International Airport (KCI) and NewarkLiberty International Airport (EWR; Terminal A).

Eko Kreations has napkins embroidered with California wildflowers (set of 4; $45) in theSouveNEAR machine at OAK, bottles of Zim’s Hot Sauce (set of 2, 3-oz bottles,$11) are available at KCI, and a tin filled with 10 scented mini soaps from OohLa La Petite Boutique is available at EWR.

Celebrity treatment at LosAngeles International Airport 

A gift membership($4,500; not including per flight fees) or a one-time visit ($2700 – $4,000) to ThePrivate Suite at Los AngelesInternational Airport is a luxury splurge sure to impress.

The private terminal has its own security and customs/immigration screening as well as individual suites for guests with bathrooms, food pantries, daybeds and runway views. Suite-to-aircraft transportation (in BMW 7-Series sedans) is included. 

Souvenir Sunday: island bread from the Honolulu airport

It’s Souvenir Sunday, a day to take a look at unique, locally-themed gifts you can buy when you’re stuck at the airport.

This week’s treats: Coconut Pineapple and Guava Bread from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

Courtesy HMSHost

The breads, now on sale in some shops at the airport, started as a treat baked up by HMSHost and offered in employee cafe.

Pilots and flights crews began snapping up loaves to take to the mainland and eventually HMSHost – which operates many shops at HNL and other airports about the country – decided to make the bread available to travelers as well.

Now Makai Plantation and The Local in the Garden View Food Court (C-Gates area) sell the homemade  Coconut Pineapple and Guava Breads.

Other treats to find a HNL airport include fresh flower leis, hula girl ornaments, Spam-flavored macadamia nuts, and ukeleles.

Leis are everywhere at the airport. Even on the sign for the women’s restrooms.

Help out with Souvenir Sunday.

If you find a fun, locally-themed item at an airport shop, please snap a photo, get the price and send it all along to us at StuckatTheAirport.com.

If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, we’ll send you a travel-themed souvenir.