BWI Airport

BWI gets an airport lounge with variable pricing

The first Airspace Lounge opens today, May 7, 2011 on Concourse D at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

It’s the first in what may be a line of new all-access airport lounges around the country.

Memberships will be available; daily passes will start at $17.50.

Included will be food, snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks, wireless internet, plenty of power outlets and the use of MacBooks and Windows PCs. Drinks from the bar will be extra.

That all sounds pretty straightforward.

But here’s an interesting twist: while the basic rate for a day pass will be $17.50,  the price of the pass “will rise from time to time to prevent overcrowding.”

“A customer who spends $17.50 and walks into an overcrowded lounge that is more chaotic than the concourse would probably not return to an Airspace Lounge; we want to prevent that from happening,” said Anthony Tangorra, chief executive officer of Airspace Lounge.

Rather than simply turn people away, the price of a day pass will fluctuate, increasing up to perhaps $40 during busy periods.

“Our day pass price will be on prominent display via LCD signage outside of the lounge,” said Tangorra.





Earth Day at your airport

Traveling on a fuel-gobbling airplane on Earth Day?

Don’t worry – you can still be green on the ground at many airports.


Boston Logan International Airport is reminding travelers that is has added GobiCab, a fuel-saving, taxi cab ride-sharing app (for iPhones) to the eco-friendly transportation options listed on its website.


BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is celebrating by christening eight new electric car charging stations.

Wichita Mid-Continent and several other airports will be holding earth day fairs at their terminals

San Francisco International Airport is having a little Twitter contest.

If you tweet to @flySFO between 8 a.m. PDT and 8 p.m. PDT with ideas on how to reduce your environmental foot print when traveling, you may win one of the recycled SFO banner luggage tags they’re giving away.

And Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport kicks off its First Annual Garden Show on Friday, with displays from four area organizations: Openlands, Trees That Feed Foundation, The Conservation Foundation and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Look for the green beyond the security checkpoints in Terminal 3, between concourses H/K and L through May 13.


(Flower photos courtesy Robin Carlson, Chicago Botanic Garden)

New art exhibit at BWI airport: Stories of Home

Stories of Home, a new exhibition in the International Terminal at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) features artwork by international alumni, students and faculty of  MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Here’s a sample:


The work in Stories of Home examines “the bearings of memory, identity, cultural affinity, politics, creativity and spirituality.”  Here’s a link to an on-line gallery of the works in the exhibit, which runs through Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the exhibition space of the upper level of BWI’s International Terminal.

Have you seen a fun, challenging, or educational exhibit at an airport? Tell us about it so we can feature it here on

Airport Observation Decks: Have a favorite?

Vancouver Airport - New Observation DeckIn my At the Airport column on this month, I offer a run-down of airport observation decks around the country.  I wanted to write about this because, while a lot of the amenities getting rolled out at airports these days are designed to make travelers forget they’re in an airport terminal, observation decks are all about airports, airplanes, and the magic of flight.

Unfortunately, a lot of airports that used to have official observation decks have shut them down. But here’s a round-up of some that still exist:

Minneapolis - Observation deck - wide

Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) MSP has an observation deck post-security on Concourse D, in Terminal 1. Built decades ago, the enclosed observation deck is only accessible via a set of stairs, but those who find their way up there are rewarded with great views in all directions.

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

BWI - Observation rocking chairsYears ago, when BWI was known as Friendship International Airport, there was an outdoor observation deck.  Today there’s an enclosed Observation Gallery on the upper level of the airport, in the pre-security area between Concourses B and C. In addition to great views of airfield activities, there are rocking chairs, a children’s play area, and several exhibits related to aviation, including the nose cone, cockpit, landing gear and other sections of a Boeing 737-200 aircraft.

Albany International Airport (ALB) A pre-security observation area on the 3rd level of the terminal offers a panoramic view of both airport runways, all three wings of the terminal and, on a clear day, the southern Adirondack Mountains. A live feed of the chatter from the air traffic control tower is piped in and the airport’s art gallery is adjacent.

Albany - looking out from deck

Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) At the Albuquerque airport, the observation deck is located post-security, between the two concourses.  Equipped with bench seating, leather couches and chairs, this area offers travelers great airfield views as well as views of the Manzano Mountains and the Rio Grande.


Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) At Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, MI., there’s an enclosed observation deck, pre-security, that overlooks the airport runways.

Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) in Tennessee has an open-air deck, located pre-security, on the mezzanine level of the airport. The deck looks out over the airfield, Boone Lake, and off to the Appalachian Mountains.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) opened a new observation area in July 2009 with floor-to-ceiling windows, complimentary telescopes, interactive kiosks, and several other amenities.  At the end of September, the observation deck on top of Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport will reopen. Like a lot of observation decks around the country, LAX had closed this area after 9/11.

View Of Downtown Los Angeles  (2004)

Do you have a favorite airport observation deck or place to go outside the airport to watach plane?  If so, please tell us about it.

Tidbits for travelers: Pet park at JFK, Books at BWI

Pet Relief Area at JFK

The Department of Transportation now requires airlines to make sure that the airports they serve have accessible pet relief areas. The law went into effect May 13, 2009, but some airlines and airports are just now finishing up the task.

JFK Pet Relief Area - Red Hydrant

Last week, American Airlines officially opened a pet relief area on the departure level of its terminal at JFK airport. The 30 X 50 foot enclosure has a patch of natural grass, a walkway, two benches, a red fire hydrant, and a “Mutt Mitt” dispenser.

What did you bring me?

Maryland-based children’s author Bobbie Hinman will be at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) this Friday (July 17, 2009) signing copies of her books The Knot Fairy and The Sock Fairy (what about the Airport Fairy?) at the Borders book store in the airport’s Terminal A/B from 3 pm – 6 p.m.