Dulles International Airport

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.





Jazz music at Washington’s Airports

DCA image

This summer both Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport are hosting free jazz music performances for the public.

The performances at Reagan National Airport are in the pre-security area, on the Concourse Level across from Cosi near Terminal C or Cibo near Terminal B.

Here’s the line-up for the rest of the summer:

Reagan MUSIC

At Dulles International Airport, the performances are held at the East Security Checkpoint on the Ticketing Level.

dulles music

Gatwick treats old and young travelers; Dulles doles out cake

The search for the UK’s oldest traveler is winding down at Gatwick Airport.

Citing researching that shows 56% of O.A.Ts (Old Age Travelers) over 70 are traveling more often than they did when they were younger and a “staggering” 61% of those aged 85 and over are out on the road more as well, Gatwick airport has been trying to find the oldest “holidaymaker” and give them a trip for two to Las Vegas on British Airways and three nights at the 5-star Vdara Hotel and Spa.

The deadline is June 29, 2012. Rules and details here.

Gatwick Airport also has something for very young travelers.

As part of its free audiobook download program, the airport is offering recordings of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, the Ugly Ducking, Sleeping Beauty, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, the Tortoise and the Hare, Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood. You can download the stories at the airport or give a listen on SoundCloud here.

They do it at theme parks so why not at airports?

Earlier this month the 500 millionth passenger at Washington’s Dulles International Airport was surprised with soda, cake and cupcakes and given a Dulles Airport swagbag with a $50 gift card from Shop Dulles Airport.

Fresh art at Dulles International Airport

Fresh, new permanent public art has been installed in the International Arrivals Building at Washington’s Dulles International Airport as part of a facility improvement project. Here’s a preview.

This large suspended sculpture is by Alice Aycock and “is suggestive of an aerodynamic dance movement across the space.”

North/East/South/West, by Ray King, is made up of four lens sculptures that each project splashes of color onto the white terrazzo floor in the center of the baggage claim area.

“The four projection sites are color-coded to represent the four cardinal directions: North–Blue; South–Magenta; East–Yellow; West–Cyan. The colors change dynamically depending on the angle of the light source and the viewpoint of the spectator.”

The Pendulum Project, by Mikyoung Kim, is located at the Customs area exit and mixes global telescopic images from NASA with local landscape images and microscopic regional plant life photographs from the Forest Products Laboratory.

Photos: North/East/South/West, courtesy Ray King, otherwise Eric Taylor for MWAA.

Souvenir Sunday: Dulles Int’l Airport

Happy Souvenir Sunday!

When ever I touch down in an airport, I check out the shops in search of a great “of that city” souvenir.

If I buy, I have just a few rules:

1. No shot glasses or t-shirts.

2. Nothing more than $10.

3.  Nothing generic or simply stamped with the city’s name. (See rule 1).

This week:  President Obama paraphernalia from the America! shops at Dulles International Airport.

iad-barack-box2I’m sure you can find these items – and more – in just about every D.C. souvenir shop right now, but there are plenty of folks who have long layovers at Dulles airport and never have a chance to get into town.

While the Barack-in-the-box definitely rings up at more than $10, standing next to the cardboard version of the president for a photo appears to be free.