Fort Wayne International Airport

Best airport amenity? Free cookies at Fort Wayne International Airport

Get off a plane at Indiana’s Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) and there’s a good chance a local volunteer will be standing there to welcome you with a big smile and a small package of bite-sized cookies.

No volunteer on duty? No worries. There’s a cute kiosk made from a pile of vintage suitcases with an open bag at the top stocked with packages of cookies free for the taking.

For many years, passengers received a single large welcome cookie.

But in mid-2020, around the time the airport handed out its 3 millionth cookie, the welcome amenity was switched to a package containing a handful of smaller, bite-sized cookies. Inside is a rotating variety of cookie flavors such as oatmeal, chocolate chip, salted caramel, and holiday favorites.

Who makes the cookies for Fort Wayne International Airport?

From the start, the cookies at Fort Wayne International Airport have been baked by Ellison, a large wholesale bakery founded in 1945. The bakery sits across the street from the airport and makes custom cookie products & mix-ins for retail grocery, ice cream and yogurt companies.

During a meeting at Fort Wayne International Airport, Ellison’s David Richhart, the company’s director of national accounts, said that each month the bakery sends the airport a pallet of cookies – about 7000 individual packages.

For many years, the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce bought the cookies from the bakery and branded the packages with the airport’s name.

But a few years ago, Richhart offered to have Ellison donate the cookies to the airport in exchange for adding the bakery’s name to the packaging.

The deal was made. We hope it was sealed over cookies and milk.

“We’re proud to be part of the Fort Wayne community and want to be a good neighbor for the airport,” said Richhart. “We know people love and have come to expect free cookies when they get off the airplane here. And we won’t allow the airport to be without cookies.”


Travel tidbits from airports near you + go here.

Fort Wayne Int’l Airport celebrates passengers with food treats

Year-round, Hospitality Hosts at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) welcome passengers with a (wrapped) cookie from a nearby bakery. But this week, during Customer Appreciation Week, the airport has been going above and beyond by treating passengers to a different free, fun food each day.

So far, they’ve hosted a popcorn bar, a caramel apple bar, a hot dog bar, and a walking taco bar- with all manner of toppings.

What’s on the menu for Friday?

A coffee and hot chocolate bar with all the creamers, syrups, and toppings that passengers might want to mix and match with their drinks.

Definitely the Airport Amenity of the Week!

Restaurant Week at PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is hosting its Restaurant Week through October 29, offering multi-course lunches for $20 and dinners for $30.

If you’re heading to PHL, be sure to study the wide range of menu offerings before you arrive at the terminal. While tax is not included in this offer, a Pepsi beverage is.

Just in time for Halloween – Gargoyles back at DEN Airport

Since 1995, two bronze gargoyles sitting inside suitcases have been on guard in the east and west bag claim areas at Denver International Airport (DEN) trying their best to help baggage arrive safely.

The gargoyles make up an art piece by Terry Allen called “Notre Denver.”

And due to construction in the airport’s Great Hall, one of the gargoyles has been in storage.

Now both gargoyles are back on duty. And we’re hoping that someday the chatty gargoyle (see video below) will return to the airport as well.

Planning 2024 Travel? This Lonely Planet’s list may help.

The world is a big place and it can be overwhelming choosing your next adventure. That’s why the “where to go” lists put out by all sorts of publications and groups can be helpful.

Lonely Planet is early out of the gates for 2024 with its “Best in Travel 2024” list of suggestions across five key categories: top countries, regions, cities, sustainable travel destinations, and best-value locations.

Each category features 10 destinations chosen for their topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor, and ongoing commitment to sustainability and community. Below is a summary chart of the ‘winners.’

Where have you been? And where would you like to go?

MongoliaWestern Balkans’ Trans Dinarica Cycling RouteNairobi, KenyaSpainThe Midwest, USA
IndiaKangaroo Island, South AustraliaParis, FrancePatagonia, Argentina & ChilePoland
MoroccoTuscany, ItalyMontreal, CanadaGreenlandNicaragua
ChileDonegal, IrelandMostar, BosniaWales’ trailsDanube Limes, Bulgaria
BeninPaís Vasco, SpainPhiladelphia, USAThe Portuguese Way / Caminho Português de SantiagoNormandy, France
MexicoSouthern ThailandManaus, BrazilPalauEgypt
UzbekistanSwahili Coast, TanzaniaJakarta, IndonesiaHokkaido, JapanIkaria, Greece
PakistanMontana, USAPrague, The Czech RepublicEcuadorAlgeria
CroatiaSaalfelden Leogang, AustriaIzmir, TurkeyBaltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia, LithuaniaSouthern Lakes & Central Otago, New  Zealand
St LuciaFar North ScotlandKansas City, MissouriEco-lodges in South AfricaNight trains, Europe

FWA: 5 Things We Love About Fort Wayne Int’l Airport

5 Things We Love About Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA)

We’re back with another episode in our “5 Things We Love About…” series highlighting features and amenities at airports about the country and the world.

Today we land at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) in Indiana.

1. Free cookies at FWA

Without a doubt, Fort Wayne International Airport has one of the best airport amenities we’ve encountered: free cookies for all arriving passengers.

On our first visit to FWA, a seatmate told us that we’d get a cookie on arrival. We thought they were making a joke. But it turned out they were not kidding at all.

The cookies are baked at Ellison Bakery, just across the street from the airport. And FWA has been handing out these delightful welcome snacks for more than 20 years.

The cookies are clearly a hit: in June 2020 the airport handed out its “3 Millionth Cookie” and debuted a new style of cookie. Now, instead of one cookie, every arriving passenger at Fort Wayne International Airport is welcomed with a package that’s filled with several miniature cookies. The flavors include Birthday Cake and Chocolate Chip and several other varieties are rotated in.

2. Local brands at FWA

FWA puts an emphasis on local brands in the airport. Chapman’s Brewing Company out of Angola, Indiana serves a touch of Northeast Indiana with locally brewed beer on tap. And Conjure Coffee brings a sampling of Fort Wayne’s local coffee scene to FWA.

3. Customer service at FWA

We told you about the cookies that the Hospitality Hosts hand out to passengers at FWA. In any airport, that would check the box for customer service.

But FWA doesn’t stop there. The airport’s Customer Service Agents (CSAs) also provide complimentary curbside luggage service, wheelchair assistance, a parking lot shuttle, and other services.

4. Hospitality PAWS

Hospitality PAWS is FWA’s certified therapy dog program.

All the pups are highly trained and certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and show up with their trainers at select times during the week.

5. More to come at FWA

Project Gateway is FWA’s expansion and improvement project. On the agenda: the Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project, East and West Terminal Apron Improvement Project, and the FWA West Terminal Building Expansion. That last piece will add additional gates, a new Mother’s Room, an upgraded Children’s Play Area, and expanded ticketing area, a modernized exterior façade, and more.   

Did we miss your favorite feature of Fort Wayne International Airport? Let us know in the comments section below. And feel free to nominate the next airport to be featured in the “5 Things We Love About…” series.

Souvenir Sunday: Free Cookies at Fort Wayne Int’l Airport (FWA)

Since 2000, volunteer hosts at Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana has been welcoming arriving passengers with free individually wrapped cookies.

The cookies are made fresh by the nearby Ellison Bakery. And when the volunteers are off-duty, cookies are still available from a self-serve cookie kiosk at the security exit.

Over the years, FWA Airport has given out a lot of those free cookies.

Millions, in fact.

And on Friday, June 26 the airport had a party for the 3-millionth free cookie.

The guests of honor? An unsuspecting family arriving on a flight from Tampa. In addition to the free milestone cookie, their prizes include a basket of gifts from the airport, a free roundtrip ticket for 2 on Allegiant Air, and lots more cookies from Ellison Bakery. Nice!

Despite a drop in air traffic that is no doubt taking a bite out of its budget, the free cookie program at Fort Wayne International Airport is not crumbling.

In fact, FWA and Ellison Bakery announced that arriving passengers will now get a free package of 7 small assorted cookies instead of just one.

Read more about the welcome cookie program at Fort Wayne International Airport in my story on the Runway Girl Network.

Airport amenity of the week: free cookie kiosk

The first time I flew into Fort Wayne International Airport I thought my fellow passengers were kidding me when they said: “Make sure you get a free cookie when you get off the plane.”


But they weren’t joking: as I entered the terminal there was indeed someone standing there greeting everyone getting off the plane and handing out free cookies from a little wicker basket.

Turns out they’ve been doing this for more than 10 years. And, so far, volunteers at the airport have handed out more than a million complimentary, locally-baked cookies.

Those volunteers need some off. So most days there’s been no one on duty handing out cookies after 8:30 pm.

Until now.

Airport officials were getting complaints from cookie-loving passengers who arrived at the airport too late to get a snack. So to make sure no one leaves the airport hungry and disappointed, the airport now has a self-serve cookie kiosk.