George H. Bush Intercontinental Airport

Kids karaoke contest at Houston’s Bush Airport

Well, this looks like it will be totally fun:

On Wednesday morning, December, 22, 2010, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston will be having a karaoke contest for kids under 17 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m in the Terminal A ticket lobby.

If you want to participate you’ll have to register right away and plan on arriving at the airport around 5 a.m.

Why so early?  The contest will broadcast live on TV; although there’s no word yet on what program or station.

Want to register? The airport is asking contestants to register by emailing: has.events@houstontx.gov.

Want more information? Call (281) 233.1171.

Good luck!

IAH Kids Karaoke

Happy Souvenir Sunday from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com, each Sunday is Souvenir Sunday: the day we unpack our bags and take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive items on sale at airports.

This week, Tess Staadecker sent along some photos of a few souvenirs she picked up in Houston, at a branch of the Barton Springs Dry Goods store at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

I suspect she bought this jar of D.L. Jardine’s Olé Chipolte salsa and dip as a gift, but I hope she kept the Texas Chili “Bag O’ Fixins Kit” for herself.  With that bit-o-string, that little cloth sack looks like it could do double duty later as a western-style accessories tote.

Have you found a fun, inexpensive souvenir while you’ve been stuck at the airport? If you find something that’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. It may end up featured on a future edition of Souvenir Sunday!

Tidbits for travelers: Jack Daniel’s at IAH, messy passengers, and some creepy people

Jack Daniel’s at IAH

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Don’t know how I missed this in real time, but in June (2009), Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) rolled out the black and white carpet to welcome the world’s first Jack Daniel’s-themed airport store.  Located in Terminal D, near Gate 6, the  duty free/retail shop is stocked with shirts, hats and other JD logo-emblazoned items and, as I see from their video, lots of bottles of whiskey.

New Business Center at MIA

MIA BUSINESS CENTERAt Miami International Airport’s South Terminal, passengers who need to take care of business can now stop at the post-security business center between Concourses H and J. The International Currency Exchange (ICE) Business Center has a conference room and five computers with Internet and print capability, and offers fax, photocopy, currency exchange, and cell-phone rental services.

Messy Passengers make messy planes

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It’s irritating – and gross – to get on an airplane and have to clean off the seat and the tray table (and sometimes the seat back pocket) before you sit down.  Maybe you should blame the messy passengers who sat there before you instead of the airline cleaning crew.  As Patrick Smith describes in his Ask the Pilot column on Salon.com this week, some passengers are really pigs!

Kids traveling alone – beware!

And this is sad.  A few weeks back, there were reports of two separate incidents in which Continental Airlines put children flying as unaccompanied minors on the wrong flights.

All worked out well for those kids. And as I described in a recent Well Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com (Tiny travelers; big responsibilities) there are some things you can do to make sure your kids are safe when flying alone as well.  In addition to making sure your child is mature enough to travel alone and is equipped with the right tools (information, confidence, cash, food, cell phone, etc.) the column points out that, even though an airline will take a fee for transporting your child, it’s important not to confuse the airline with a babysitter.  As one flight attendant says, “…we don’t watch unaccompanied minors 100% of the time.  If a child is shy and isn’t comfortable speaking up for themselves,” then they probably shouldn’t be traveling alone.

That last point is especially important because, as Traveling Mama Jennifer Miner reminded me when she sent me the link to this article from SFWeekly.com, there are some really sick people out there.  The article is a really frightening read. But if you’ve got kids that fly alone, it’s probably important that you read it and then have a talk with your kids.

And if don’t have kids that fly alone but you see a kid on a plane that looks as if he or she is in trouble: do something!

Karaoke at the airport? Yes! In Houston.

Sometimes dreams really do come true!

In the past I’ve joked (sort of…) that it would be great if airport amenities included speed-dating, tattooing, and karaoke – especially during the busy holiday travel season.

Now comes word that Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport is not just hiring choirs and bands to entertain travelers during this holiday season – starting today it’s setting up karaoke booths so travelers can belt out songs as well.

According to an airport official, “Aspiring vocalists can choose from hundreds of song titles… and small prizes will be given to the singers.”

Now what else can I put on my holiday list?

Love the – tax-free – layover at Texas Airports

Several states around the country declare a sales-tax-free weekend at the end of summer. Texas is one of them.

So why not do some back-to-school shopping at the airport?

Today through Sunday (Aug 15-17) travelers stopping at any Texas airport including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), can buy backpacks, sneakers, dresses, t-shirts, caps, jackets and a variety of clothing accessories without having to pay the regular sales tax on purchases under $100.

At DFW, where the sales tax is usually 8.25%, airport officials point out that it’s a good chance for travelers to get some extra “cowboy bling with less ca-ching.”