John F. Kennedy International Airport

More robots to help keep travelers safe and sanitized

We adore the rolling little “Ask me!” robots some airports have hired to answer questions and help passengers find their way around.

But they seem more entertainment than essential.

But thanks to the pandemic, robots are getting a promotion at many airports – as super cleaners.

Robots clean up before we fly

Airports and airlines are scrambling to get the latest technology in place to keep terminal spaces and airline cabins disinfected and sanitized.

And robots are doing their part.

In May, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Robotics put a pair of self-driving, robot floor scrubbers on duty.

In July, JetBlue kicked off a 90-day pilot program at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to evaluate Honeywell’s UV Cabin System.

These robots use ultraviolet light to clean an aircraft cabin in about 10 minutes.

Other airports and airlines have deployed robot-like tools as well.

And now San Antonio International Airport (SAT) enters the picture with its shiny new purchase: the Xenex LightStrike robot.

This robot is billed as “the only ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection technology proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.”

SAT says the LightStrike uses environmentally-friendly pulsed xenon and can disinfect an area in less than 10-15 minutes without warm-up or cool-down time. They plan to use it pretty much everywhere in the airport, including jet bridges, gate areas, ticketing counters, baggage claim, concessions, elevators, and restrooms.

And it looks like the LightStrike robot is here to stay. SAT airport plans to have a contest to give the robot a name.

The Beatles and JFK Airport

(Re-posting 2/7/12)

Thanks to ThisDayin History.com for the reminder that on this day, February 7, back in 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with its special cargo of Beatles.

According to History.com:

It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”–dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts–were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.

Here’s a great video using clips from that day:

Two days after their arrival at JFK, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Even more airport freebies for Thanksgiving travelers

In addition to the airport freebies I wrote about yesterday here at StuckatTheAirport.com, we have a few more airport events and giveaways to seek out during your Thanksgiving trek through the airport:

Turkey with hat

If you’re traveling through Boston’s Logan International Airport or Seattle-Tacoma International Airport today (Wed. Nov 25, 2009) look around for the “Fareologists” from Bing Travel. They’ll be answering travel questions (try to stump them by asking where the best place is to buy an extra pair of underwear) and surprising some folks (1,000 in all) in the ticketing areas by giving them a $15 card redeemable for cash anywhere MasterCard is accepted.  Nice!

ROCKETTES

If you’re at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) Wednesday between 10 and 11 am look around for the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, who will be performing -and no doubt posing for photos with travelers – in the Baggage Claim area and at the Security Checkpoint in the Landside Terminal.

THANKSGIVING coin postcard

And between 8 am and 5 pm today (and on Saturday and Sunday; November 28-29, 2009) you can stop by an “Airport Privacy Haven”  in Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) or New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport for a free massage and complimentary Wi-Fi between 8 am and 5 pm.

Enjoy!