SFO layover? See Art of African Instruments

If you’re arriving, departing or making a connection at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), be sure to leave some time to explore some of the museum-quality exhibits offered by the SFO Museum.

The newest exhibition comes to SFO Airport courtesy of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. It features bells, rattles, harp lutes, drums, slit gongs, and lamellophones or “thumb pianos” from the West and Central African countries of Liberia, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Here’s a bit about the exhibit from the museum:

Africa’s rich cultural heritage encompasses a tremendous range of music, musical instruments, and performing arts. The variety of instruments made and used in Africa ranges from drums, xylophones, and zithers, to electric guitars and keyboards. Many traditional musical instruments appear utilitarian, while others are embellished with geometric, anthropomorphic, and zoomorphic features, allowing them to simultaneously serve as works of art.

Take a look at a few images from the exhibit below and see the rest of the instruments in SFO’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 through April 13, 2025.

(Images courtesy SFO Museum)

Airports, airlines and Amtrak get creative on April Fools’ Day

Once again, airports, airlines and other parts of the aviation industry did a great job of marking April Fools’ Day.

Here are some of the campaigns and (fake) announcements we’ve found – so far. Let us know what we missed and we’ll add it to the list.

DFW Airport documents a sticky note prank that got out of hand

Reno-Tahoe Int’l Airport introduces Travel Tubes

Denver Int’l Airport introduces driveway to runway service

Tampa Int’l Airport’s flamingo flies away. And returns

The “real” reason the stone color on the Washington Monument changes

Norfolk Int’l Airport introduces a Sky Lift

Salt Lake City International makes its tunnel more fun

Cork Airport gets a rebrand

JetBlue adds Nathan’s Frank to the snack carts

Atlant’s Airport adds new attractions

Icelandair introduces inflight matchmaking service

In a throwback to in-flight matchmaking services that didn’t, uh, fly, and with a nod to the real-life story of a couple who met and later married after meeting on an Icelandair flight, on April 1 the airline introduced a faux in-flight dating app called “Icelandair Up to Date,”

Emirates offers a high-rise with an airport

Heathrow Airport introduces Heathrow Airlines

Finnair’s strawberry juice with berries picked on Mars. As requested by Santa Claus

Wizz Air introduces… Rizz Air

Amtrak adds an emotional baggage car

Int’l Women’s Day Aviation Round-Up

March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day.

Here’s how some airports and aviation museums and others marked the day.

There’s a lot you can learn in a quick scroll.

Which airport was the busiest in 2023?

Yes, airports were very, very busy this year. But which one was the busiest in 2023?

That would be Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), which topped the list put together by flight data company OAG.

OAG measures ‘busiest’ by airline capacity (seats), and during 2023 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) had more than 61 million departing seats.

That is 12% over 2022 and just 3% below 2019 levels. ATL was also the busiest global airport in 2022 and 2019.

Full list of airports that made the Top 10 of World’s Busiest Airports in 2023

Here are the rankings of the busiest airports in the world, ranked by seats. You’ll see that 5 U.S. airports ranked in the Top 10.

  1. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (ATL)
  2. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  3. Tokyo International Airport – Haneda (HND)
  4. London Heathrow Airport (LHR
  5. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  6. Denver International Airport (DEN)
  7. Istanbul Airport (IST)
  8. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  9. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  10. China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)

Traveling for Thanksgiving?

Are you traveling over this Thanksgiving holiday?

You won’t be alone. Not by a long shot.

AAA projects 55.4 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. That’s an increase of 2.3% over last year and marks the third-highest Thanksgiving forecast since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000.

AAA expects 4.7 million people will fly over the Thanksgiving holiday.

That’s an increase of 6.6% compared to 2022 and the highest number of Thanksgiving air travelers since 2005.

Airport checkpoints will be busier than ever during this Thanksgiving holiday season, which begins Friday, Nov. 17, and concludes Tuesday, Nov. 28. And during that 12-day period, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers.

Historically, the three busiest travel days around Thanksgiving are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. TSA expects to screen 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 21; 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, Nov. 26, which will likely be the busiest travel day.

TSA PreCheck

TSA says there are now more than 17.6 million passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck, which represents 3.9 million more TSA PreCheck members than there were this time last year.

So don’t be surprised if the PreCheck lanes seem long at the airports you’ll be flying through this holiday season.