Travel Tidbits: Switchfoot at SAN and more.

Image courtesy SAN & Pablo Mason

This morning, (Monday, June 19) alternative rock band Switchfoot will show up at San Diego International Airport to perform an acoustic set and play with two area youth music groups.  The event will also promote a new exhibition in the airport about BRO-AM, Switchfoot’s  free annual music and surf festival held in Encinitas to benefit area youth causes.


Not that many airports have classic barbershops on site anymore, so it’s quite impressive to learn that Nick Palomares has been operating his barbershop at Fresno Yosemite International Airport for 45 years.

“Mr. Palomares’ milestone anniversary is truly a testament of his professionalism and gracious personality that resonates with his clients, passengers and guests,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle in a statement marking the milestone and reminding travelers – even those that don’t need haircuts – to swing by the shop to check out walls of the barbershop, which are filled with photos of celebrities that have passed through the airport.


And when you’re spending money at airports and on airplane tickets around the world, keep in mind that pretty much every one of those companies has a foundation that supports non-profits in many communities.

For example, HMS Host, which operates food and beverage venues at more than 120 airports worldwide, has the HMSHost Foundation, which last week gave a $20,000 grant to Grace-Mar Services in support of the group’s work to provide financial literacy, job readiness and other services in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the groups have also worked together on job placements at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Pirate ship at Tampa Int’l Airport


Pirate season will soon be upon us – with Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19 and the Pirates of the High Seas Fest scheduled for Panama City Beach, Florida October 7-9.

Now pirates and pirate fans will feel welcome year-round at Tampa International Airport (Airside F), where HMSHost recently opened the Gasparilla Bar, a single-masted wooden pirate ship-shaped restaurant.

On the menu: pirate’s roast beef sandwich, Black Beard bean salad and “Gaspar’s grogs” with Captain Morgan Rum-based cocktails.

Airport eating: cage-free eggs

Photo courtesy: Nationaal Archief via Flickr Commons

HMSHost – operator of many of the airport restaurants you already frequent – has announced that it has plans to switch to “cage-free” eggs at its more than 2,000 airport and highway locations.

They’ll start off by making the switch in early summer at several HMSHost restaurants at Los Angeles International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and McCarran International Airport Las Vegas.

By June you’ll be served cage-free eggs at Tuscany Café, Goose Island, and Tortas Frontera (already serving cage-free eggs) at Chicago O’Hare International Airport; Gladstones and Campanile at Los Angeles International Airport; HMSHost’s restaurant 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and PGA TOUR Grill and Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill at McCarran International Airport Las Vegas.

Cage-free eggs will show up on the menu at all the company’s restaurants by 2025.

No doubt there are other airport restaurants already serving cage-free eggs, but it’s good to know HMSHost is joining the flock.


Souvenir Sunday: HMSHost and Yowza!! offering airport discounts

While many airports enforce a “street pricing” policy for vendors, it’s not uncommon to experience sticker shock when buying a snack or a souvenir before a flight.

New York City souvenirs

That’s why I’m a fan of the discount-filled coupon booklet that the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport puts out every two months, the airports that put discount offers on the back of printed boarding passes and the new collaboration between Yowza!! and HMSHost, which operates concessions at many airports.

Right now, you can use the Yowza!! app to find coupons for use at Tampa International Airport and at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where there are discounts offered for Pinkberry, California Pizza Kitchen and LaBrea Bakery. The program should roll out at other airports around the country later this year.