Dulles International Airport

Payback: TSA workers set up food banks, by meals for airport employees

Updating this story as new examples arrive.

During the partial shutdown of the federal government in 2019, many TSA employees continued to show up for work despite missing paychecks.

To help them out, airport employees, airlines and airport concessionaires around the country joined with social service agencies and the local community to stock pantries with food and goods.

Now at some airports, TSA workers are returning the favor by setting up food pantries and special meals for airport employees who have had hours cut or who have been put out of work because there are so few passengers in airports.

Here’s what’s happening at Portland International Airport (PDX).

TSA employees at Dulles International Airport (IAD) have set up a food pantry for airport workers.

And at T.F. Green International Airport (PVD) in Rhode Island, TSA officers chipped in and bought pizza dinners – twice so far – for their fellow airport workers, including wheelchair attendants and airline employees.

Courtesy TSA

We’ll update this list of good-deeds as we hear of my examples.

Nintendo’s pop-up airport lounges

Nintendo pop-up lounge at Dallas Love Field

Calling all Nintendo fans. Or anyone wanting some entertainment while they’re stuck at the airport.

Nintendo has rolled out a cluster of pop-up game lounges at four airports just in time for the spring break travel season,

The Nintendo Switch On The Go pop-up airport lounges are at Washington Dulles (IAD), Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), O’Hare International (ORD) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) airports.

Each lounge gives travelers hands-on time with game demos using Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

According to Nintendo, anyone who visits one of these Switch On The Go lounges can order Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems and receive a free carrying case with their order.

Another promised bonus for anyone who stops by is a free Nintendo Switch branded luggage handle wrap and a $10 coupon from Target to use on any Nintendo purchase of $75 or more – “available while supplies last.”

Nintendo pop-up lounge at SEA airport

But: We stopped by the SEA pop-up lounge on Monday, the first day Nintendo’s pop-up lounge was opened. Although the attendants were friendly and chatty and offered to take our photo, no luggage handle wraps or coupons were offered. So, if you’re interested in that, be sure to speak up.  

Look for the pop-up lounges through March 29, 2020 at these airports:

DC-area airports celebrate Cherry Blossom season

The Cherry Blossom watch is on in Washington, D.C., with the National Park Service predicting April 1 as the peak viewing time for cherry blossoms in nation’s capital.

D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival continues through April 14, but travelers arriving or departing at the two DC-area airports, Reagan National and Dulles International, get a sneak peek, thanks to a cherry blossom pop-up at Dulles International and Japanese music and calligraphy at Reagan National airports.

At Dulles International (at the intersection of Concourses A and B) travelers will find a whimsical cherry blossom pop-up park with a 15-foot, replica cherry blossom tree, park benches or bistro tables.

The park will remain on site through May, with scheduled events through April 8.

Each Friday through April 12, travelers flying out of Reagan National will be able to hear performances by Japanese Koto musicians. A master calligrapher (to inscribe luggage tags) and a sketch artist will be on site as well.

Both airports have partnered with the official National Cherry Blossom Festival to present the exclusive 2019 National Cherry Blossom canvas tote bag. Any purchase of $100 or more at any two retail or dining locations will receive the tote as a gift with purchase. (Look for signs telling you how to redeem).

Find more details about the Cherry Blossom Festival events, including a discount parking offer, at DCA and IAD airports here.

Music, events coming up at IAD, DCA, CLE and PIT airports

Balloons

 

At least four airports throughout the country have sent StuckatTheAirport.com a heads up on events taking place in the terminals next week and into October.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) will host a series of music and dance performances in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

At DCA, events take place on Wednesday afternoons from noon until 2 p.m. in National Hall, opposite Il Viaggo Restaurant.

Sept 20: Argentinian music with T Trifilio Tango

Sept 27: Peruvian dance and music with Papalca

Oct 4: Folk music with Cecilia Esquivel of Canto Sur

Oct 11: Mexican dance with Los Quetzales

These same groups will perform at Dulles airport on Thursdays from noon to 2 pm on the upper level of the Ticketing area.

Sept 21: Argentinian music with T Trifilio Tango

Sept 28: Peruvian dance and music with Papalca

Oct 5: Folk music with Cecilia Esquivel of Canto Sur

Oct 12: Mexican dance with Los Quetzales

 

There’s also a full schedule of events – live music, special guests, food samples and other treats – scheduled at both Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) from September 18 to 22, courtesy of Fraport USA.

Celebrate Cleveland will welcome Cleveland Indians’ mascot Slider, Professor Wylde’s traveling show from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland’s Singing Angels to the airport.

Malley’s Chocolates and Mitchell’s Ice Cream will also treat travelers to complimentary treats during the week as well.

Pittsburgh International Airport is teaming up with Airmall Pittsburgh for the third annual Discover Pittsburgh week and the 25th anniversary of the airport.

PIT will welcome Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, The National Aviary and the Pittsburgh Zoo in addition to Iceburgh, the Pirate Parrot, and other mascots.

Daily food sampling will take place at the Strip Market and bands will perform in the airport’s Center Core.

Travel Tidbits: Holiday Helpers

Some music, some shopping deals and some other ways to make holiday travel a bit less stressful.

Both Washington Dulles International and Reagan National Airport have a shopping promotion for the holiday: get a free gift with same-day purchases totaling $100 or more at two or more airport shops and restaurants.

Santa will be strolling about both airports and both airports have a full schedule of music and entertainment planned.  Links here for the schedule at Dulles and Reagan National.

And here’s a great idea: a new company – Holiday in a Box Shop –  offers just that:  themed kits filled with everything you need to create a festive space where you are, including a hotel room or – in a pinch – an airport concourse.

This year there are six themed sets – including the Seaglass Beach Collection above – as well as a nice assortment of ‘extra’ items, including a great assortment of bonus Santas. 

And it looks like everything ships for free.