airports

Airports: “We’re open”

Restaurants, shops, bars, schools and offices in many communities are closed.

But airports? For now, they’re open.

Although activities in and around the terminals are different, with far fewer passengers and flights than normal.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has opened its garages to free parking. And posting a list of which dining, shopping and service locations are open.

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) has shifted its dining options to take-out and in-terminal delivery service from At Your Gate.

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO), all restaurants are open for now, but many with reduced hours. Bars are closed. And, as with restaurants in many cities, service is take-out only.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is sharing a list of which restaurants remain open for grab-n-go food options.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) have closed the North and South terminal checkpoints.

Here are recent messages from other airports.

As with everything else in the world right now, situations are changing. So if you’re headed to an airport, check ahead.

And, on Wednesday morning, not long after an earthquake was reported near Salt Lake City, the airport tweeted this:

Some airports close or cut back seating areas, restaurants, stores

Airline schedule cuts, the drop in travel and orders in some cities and states to close the dine-in area of restaurants and bars means some airports are cutting back the hours of concessions or closing them altogether.

We’ll likely see more of this in the days to come.

Here’s the start of our list.

Fewer flights, but TSA + airports still fighting germs

Pretty much every airline is spooling out schedule cuts in response to reduced passenger demand, concerns about coronavirus and government-imposed restriction.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Norwegian and Singapore Airlines are just a few carriers that have made serious schedule adjustments in the past few days.

Fewer planes will be in the skies, but airports remain open.

And the Transportation Security Administration, which recently confirmed that three of its officers at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, is finally getting into gear with security checkpoint-specific advice for travelers.

TSA is reminding travelers that it is OK to bring individually packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage. Jumbo containers of hand wipes are also allowed in carry-on or checked luggage, says TSA, as are liquid hand sanitizers.

For safety reasons, savvy travelers already know to put personal stuff such as wallets, keys, phones, loose change, etc., inside their carry-ons and not loose in the bins going through the x-ray machines.

But those bins don’t get cleaned very often – if at all – and are full of germs.

So, TSA is reminding travelers to keep their personal items from touching the bins and to wash their hands as soon as possible after going through the screening process.

Airports are continuing their efforts to stay extra clean as well.

Airports with award-winning customer service

Considering the current coronavirus concerns, you may not be spending much time hanging out in airports for a while.

But when you do venture out, let’s hope it is to, from or through one of the airports that got top honors this week in the Airport Service Quality Awards given out by Airports Council International (ACI), an organization representing airports around the world.

The awards are based on passenger surveys that rate each airport in 34 categories, including facility access, check-in, security screening, stores, restaurants and restrooms.

Here are the airports in North American that will take home some of the 140 awards given:

Best Airports by Size – North America:

Under 2 million passengers

Capital Region International Airport – LAN (Lansing, Michigan)

Jean-Lesage International Airport – YQB (Quebec, Canada)

Between 2 and 5 million passengers – North America

Courtesy El Paso International Airport

El Paso International Airport – ELP (El Paso, Texas)

Portland International Jetport – PWM (Portland, Maine)

Between 5 and 15 million passengers – North America

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) – Cincinnati, Ohio

Indianapolis International Airport (IND) – Indianapolis, Indiana

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) – Jacksonville, Florida.

Between 15 and 25 million passengers – North America

Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) – Dallas, Texas

Tampa International Airport (TPA) – Tampa, Florida

Between 25 and 40 million passengers – North America

MSP’s award-winning restroom

Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP) – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Over 40 million passengers – North America

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – DFW Airport, Texas

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) – Toronto, Canada

What now? A new week of coronavirus travel alerts

News related to the spread of coronavirus and its impact on travel seems to be coming faster than we can keep up with it.

On Sunday, the U.S. State Department issued a notice urging U.S. citizens not to travel by cruise ship.  

The CDC is also discouraging older adults and anyone with underlying health issues from taking long plane trips and spending time in crowded places.

Airports would count as crowded places. Although with so many flights canceled and so many travelers staying home, airports are far less crowded than usual.

But for those who are traveling, airports and airlines are continuing to scrub facilities and share information about what they’re doing to keep passengers safe.

Here are just a few messages from the past few days.