holidays at airports

Santa’s flight plan

British Airways has shared a preview of the flight plan the Jeppesen charting company has prepared for Santa for the evening of December 24th. 

For those who aren’t well versed in reading flight plan charts,
BA says that the chart shows the approach for landing Santa’s sleigh back at the North Pole, having completed deliveries around the world.

The chart shows that on approach, the sleigh will descend to 2,500ft on a track of true North between SANTA and CLAUS. The sleigh will further descend on the final stages of its approach from COMNG to TOWNN, but in the event that the weather conditions are not good enough to land then Santa will climb back to an altitude of 2,500ft before turning right at MSLTO. That will lead to KSSNG where he will hold until the weather improves.”

Here’s some more detailed information about the plan: 

“With Rudolph’s nose lighting system, the sleigh has a ‘decision height’ of just 250ft which will help Santa manage any bad weather, resulting in a safe landing. Safety is obviously a priority for Santa and his team, so the plan warns that reindeer and elves will be on the runway and that reindeer games could slow down ground operations. Other aircraft are advised to look out for the blinding red nose.”

“We’ll be cheering on Santa and his reindeer on December 24 as he flies around the world,” said Simon Brooks, British Airways’ senior vice president sales, North America, ” He has priority over the skies that night so customers traveling should look for the sleigh and wave to Santa.”

My favorite parts of the flight plan are the ‘Hot Cider Deice Pad” and “Letters to Santa Drop Zone,” and that little elf, but the whole darn thing is charming. 

Airports, airlines offers holiday treats

Airports, airlines offer holiday cheer for stressed out flyers.

This holiday season you’ll likely find long lines at security checkpoints, crowded gate areas and fully packed planes. But you’ll also get holiday treats, fun activities and perks. We’re updating our list

Munich Airport’s Christmas and Winter Market is celebrating its 20thanniversary this year.

Through December 26, more than 110,000 square feet of covered space between Terminals 1 and 2 is once again transformed into a pineforest surrounding a giant ice rink.

The market also includes more than 40 booths offering handicrafts and traditional Christmas treats, live music, kid’s activities and free ice-skating.

At London’s Heathrow Airport, British Bake Off winner Candice Brown and food artist Michele Wibowo teamed up to create a giant gingerbread model of the entire airport. Look for the airport terminals, the runways, control towers and thousands of details and decorations.

Fans of the airport’s popular and heartwarming series of holiday ads will even spot miniature versions of stuffed bears Doris and Edward Bair.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is holding a pop-up Holiday Marketplace from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on December 18, 20 and 21.

Vendors will be offering many “made in Cleveland” and “made in Ohio” goods in the Main Terminal Food Court and on Concourses A, B and C. 

For most of December, diners at OTG’s Marathi Indian restaurant in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson InternationalAirport will receive complimentary spice kits and a recipe for Chicken Biryani.

Marathi’s chef, Paul George, hails from India and is well known for his specially-curated spice blends. His spice blend for Chicken Biryani includes Fennel seed, Shaijeera, Cumin, Cashmirchilies, Black cardamom, Green cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Javathri, Nutmeg,Bay leaf, Star anise, Black peppercorn and Poppy seed.

The selfie-friendly Snoopy statue on the mall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is wearing a festive sweater this season, complete with 3D decorations, crocheted by local textile guilds.

And through January 6, Denver International Airport is offering free ice-skating with free skate rentals on the plaza between the main terminal and airport Westin. To keep spectators and skaters warm, there’s free hot chocolate and cider beginning at noon on Fridays.

Alaska Airlines will celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day on December 21 by offering early boarding on all Alaska and Horizon Air flights to any passenger wearing a festive holiday sweater. 

Alaska Airlines offers early boarding on Dec. 21 for guests wearing holiday sweaters.

And bonus: United Airlines will be giving 2,500 bonus award miles to passengers who will ‘miss’ December 25 because they’re booked on the carrier’s seven international flights that depart on December 24, but don’t arrive at their destinations until December 26.

Heathrow’s charming bears are back for Christmas

Heathrow Airport’s heartwarming story of the bears named, appropriately enough, the Bairs, are back for another season.

We first met the Bairs in 2016. They were so popular that they were featured again last year, in astory that showed how Doris and Edward Bair meet and fall in love on a flight out of Heathrow Airport in 1967.

 

This year’s installment shows the next chapter in the Bair’s lives.

They are now retired in the United States; in Florida. But as the holiday season rolls around, the couple realizes that Christmas just isn’t the same without their loved ones in the UK.

So, they head home to London, arriving in the exact spot where their love story began 50 years ago – at Heathrow Airport.

Charming!

JAX airport handed out 1000 free Mother’s Day carnations. Again.

 

As they have since 2009, on Mother’s Day volunteers at Jacksonville International Airport handed out 1000 carnations to arriving passengers and greeters waiting for their loved ones – especially moms – to arrive.

Here are few more snaps shared by the airport.

 

Waiting for other airports to share snaps of the special treats they offered moms as well.

 

Flying on Valentine’s Day? Cupid may be too.

Charles Lindbergh-themed Valentine

Air travel isn’t romantic unless you’re flying with your sweetie or are on your way to being with them, but this Valentine’s Day some airports and airlines are doing what they can to make the day special.

Shortcut to marriage

The uptick of couples applying for last minute marriage licenses in Las Vegas around Valentine’s Day usually overwhelms the downtown county’s clerk’s office, so this year there’s a pop-up marriage license bureau set up through February 17 in the baggage claim area of Terminal 1 at McCarran International Airport.

Couples will still need to find someone to perform the legal marriage ceremony, but filling out a pre-application and getting a license at the airport can go a long way in streamlining the process. For lovebirds in a rush, keep in mind that the Terminal 1 baggage claim area at the Las Vegas airport also has 24-hour flower vending machines and a to-go liquor shop.

Flowers and chocolates

(Courtesy PHL Airport)

As they have in previous years, volunteers at both Philadelphia International Airport and Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will be handing out Valentine’s Day carnations to passengers.

To celebrate the opening of its automated people mover – called SkyConnect – and its new 2.6 million square foot rental car center, Tampa International Airport will be giving out 1,000 roses to passengers and guests who come out for the first ride.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport caps off its fourth “We Love Our Guests Campaign” on Valentine’s Day with key rings and teddy bears for passengers and photo booths and love-themed music playing throughout the airport.

There will be a “Kissing Booth” distributing chocolate kisses and Valentines to passengers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) on February 14 and a chance to hug and pose with some of the miniature therapy horses that regularly visit the airport.

The horses at CVG will be decked out in their Valentine’s Day attire, as will the therapy dogs at Los Angeles International, Phoenix Sky Harbor and many other airports around the country. The love-fest will continue February 16, when specially-dressed therapy dogs and team-member Lilou the pig help passengers usher in the Lunar New Year at a photo station in San Francisco International Airport.

Heat-shaped lollipops will be handed out to passengers during Valentine’s Day in many terminals at Los Angeles International Airport and in the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport they’ll be celebrating the day with a live entertainment, face painting, and complimentary chocolate roses and candy buffets.

Chocolates will be offered to passengers flying through Austin Bergstrom International Airport on February 14 and, for those who still need to purchase a Valentine’s gift before leaving the airport, they’ll be a booth selling chocolate-covered strawberries from local favorite Amy’s Ice Creams in the bag claim area. Shops in most every other airport will have chocolates, heart-shaped bake-goods and trinkets and other romantic items wrapped and ready to go as well.

Valentine’s Day activities at Heathrow International Airport will include live music, free heart-shaped candies, Polaroid photo ops, complimentary caricature sketches and make-your-own Valentine’s Day card stations. And to insure no Valentine’s Day proposals are inadvertently ruined by a shiny engagement ring drawing the attention of a security officer at the checkpoint,  officials at England’s East Midlands Airport have been offering “secret codes” to travelers who’d like their bags inspected out of their traveling companion’s line of vision.

Airlines offering Valentine’s Day treats for travelers. 

Passengers on Southwest Airlines flights will be treated to a complimentary alcoholic beverage on Valentine’s Day and, at airports across the country, airline employees will be setting up candy and card stations for passengers. Some Southwest flights will be declared “fun flights,” with employees hosting trivia games and giveaways as well.

United Airlines will be setting up Valentine’s Day candy stations in its club lounges on Valentine’s Day, ANA (All Nippon Airways) will be handing out specially-made chocolates to all passengers, and Alaska Airlines will be unveiling a heart-shaped sculpture with a special meaning at San Francisco International Airport.

And Economy and Business Class passengers taking a Valentine’s Day flight from Dubai on Emirates will be served heart-shaped chocolates with their meals.