Souvenir Sunday: Build-a-Bear at Orlando International Airport

Each Sunday at we take a look at some of the fun things for sale in airport shops.

Usually it’s an inexpensive item that’s a bit offbeat and “of” the city or town. Something like the  “Fly SUX” souvenirs for sale at Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) in Sioux City, Iowa.


This week, the Souvenir Sunday pick is something that’s just fun and a very good fit for Orlando International Airport.

The first airport Build-a-Bear Workshop opened last week at Orlando International Airport. Customers are promised “an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience,” and after making their way through a variety of  hands on stations (Choose Me, Hear Me, Stuff Me, Stitch Me, Fluff Me, Dress Me, Name Me and Take Me Home) they end up with their own custom-made bear, bunny, dog, kitty or other animal. The cost: between $10 and $25.

I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing the Build-a-Bear concept popping up at other airports. But it’s a great fit for Orlando International Airport, which welcomes so many families and already offers so many treats, including free Wi-Fi, fun art, theme-park character statues for free photo ops, two Kennedy Space Center gift shops and several game arcades.

Want to more about Orlando International Airport (MCO)? Take a look at the MCO airport guide I created for

Souvenir Sunday: best airport souvenirs of 2010

London Airport souvenirs

Each Sunday here at Stuck at the Airport is Souvenir Sunday – a day to celebrate the fun, inexpensive and offbeat items you can find at airports.

Today we take a look back at the some of the best airport souvenirs featured this year; a reminder that there’s still time to do your holiday shopping at the airport.

At London’s Heathrow Airport these bus banks were adorable; London souvenirs

But I came home with several of these Beatles tote bags, although no one can convince me that’s Ringo.

Beatles tote bag

Meet the (scary-looking) Beatles

At Boston Logan International Airport, I found lovely lobster hats – and a shop clerk willing to get her picture taken as a model:

Lobster Hat

Gebra models lobster cap for sale at Logan Airport

At the new international terminal at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, I spent way too much time at the store entirely devoted to Hello Kitty:

Hello Kitty store Haneda Airport

And at Pittsburgh International Airport, I scooped up a (yummy) chocolate hockey puck:

PIT Chocolate hockey puck

Corny Cob – a big seller at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids – definitely makes the list in this year’s Souvenir Sunday favorites:

airport souvenir

But my favorite airport souvenir remains the line of SUX souvenirs from the Sioux Gateway Airport:

SUX post card from Sioux Gateway Airport

Greetings from SUX

Do you shop for souvenirs when you’re stuck at the airport?

If you find something that’s inexpensive (about $10), offbeat and “of” the city or region, please snap a photo and send it along.

If your souvenir is featured on Souvenir Sunday, you’ll receive a special airport souvenir.

Souvenir Sunday: SUX Souvenirs from Sioux Gateway Airport

Airports everywhere are scratching about for new sources of revenue, but few have gone the route of marketing a line of airport-specific souvenirs.

And who can blame them? Most people just wouldn’t pay good money for a memento to remind them of time spent stuck at the airport.

SUX post card from Sioux Gateway Airport

Greetings from SUX

But for several years now the Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa has been doing a brisk business in t-shirts, caps, mugs, luggage tags, sweatshirts, pins and other airport-branded memorabilia.

Their secret?  Their airport code: SUX

SUX Bumper sticker

I featured some of these items on Souvenir Sunday more than a year ago and back then, the Fly SUX balsa wood glider, the Fly SUX t-shirts and the Fly SUX caps were at the top of my shopping list.

But looking back again this week, I noticed a few other items available for under $10 (our Souvenir Sunday limit) that I want to add to the ‘must have’ list:

This FLY SUX Winged Lapel Pin ($3)

And this Joy of SUX mug:

Have you found a great souvenir while you were stuck at the airport?  If it costs around $10, is “of” the city or region and is, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. Your souvenir may end up featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday. And if it is, we’ll send you one of our favorite souvenirs.

Souvenir Sunday: SUX stuff at Sioux Gateway Airport

For a long time, the folks at Iowa’s Sioux Gateway Airport weren’t so happy about their airport code, which is SUX.

sux-bumper-stickerThe town tried trading the code for something better. But then someone figured out that, given the sorry state of air travel these days, being called SUX doesn’t really have to suck; especially if the airport could make money from it.

So for a few years now travelers passing through Sioux Gateway Airport have been able to buy all sorts of souvenirs emblazoned with the airport’s slogan: FLY SUX.

The list of FLY SUX items includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, bumper stickers, hats, beanies, and luggage tags. There’s even a teddy bear wearing a tiny FLY SUX tee.

glider2But because this is Souvenir Sunday and there are rules – nothing over $10; no shot glasses- my souvenir pick for today is the $2.50 FLY SUX balsa glider.

Want one, but not traveling to Sioux City, Iowa anytime soon? The Sioux Gateway Airport has a link to on-line FLY SUX souvenir shopping.