Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport opens outdoor patio

The downside of travel is that, sometimes, you can spend a full day long days inside airports and hotels and hardly ever step outside.

That’s why StuckatTheAirport.com is such a big fan of airports with patios and outdoor observation decks.

Austin Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has a new one to check out.

The 5,770 square foot east terrace patio is located post-security on the mezzazine level between Gates 1-2.

To reach it, walk up the stairs or take the elevator to what the AUS airport calls its “hip terrace patio.”

The space is open 24 hours, is non-smoking and is located adjacent to the new Detla Sky Lounge.

The patio has a view of the 9,000-foot east runway and offers a great opportunity for plane spotting as well as a view of ramp and apron-level airport activities.

Austin can get very hot, so there’s an air-conditioned section of AUS’s patio.

In the outdoor section, patio is partially covered with sunshade blade panels to mimic the wings of an airplane.

The décor of the patio is modern-outdoor round tables, patio-furniture type seating and awnings that cover the family-style bench picnic tables.

Landscaping includes water-friendly native drought-tolerant plants.

And, for those of you into statistics: the airport tells us the patio flooring is covered with 428 wood pavers and 276 concrete pavers. Each concrete paver weighs 150 to 206 pounds and is 30 inches wide x 30 inches long and 2.25 inches thick.

Enjoy! And please send StuckatTheAirport.com a photo of what you see when you’re enjoying this new outdoor space at AUS airport.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

More airlines join the TSA Precheck program

The list of airlines participating in the TSAPrecheck program, which gives travelers access to an expedited line at airport security lanes, is growing.

New on the list of participating airlines: Qatar Airways and Edelweiss Air.
That brings the list of participating airlines up to 67.

Edelweiss operates at 5 U.S. airports; Qatar has flights in and out of 10 U.S. airports.

Another robot for Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport

Need coffee when you travel? Of course you do.

At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport there are now two places you can have a robot-machine brew you a cup 24 hours a day.

Austin-based Briggo is opening its second robotic Coffee Haus location at AUS in May inside the new nine-gate expansion space. The first machine is at Gate 17.

What we’re reading: working conditions at Miami International Airport

Working conditions at airports in the news

This disturbing CBS Miami story is about terrible working conditions for many employess at Miami International Airport. The story raises real concerns not just about some of the lowest paying workers at this airport, but about working conditions for employees at other airports.

The story describes low pay and terrible and dangerous working conditions for many people hired to clean airplanes, move baggage and do others tasks key to keeping your trip on track.

Here’s an excerpt:

A crew of four cabin cleaners can be given as little as ten minutes to clean a plane. They claim that is not enough time. Eulen disagrees, stating “…our workforce is sufficient to meet and face the demand.”

One cabin cleaner described what they can face on a plane: “You can find blankets with blood, people puke in the blankets, you can find Pampers on the floor.”

He said his supervisor has told him not to waste time cleaning too thoroughly. “Just make it look like it look nice and clean, just a rag and you are done.”

The contractor referenced is Eulen America, which provides a variety of services to Delta, American and likely other airlines not just at MIA, but at Fort Lauderdale, Washington DC and New York.

Alarmed?

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you 

Multi-sensory room at Miami International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and several others have them.

Now Miami International Airport has one too.

Miami International Airport now has a multi-sensory room just beyond the Concourse D TSA security checkpoint. The room provides a quiet area for young passengers with cognitive or developmental disabilities such as autism.

The dimly lit space includes sensory-soothing fixtures, including an aquatic bubble tub, wall puzzles, cushioned seats and a light projector. Hours: seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Party at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Amy’s Ice Cream is back at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and a good time to indulge is today during the kick-off party for the refreshed Asleep at the Wheel Stage in the center of the Barbara Jordan Terminal.

Located near Gate 19, there’s a 9-foot neon lighted guitar spinning above the area and seating for 190 patrons.

The party runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes a ribbon cutting ceremony and performances by Ray Benson, Heybale Band, and Love & Chaos.

NFL Hall of Famer Earl Campbell will be on hand to help celebrate the Heart of Austin area of the airport that includes the Saxon Pub Bar, Joe’s Coffee and Earl Campbell taco-themed food truck.

Fresh art at John Wayne Airport


A new photographic exhibit at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA by Jane Szabo’s is titled “Family Matters” and uses childhood posessions and simple objects to tell a complicated story of family dynamics.

After moving her 86-year-old father and 91-year-old mother into assisted living, Szabo began to organize the contents of their home of 36 years. “Family Matters” is a result of the final selection of treasures she kept before placing her parent’s home for sale.

Fiesta at San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio International Airport held its Second Annual Fiesta San Jacinto Day Parade recently, with mariachi music, parade floats, mascots and festive colors through both terminals of the airport.

Pet hotel opens at Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport

 

It almost makes you want to get a pet – just so you can leave it at the airport.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport now has a ‘pet hotel’ combined with a covered parking facility, making it easy for travelers to park their cars and drop off their pets for boarding.

So everyone gets a vacation.

Bark&Zoom is being operated by Austin’s own Taurus Academy, and offers dog and cat boarding, a pet pool (!), and indoor and outdoor play yards.  Both scheduled and emergency veterinary appointments are available.

Parking services, offered by the company’s sister organization, Park&Zoom, include valet services and car car services.

Better yet, the facility will be open 24/7, so people and their pets can get reunited right away.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

AUS_Guitar

I admit it.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Maybe it’s because our birthdays are just one day apart.

Or maybe it’s because this was the first airport I visited right after my first book about airports – called what else but Stuck at the Airport – came out in the pre-9/11 summer and AUS was the first airport where I spotted the book on a store shelf.

Or maybe it’s just because, with almost two dozen live music performances a week and some great permanent and temporary art exhibits, including the ‘big hair’ etchings in the women’s bathrooms, the airport is so much fun to visit.

And, oh yeah, it’s in Austin. One hip, somewhat weird, city.

So, I’m sending Happy Birthday wishes to the airport, which is celebrating its 15th birthday on May 23 with cookies for passengers, a drawing for 15,000 airline miles and a special performance by Ray Benson, of Aleep at the Wheel, on Friday at 2:30 pm at the airport’s Asleep at the Wheel stage.

You don’t need to be there to be entered in the drawing for 15,000 airline miles (there will be two winners.) But you do need to enroll in the Thanks Again, customer rewards program by Thursday, May 22, 2014. Do it now.

Austin_Keep Austin Weird