Free lobby hangouts at BWI, IAH and PHX airports

If you’re stuck at the airport in Baltimore, Houston or Phoenix between now and December 16th and need to plug in your laptop or some portable gadget, look for a seat in one of the “Lobby Zones” set up by the folks at Marriott Courtyard Hotels.

The airport Lobby Zones are meant to give travelers a taste of what the chain’s new lobby decor offers, but you don’t have to have a hotel reservation to pull up a chair, hang out and recharge your gear.

Find them at BWI on Concourse A, at Phoenix Sky Harbor in Terminal 4 and in Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Terminal E.

Round-up at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is out of the chute and that means thousands of cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo fans from around the world are making their way to Houston – and through George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

To make sure everyone feels welcome, airport greeters are fanning out to welcome travelers and offer them directions, rodeo pins, cowboy hats, and other memorabilia.  Rodeo fan or not: if you’re passing through the airport, keep an eye out for characters, cowboys, and performers.  The concert line-up at the livestock and rodeo show includes the likes of Brooks &  Dunn and the Black Eyed Peas.

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.”