Barcodes offer discounts at DFW

If you’re traveling to or through the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) anytime before now and mid-January, keep your smartphone handy.

It could save you some money on parking, dining and shopping.

The airport has rolled out a holiday campaign that offers coupons and special offers for nearby concessions to anyone who uses the Microsoft Tag app to scan what looks to be highly visible barcodes that will be posted in the parking garages, the Skylink cars and otherwise scattered around the airport.

There’s more information here, including a link to download the app.

If you try it out, let me know what you find. And buy.

Tidbits for travelers: connect at the airport

If you’re heading to or through the Dallas/Fort Worth or Atlanta airports there are now money-saving reasons to make sure your smartphone is charged and accessible.

DFW introduced a program that links the Foursquare and Facebook Places location-based mobile applications to 85 (so far) of the airport’s concessions. Now if you check in when you’re at the airport you’ll see deals and discounts offered at food outlets and shops right around you.

For the next several weeks, you’ll notice “brand ambassadors” in the terminals telling people about the service, teaching them how to use it and handing out giveaways.

Back in April, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport introduced discount offers available via quick response (QR) codes printed signs around the airport.

The QR codes direct passengers to the airport’s mobile website — www.iflyatl.com — where there are downloadable discount coupons.

The TSA is also using QR codes. According to a recent post on the TSA Blog,  the agency is testing QR codes on checkpoint signage at a few airports to point travelers to information about lost and found, customer service, procedural information and travel tips.


Stuck at the airport: video made at DFW goes viral

How did they get away with that?

That’s what a lot of people were saying when they saw the video – Stuck – Joe Ayala and Larry Chen made while they were stuck at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport earlier this month.

STUCK from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

Ayala and Chen are professional automotive photographers and they were on their way home from Formula Drift Palm Beach when they got stuck at the airport with their photography equipment – and their creativity.

The video shows them racing wheelchairs through the terminal, goofing around on the escalators and engaging in a wet-towel fight in a bathroom. It also shows Chen pounding on a computer keyboard at a gate and helping himself to a beer in what looks like an unattended restaurant.

The video has gone viral and, as I wrote on msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin,, it also has raised some concerns about airport security concern.

Airport spokesman David Magaña said that while DFW appreciates the creativity and humor demonstrated by the filmmakers, it does not condone the fact that they entered an eatery after business hours. “The video did point out the need to better secure this restaurant, and that issue is being addressed immediately,” he said.

Magaña added that security agents did observe the filmmakers at the airport, but “because the filmmakers were presenting no threat to themselves, to others or to flight safety, and were causing no damage, there was no imperative to curtail their activities.”

They had already made it past the security checkpoint, “and they also picked up after themselves, including the restroom,” Magaña said.

The high quality of the video made a lot of people wonder if the film was indeed made during a night spent stuck at the airport, but in an interview with Jalopnik, a site about cars, the filmmakers described how they made DFW look so good.

“What do I usually do when I pass the time when I’m bored? I usually shoot skits,” Chen told Jalopnik. “I have all this camera gear so I thought, ‘Why don’t we shoot one here?’ ”

Chen said they arrived at the airport around 11 p.m., planned out their video and were shooting until 4:30 a.m. “We didn’t have a tripod with us, but I had gear to shoot cars, so we used a suction cup mount, and we used a magic arm mount that is something that clamps on to anything,” Chen said. “We clamped it on to the stalls in the bathroom, and to this railing for the escalator shot. But like, it’s just like normal stuff, grip stuff that any professional photographer would have.”

“When we’re stuck at an airport we’re sort of like ‘Let’s take pics of each other!’ It’s part of a way of enjoying life and not taking things to seriously.”

Good advice.

Souvenir Sunday at DFW

It’s not just Sunday – it’s Souvenir Sunday! The day we unpack our bags and find all the stuff we bought when we were stuck at the airport.

This week, I roped some great stuff while spending a few hours at DFW International Airport.

There was plenty of Longhorn memorabilia to choose from –

And this chocolate bar  – which doubled as lunch.

And while the store clerk assured me those were real scorpions inside these lollipops,

I went home instead with a pocketful of these snazzy keychains.

Did you find  great souvenir last time you were stuck at the airport? If it’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. Your souvenir may be featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.