Denver International Airport

DEN: 5 Things We Love About Denver International Airport

While we wait for air travel to rev back up, the “5 Things We Love About…” series on Stuck at the Airport is celebrating some of the features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we are giving some love to Denver International Airport (DEN), from it whipped marshmallow-peak tents to the aliens we’re sure are somewhere in – or below – all those acres.

Keep in mind that some of the features we love at DEN may be temporarily unavailable due to health concerns.  We are confident they will be back.

If we’ve missed an amenity you love at Denver International Airport, leave a note in the comments section below. The same goes for suggesting an airport you would like to see featured in a future “5 Things We Love About…” episode.

Here are the airports included in the “5 Things We Love About…” series so far.

5 Things We Love About Denver International Airport (DEN)

1. The DEN Tents

The 21 “tents” that make up the main terminal at Denver International Airport are described as echoing the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Native American teepees, billowing thunderheads or, perhaps, canvas-covered wagons toiling westward over the Great Plains.

2. The art at DEN

DEN is known for its unusual and eclectic art collection.

One favorite is “Mustang”.  Nicknamed, Blucifer, the blue 32-foot cast-fiberglass sculpture with neon red eyes is hard to miss on the Peña Boulevard approach to the airport.  “Mustang” was created by Luis Jiménez who, sadly, died after a piece of the sculpture fell on him while he was working on it.

DEN hosts temporary art exhibitions and has lots of permanent public art works, including Gary Sweeney’s “America, Why I Lover Her,” in the Jeppesen Terminal.

3. DEN’s CATS

DEN has more than 100 dogs and one actual cat in its CATS (Canine Airport Therapy Squad) program.

4. DEN’s Talking Gargoyle

“Notre Denver,” by Terry Allen, is an artwork featuring two cast bronze gargoyles sitting inside suitcases that watch over the east and west baggage claim areas.

These two gargoyles are charming, but they don’t talk. And due to construction at DEN, this work is in storage through 2021.

But DEN’s talking gargoyle, named Gregoriden, is on duty.

He’s set on a timer and says something to passersby every 5-10 minutes. Visit him on level 5 in the terminal near Southwest baggage claim.

5. DEN’s Gate Expansion Project

The gate expansion project at DEN will add 39 new gates across all three concourses. Better yet, the project is adding a post-security outdoor patio on each concourse featuring pet relief areas, outdoor seating, and fire pits.

Fire pits! We can’t wait!

Airport amenity of the week

It is definitely a sign of the times. And the airport amenity of the week.

To help passengers and employees comply with the face mask covering requirement at Denver International (DEN), the airport now has two vending machines that sell face masks as well as sanitizing wipes.

The vending machines are stocked with:

  • Two-pack disposable mask with one gel sanitizer packet and two single-use alcohol towelettes: $6/package
  • Two-pack KN95 mask with one gel sanitizer packet and two single-use alcohol towelettes: $12/package
  • 10-pack full-sheet sanitizing wipes: $4.25/package

Travelers will find the vending machines at the North end of Level 6 near the restrooms on the west side and on the South end of Level 5 around the corner from Boulder Beer Tap House on the west side.

Several DEN airport shops are now selling face masks and other hygiene items as well.

DEN isn’t the first airport in the United States to install a vending machine stocked with masks and sanitizing items.

That title goes to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (LAS), which installed two such machines in mid-May.

No doubt these machines will soon pop up at airport everywhere.

Denver International Airport’s Puppy Bowl

Before this year’s Super Bowl kickoff, fans of football – and puppies – will be tuning in for Animal Planet’s 16th annual Puppy Bowl.

This year’s pre-Super Bowl event takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb 3.

96 adoptable puppies from animal shelters around the country are lined up to play this year on Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

Comet – courtesy Animal Plante

But that’s not the only Puppy Bowl taking place this year.

Inspired by Animal Planet’s puppy-themed event, Denver International Airport will hold its own Puppy Bowl.

DEN’s event will take place in the center of the Jeppesen Terminal on Friday, January 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Adoptable puppies from Denver’s Dumb Friends League will play in Denver International Airports’ fifth Puppy Bowl. Members of DEN’s Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) will serve as “rufferrees”.

The rules? Who cares – these are puppies.

Here are are few photos from past DEN Puppy Bowls, including some of the fun giveaways travelers can take home.

Adorable, right?

Airport news from Seattle, Denver & San Francisco

Good news for passengers during this busy travel season.

As the busy holiday travel season kicks into gear, we’ve gathered up some airport news that may make your journey as wee bit smoother.

Concert at Sea-Tac Airport

At noon on Friday, November 22, Washington State native soul and R&B singer Allen Stone, will perform a live show in Central Terminal featuring songs from his new album, Building Balance.

The performance will be live-streamed Sea-Tac Airport’s Facebook and will celebrate the expansion of the already robust live music program at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Skating at Denver Airport

Friday is also opening day for the ice-skating rink at Denver International Airport (DEN).

Located on the outdoor DEN plaza, between the main terminal and the Westin Hotel, the rink will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through January 20.

There’s no fee to skate. And there are free skate rentals as the on-side “Skate Shop” Airstream trailer near the ice rink.

The ice rink will feature music daily and host special activities and performances on the ice throughout the skating season including Colorado Avalanche Ice Patrol, Denver Figure Skating Club, E-Gals Ice Crew, curling lessons, little tykes’ hockey and more.

Holiday Open House at Pittsburgh Airport

Pittsburgh International Airport will its annual open house this year on Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open to all who register, the in-terminal event features shopping and dining specials, live music, kids’ entertainment and visits with Santa.  Registration closes December 4.

Here’s a rundown of the entertainment:

  • Juggler: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Balloon Artist: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Touch-A-Truck: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Face Painting: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Children’s Museum Activity: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Lovebettie: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Photos with Santa: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Caricature Artist: 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Airbrush Tattoo Artist: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates Pierogies: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

SFO Airport pilots premium Uber pick-up

To reduce congestion at curbsides, in June 2019 San Francisco International Airport (SFO) moved domestic terminal pickups for ride-hailing services Uber, Lyft and Wingz away from the terminal curbside to the 5th floor of the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage, with pickups in the International Terminal at the center island of the Departures level roadway.

Now, just in time for the holiday travel season, SFO has kicked off a two-month pilot program with Uber to offer a premium curbside pickup option for travelers.

Passengers who choose a premium Uber product, including Uber Comfort, Uber Select, and Uber XL, Uber Black and Uber Black SUV will be picked up curbside at designated locations in each Domestic Terminal: Terminal 1 at Door 9; Terminal 2 at Doors 5 and 6; Terminal 3 at Doors 12 and 13.

Pickups at the International Terminal will continue in the current location, which is at the center island of the Departure level roadway.

Passengers choosing (basic) UberX and Uber Pool in the Domestic Terminals must still go to the domestic hourly parking garage for pickup.

3 airports where you can go ice-skating this winter

What’s better than an airport with an ice-skating rink?

Three airports with ice-skating rinks, of course!

Denver International Airport (DEN) is bringing back its free outdoor skating rink for the fourth season.

Starting November 22, DEN’s ice-skating rink will be in the pre-security area on the DEN Plaza, which is between the airport terminal and the Westin hotel.

Time on the ice is free. And, recognizing that not everyone has their own ice skates, or travels with them, there is free skate rental as well.

DEN’s skating rink hours will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from November 22 through January 20, 2020. As a bonus, on Friday afternoons there will be hot chocolate, hot cider and a variety of extra winter activities, including live entertainment.

Skating at the TWA Hotel at JFK

This year there will an ice-skating rink created at the TWA Hotel across from JetBlue Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) as well.

The custom 56-by-44-foot Runway Rink will be created near the hotel’s 1958 Lockheed Constellation Connie airplane-turned-cocktail lounge and operate seven days a week starting November 30 and running through February 2020.

While skating shows are planned, time on the ice at the TWA Hotel’s Runway Rink won’t be free. Admission will be $15 for adults and $10 for kids under 12. Skate rentals will $10 ($8 for kids under 12).

Hours:

  • Monday through Thursday from 4 PM to 9 PM
  • Friday from 4 PM to 10 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM

The TWA Hotel will also be selling retro knit hats and scarves as well as beers, Sno-Caps candy and other snacks.

Skate in a Winter Wonderland

If you’re traveling to or through Germany’s Munich Airport (MUC) this holiday season, you’ll find an ice-skating rink already up and running.

For the 21st year, the large roofed open space between Terminals 1 and 2 and Munich Airport is transformed into a winter wonderland, with a winter market, more than 45 Christmas trees, live music, activities for kids and adults, a pine forest and a free ice-skating rink. Skates can be rented for a small fee and there’s a bonus rink for curling set up next to the skating rink as well.

Hours: 11 am to 9 pm. Daily.