Jacksonville International Airport

Deals, discounts & treats for travelers + moms

Mother’s Day celebrations at airports

Airports across the country will be marking Mother’s Day with complimentary flowers, music and more.

Today between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the post-security Great Hall at Los Angeles International Airport, the Mother’s Day celebration will include a photo booth, complimentary wooden roses, and appearances by some of the pups from the Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) program.

And, as they have for many years, this weekend volunteers at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport will likely be handing out flowers to arriving moms and those waiting for their moms.

We’ll add more Mother’s Day activities as they roll in.

Delta Air Lines rolling out free in-flight WiFI

Starting May 13, Delta Air Lines is kicking off a much-welcome two-week pilot program to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi in all cabins on 55 short, media and long-haul flights.

The carrier says this is the first step towards offering complimentary Wi-Fi for everyone, all the time.

“Customers are accustomed to having access to free Wi-Fi during nearly every other aspect of their journey, and Delta believes it should be free when flying, too,” said Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Onboard Product in a statement. “Testing will be key to getting this highly complex program right – this takes a lot more creativity, investment and planning to bring to life than a simple flip of a switch.”

The free Wi-Fi service won’t support content streaming, but will let passengers browse, email, shop, message, and engage with social media for free.

Delta’s Wi-Fi for purchase and free mobile messaging will remain available throughout the test.

Take the train

Amtrak, which also offers free Wi-Fi, has launched an Unconditional Love Flash Sale now through Monday, May 13.

The two-for-one ticket offer is valid for travel nationwide between June 1 and September 30. Use discount code C250.

Bonus: if you’re an Amtrak Guest Rewards member (or sign up to be) you can also earn double points if you travel by May 18

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.

 

New aviation history gallery at Jacksonville Int’l Airport

In Florida, Jacksonville International Airport has a new exhibit featuring the area’s aviation milestones and memorabilia from an era when Florida was sparsely populated.

The exhibit starts its story with January 28, 1878, when a hot air balloon containing one man was sighted floating a “mile high” over the city at 5:00 p.m. and ends on the eve of World War II, when the military created bases bigger than most Florida cities.

 

In addition to a wall mural noting historical highlights and photos of significant events in Jacksonville’s aviation history, seven cases display a variety of aviation artifacts. There are also interactive monitors with additional  information about the area’s  aviation history.

Jacksonville Takes Flight: North Florida aviation history from 1878 to 1941” is located next to the center courtyard food court, where there’s also a great window for viewing modern day airfield activity.

 

Airport officials say this is just Phase 1 of the gallery exhibit. Phase II will begin its story at the end of World War II and conclude with aviation milestones leading up to the present day. Look for that to be completed in 2018, when JAX celebrates its 50th anniversary.

 

Tidbits for travelers: JAX getting jazzed

The 2010 Jacksonville Jazz Festival takes place Friday, May 28, through Sunday, May 30, in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.  With Patti Labelle, Tito Puente Jr., the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Buckwheat Zydeco on the line-up, it looks like it will be a fine event.

But today, May 24th, before the official festival even gets started, the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) will be kicking off its own jazz festival with live music and visual art displays in the center courtyard of the airport.  The airport’s jazz festival continues through Sunday, May 30 with a line-up that includes local acts such as Class Act, PM Experience, Robbie Eccles, Aaron Bing, The Mike Bernos Band and Roger Glover, the “River City Music Man.”

Airports and airlines recycle some surprising stuff

For my At the Airport column in USATODAY.com this month I offered a fun round-up of items being recycled by airports and airlines in an effort to be help save the earth and, in some cases, to save some serious money.

You can read the full column, For airports and airlines, creative recyling  brings cost savings, on the USA TODAY website but  briefly, the list I included ranges from airports that recycle, reuse or re-purpose everything from old metal detectors, used de-icing fluid and concrete from old runways to creative partnerships between airports or airlines and local non-profits and green businesses. 

Two examples:

Jacksonville International Airport is working with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on a project to turn tree clippings into food. The zoo needs a reliable year-round source of fresh “browse,” the natural vegetation eaten by many of the zoo’s large mammals. The grounds around the airport are full of browse-worthy trees and shrubs that could do with some regular clipping.  So browse harvested at the airport in the morning now becomes dinner for giraffe, elephants and great apes at the zoo;

And old seat covers from Delta and re-branded Northwest airplanes that could have ended up in a landfill somewhere were instead donated to Tierra Ideas, a small North Carolina company that is recycling the bags as messenger bags, laptop cases and other travel accessories with patterns that will very familiar to frequent fliers on those airlines.

A Delta spokesperson says so far Delta has donated about 5,873 pounds of fabric from an estimated 20,000 seat covers. “…Enough fabric to cover 92 of Delta’s 767-300ER aircraft.”

And – here’s something that didn’t fit in the column: On May 17th, Purdue University Airport, in West Lafayette, IN will be recyling this 737 aircraft.

“Shredding it,” is the term Betty Stansbury of Purdue University uses:

The aircraft is a 41 year old Boeing 737-200 donated to the University by United Airlines fifteen years ago for research and training purposes in Purdue’s  Aviation Technology Program. 

“The plane has reached the end of its useful life, and will be shredded starting on Monday May 17th. ….We use a large cutting device, called a shearer, to chew the plane into smaller pieces, which are placed in metal containers for transportation, melting and recycling.”