holidays

Put your name on Helsinki Airport. Plus more airport & airline news.

Want an airport named after you? It’s easy. In Finland

Dulles International Airport. John F. Kennedy International Airport. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

It’s a big deal to have an airport named for you.

In Finland, though, anyone can have Helsinkin Airport named for them. At least for a few moments.

Finavia Corporation, which manages Finland’s airport network has created a way for anyone to have their name put on the front of the Helsinki Airport terminal buildl long enough to snap a selfie or two.

Here’s how to make it happen for you.

Go to www.myhelsinkiairport.fi, put your name in the form, and hit submit.

Your entry will be reviewed to make sure it’s not off-color or inappropriate. And then, depending on how many requests are in ahead of you, your name will appear over the Helsinki Airport sign on the front of the terminal.

We tested it out and filled out the form early morning Finland time from Seattle. Then we watched on the website as our name popped up on the airport sign within seconds.

Unfortunately, of course, we couldn’t get a selfie with our sign because were weren’t standing out in front of the airport in person. But we’re determined to get there so we can get that snap.

In the meatime, we’re declaring this Airport Amenity of the Week. Agree?

Holidays at Airports and in the Air

We’re gathering up news of holiday events and amenities being rolled out by airports and airlines.

Here are a few to round out the week.

Let us know what we’re missing at your airport.

Airports mark Int’l Air Traffic Controllers Day

On October 20, airports around the country – and the world – gave thanks and shared great photos in honor of International Airport Traffic Controllers Day. See how many towers you recognize. And read till the end so you can see a very cool airport control tower tattoo!

Let us know if we missed your airport and we’ll add it in.

And look at this new tattoo!

The above tattoo is of the old air traffic control tower at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Here’s a photo of that, courtesy of Carolyn Russo, from her great photography book Art of the Airport Tower.

Airports, landmarks, attractions shine green for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day will arrive on March 17, but some airports, attractions, hotels, bridges, castles, and iconic buildings are already shining green for Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening event.

The event began 11 years ago in Australia when the iconic opera house was illuminated in green on March 17, 2010. Now the list of participating Global Greening sites is incredibly long and includes returning classics such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the London Eye, the Sky Tower in Auckland, and the Prince’s Palace of Monaco.

Here are some of airports and other places we found that are already turning on the green lights. If you know of an other airports that will be joining in, let us know and we’ll add them. Take a look, too, at some of the green-lit landmarks in the St. Patrick’s Day video below narrated by Liam Neeson.

How to join Finnair’s virtual reality flights to visit Santa

What does Santa do after he finishes all that hard work delivering presents on Christmas Eve?

He’ll go up the last chimney, climb into his sleigh, and make his way home to Rovaniemi, Lapland.

That’s the Christmas story Helsinki-based Finnair, “Santa’s official airline,” believes. And they’re backing it up with a series of eight virtual reality (VR) flights to visit Santa once he’s home.

Finnair’s VR flights are open for booking and take place between December 25th and December 30. The cost is €10 per person, or about $12. And all the profits will go to UNICEF’s fund to help children adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The immersive 360-degree virtual reality flights are created by Finnish VR studio Zoan and will be viewable on VR headsets, mobile phones, or laptops.

For these special flights, Finnair is giving all travelers virtual business class seats. And from that vantage point, it should be easy to look out the window and take in the starry skies and incredible views of the northern lights.

The VR experience also promises flight soundscapes, festive decorations, and, for those who have been nice and not naughty, a “glimpse of a familiar festive figure sitting in one of the other seats.”

Who could that be??

Once the virtual flight lands in Rovaniemi, Finnair says travelers will be able to virtually cross the Arctic Circle and visit Santa in his cabin.

If you show and he find him sleeping after his long night out, please don’t wake him up.