It was quite a Monday for some airports around the country. The day started out like this at Denver International Airport
Wag Brigade back at SFO
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced that the SFO Wag Brigade, a team of certified stress-relief animals, is back on duty in the terminals after a 20-month absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Francisco SPCA certifies all participating animals through their Animal Assisted Therapy (ATT) Program. And, prior to returning to SFO, all Wag Brigade animals were recertified. We hope that means LiLou the airport therapy pig that used to visit SFO about once a month will return soon too.
Fire at DFW, No Water at CLT Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) had to deal with a water main break nearby today.
And at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), there was a fire in one of the parking garages.
Anyone can vote for the winning throne through October 19. The top toilets get a seat in America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame and restroom cleaning services worth more than $2500 from contest sponsor Cintas.
Here are the finalists:
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
All gate-side restrooms at DFW Airport are now super ‘smart’.
The bathrooms have touch-free technology and the Tooshlights feature we’ve been raving about that uses red and green lights to indicate which stalls are open.
Digital signage outside each restroom lets passengers know how many stalls are open.
JFK’s AirTrain Jamaica Station – New York, NY
The new restrooms for the Jamaica Station stop on the AirTrain people mover at John F. Kennedy International Airport are nearly three times as large as the previous restrooms. As a nice bonus, the stalls are wide enough to accommodate luggage.
Bancroft Park – Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Bancroft Park restrooms have green, red and yellow lights to show availability. Soap, water, toilet paper, and a dryer are all touchless. Better yet, the restrooms self-clean after every 30 uses and an app lets the maintenance crew know when toilet paper or other supplies are running low.
Gaslight Bar & Grill – Cincinnati, OH
The Gaslight Bar & Grill in Cincinnati, OH is in a building that once served as a branch library. The restrooms have marble tile walls and gold wallpaper as well as touchless faucets and trash cans.
Greeley Square Park – New York, New York
The kiosk-like restroom at Greeley Square Park in NY is decorated with historic photographs and has classical music, rotating seat covers, a full-time attendant, Italian tile, fresh flowers, and an HVAC system for seasonal climate control.
Kimpton Muse Hotel – New York, New York
The Kimpton Muse Hotel restrooms invite guests and diners at the adjacent Muse Bar to pick a stall according to their personality or mood. There are six “sin-inspired” unisex stalls, each with a different theme and design: Glam, Vain, Rebel, Passion, Macho, and Envy.
Portland Japanese Garden – Portland, Oregon
All materials in the restroom at the Portland Japanese Garden – from the texture of the tiles to the design of the fixtures – are chosen for their standalone beauty, as well as functional works of art.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts – Scottsdale, Arizona
Standing ovation? These sleek and modern lavs have terrazzo flooring, glass-tiled walls, and plenty of spacious, stainless-steel stalls.
The lighting system can also be programmed for holidays, special events and specific audiences.
Swift’s Attic – Austin, Texas
Swift’s Attic restaurant in Austin has Gothic-style restrooms with floral-patterned sinks, antique light fixtures, and gold and black striped wallpaper.
The Guild Hotel – San Diego, CA
The Guild Hotel opened in 2019 in a century-old building built as a YMCA. Today the restrooms off the lobby have beautiful marble sinks with striking lighting, tiling and mirrors.
Skylink is the elevated train that connects all 5 terminals at DFW airport. Tracks run above and outside of the terminals, with a train pulling into terminal stations every 2-to-3 minutes. An 18-minute round-trip offers great views of the airfield throughout the airport.
Here are some more details about the Skylink system, shared when the system celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015.
2. Founders’ Plaza
Dedicated in 1995, DFW’s Founders’ Plaza is an Observation Area and park near the airport offering great views of aircraft taking off and landing.
The park plaza has parking, picnic tables, telescopes, historic information, a commemorative monument and a radio broadcasting air traffic control communications from the FAA tower. Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Yes, DFW has a yoga studio. And a team of therapy dogs (DFW’s K9 Crew). But many people find relaxation in playing video games.
Luckily, DFW is home to 2 Gameway centers (at Gates E16 & B32) with a total of 36 gaming stations. Each station has a Playstation 4 Pro pre-loaded with games, a leather chair, 43″ 4K TV, noise-cancelling headphones, charging ports for your electronic devices and space to store your luggage.
Pricing includes an option for unlimited play, which for some will be a perfect match for long layovers and delays.
4. Shopping at DFW
Big airports have lots of shopping options and DFW is no exception.
In December 2017, DFW Airport opened the largest duty-free store in the Americas. Over the years, we’ve scored plenty of charming and quirky Texas-themed souvenirs in shops throughout DFW as well.
5. Art at DFW Airport
DFW’s has a great art collection with more than 30 pieces of commissioned work including sculpture, paintings, mosaics and more. Many of the pieces are in International Terminal D and in the Skylink stations.
Did we miss a favorite amenity that you love at DFW airport? Add a note about in the comment section.
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Airports in the “5 Things We Love About …” series. So Far.
Within its 30 square miles are five terminals, two full-service hotels, a multi-million dollar collection of art and a golf course. There’s also Founders’ Plaza: DFW’s public observation park.
The park has the airport’s original beacon, along with shaded picnic tables, viewing stations and a live audio feed of the radio conversations from the air traffic control tower.
And now it has six, black-granite sidewalk medallions, each four-feet in diameter.
Laser-etched into the surface of each medallion is information about the history of the airport and of commercial aviation in north Texas. A different piece of the story is told on each medallion.
Want to see them for yourself? Founders’ Plaza is located at North Airfield Drive and Texan Trail, just south of State Highway 114 in Grapevine.
No time to leave the terminals? No problem. DFW has some nifty stuff inside as well. My favorites: the Cereality breakfast bar where you choose cereal and toppings and pajama-clad Cereologists fill up the bowl; the two La Bodega Winery locations and all the great artwork in Terminal D.