Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing anniversary

Straight to the Moon – well, Houston.

This week pretty much everyone is celebrating and commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launch and the first manned mission to land on the Moon.

And today, July 17 -the same day Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin made their first TV transmission from Earth to space – United Airlines is hosting a special celebration flight from Newark Liberty International (EWR) airport to Houston’s Georg Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Why fly to Houston now?

Houston is also known as “Space City”  because it is home to NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

StuckatTheAirport.com is going along on Flight 355. We’re promised space-themed entertainment, inflight gifts (yay!) and “special onboard guests who have first-hand experience in space.”

We think that means astronauts will on board…

Once we land in Houston, we’ll join Space Center Houston’s Apollo Anniversary Celebration and get to tour the Apollo Mission Control Center, among other activities.

We’ll also try to taste some of the special cocktails and menu items being served this month at two OTG restaurants at IAH that were inspired by meals the astronauts ate during the Apollo 11 mission.

The astronauts were served “meals” that look like this:

But the special “Eat Like an Astronaut” dishes on the menu at Ember Tavern and Tanglewood Grille in United Airlines’ Terminal C and E at IAH look far more appetizing:

 Stay tuned here and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for Apollo 11 celebration pictures along the way.

EVA’s Hello Kitty jet lands in Houston


With a great deal of fanfare and classic Hello Kitty cuteness, EVA Air’s brand-new, specially painted Boeing 777-300ER landed at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport on Friday, June 19, 2015, with the carrier’s Chairman KW Chang serving as captain.


Named the Hello Kitty Shining Star Jet, the plane’s livery features Little Twin Stars Kiki and Lala, Hello Kitty and My Melody and is EVA Air’s seventh specially painted aircraft and its second using a long-range Boeing 777-300ER. The plane will fly on EVA Air’s new route between Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental and Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport three times a week. A fourth flight, using a Boeing 777-300ER with standard EVA livery, will be added on July 8, 2015.

Here are a few pictures from the arrival event at IAH Airport. More pictures of the Hello Kitty-themed items on board – and available for purchase on board the airplane – tomorrow on Souvenir Sunday.

EVA HelloKit Shining Star in flight

EVA AIR HELLO KITTY JET – in flight. Courtesy EVA AIR




P1010542 (2)


More tomorrow…

(All photos by Harriet Baskas, except the plane in flight, which is courtesy EVA AIR)

Snagged a cheap airfare; now what?

What good is it if you take advantage of one the current airfare sales, but end up in a city where you can’t afford to do anything?

Never fear:  plenty of cities are chock-full of free and really cheap things to do.  Sometimes the free stuff is right there in front of you; other times you’ll need to dig around in magazines, visitor bureau brochures and Web sites.

And sometimes, you might get a little help from the president.  At least if you’re in France.


Starting April 4, 2009, visitors age 25 and under will get free admission at 18 national museums in Paris.  Admission to the Louvre alone is around $14, so it will be a good deal. (Note: currently the Louvre is free to everyone on the first Sunday of each month, free for people under 26 on Friday evenings, and free to anyone under 18 all the time – according to the Louvre Web site.)

Not going to Paris this spring?  Check out the cool, free stuff in my article on MSNBC.com: Cheap thrills for U.S. travelers in 2009.

My favorite: The Beer Can House in Houston.

Admission: $1 to tour the grounds outside the house. $5 to go inside. And who wouldn’t want to go inside???


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?