Los Angeles International Airport

Travel Tidbits from Airports Near You

Flooding at EWR Airport

Awful flooding images from the Northeast Wednesday evening. This one shows flooding inside Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

More airports getting robots to help deliver meals

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) now has a two-wheeled, semiautonomous robot named NomNom helping to deliver food and beverage ordered online as part of the www.LAXOrderNow.com program.

NomNom is a cargo robot that can carry up to 40 pounds of food at a time. It follows behind delivery staff from AtYourGate, which delivers food ordered via LAX Order Now. The robot can move at speeds up to 6 mph and uses a series of cameras and sensors to recognize and follow its handler throughout the airport.

Alaska Airlines’ New Lounge at SFO

The new Alaska Airlines lounge in Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has some amenities we’re very anxious to see in person. In addition to serving Bay Area brews and wines from local vineyards, the lounge has a sourdough toast cart (!), a candy bar that includes Ghirardelli chocolate, Jelly Belly beans, and custom fortune cookies from Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory. There’s even a San Francisco Giants-themed children’s play area. The photos below are from Alaska Airlines; we’re going to have to visit in person to get our own.

Fresh art at LAX, RNO, and SFO Airports

Here at Stuck at the Airport, we’re big fans of the art and history exhibits passengers can enjoy while waiting for their planes. And we’re delighted to see that – pandemic or not – airport art programs are marching forward.

At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) there’s a new LA Scenes group exhibition in Terminal 1.

And, in conjunction with the National Arts Program, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority is hosting the 13th annual Employee Art Show.

The colorful exhibition showcases 132 pieces by 88 airport artists drawn from tenants and vendors, staff, family, and
retirees of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.

This show began in 2007 and includes works ranging from paintings, works on paper, photography, mixed media, sculptures, and crafts.

Look for this show in RNO’s depARTures Galler, located post-security in the C concourse through August 4, 2021

Stuck at The Airport: Mars edition

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is set to touch down on the Red Planet on Thursday, February 18th.

Earthlings are pretty darn excited.

At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the famous LAX pylons are glowing red in anticipation of the landing.

Many other sites and landmarks around the world, including Cleveland’s historic Terminal Tower, are also glowing red in anticipation of the landing.

Krispy Kreme is celebrating the landing too with a special Mars doughnut. This chocolate cream-filled doughnut is dipped in caramel icing with a red planet swirl and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs. The limited-edition doughnut is available in shops and online for one day only – Thursday, February 18.

And of course, you’ll want to tune in to watch NASA’s live coverage of the Perseverance Rover Landing, starting at 11:15 am PST and 2:15 EST.

Seasonal news from PIT, LAX, BWI, MKE, PHX & SAN airports

Whether or not you’re flying during the holidays, it pays to keep up to date with what airports are doing to serve passengers during what is sure to be another unusual season.

Here are some tidbits we’ve already spotted this week.

PIT has its holiday tree up

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) won’t be having its annual Holiday Open House this year. And local choirs and bands won’t be offering holiday performances.

But PIT is setting up a holiday-themed selfie station in the Airside Center Core and hosting distanced (instrument-only) performances by local musicians. And there will be terminal visits from the PIT PAWS airport therapy dog team.

The holiday tree is already there. Here’s a fun time-lapse video of it going up. PIT reports that 20 people worked to raise the 26-foot-tall tree over a span of eight hours and that this year’s tree has 538 ornaments, 42 yards of fabric, and 166 strands of lights.

Take a 360 Virtual Tour of LAX

Missing airports? Us too. So we’re excited as all get out a new virtual 360-degree of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) airfield.

This is the same airfield tour that used to be offered to students, community groups, and others curious about LAX operations before COVID-19 arrived. Now anyone can access the immersive, high-resolution 360-degree video experience online using a smartphone, tablet, computer, or VR headset.

Coat check reopens at MKE

If you’re flying from Milwaukee to Hawaii, Florida, or some other warm spot, you probably won’t need your winter coat when you arrive.

So, for the second winter in a row, Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Mitchell Internation Airport (MKE) has opened it popular coat check service.

The Coat check program operates in partnership with retail partner Paradies Lagardère and is offered inside the Summerfest Marketplace store, which is located pre-security. Each coat is wrapped in protective plastic and the charge is a very reasonable $2 per day, or $10 per trip.

As far as we know, this is still the only U.S. airport offering this service.

Fresh art at PHX

Fun and games from BWI

New experiences from SAN’s artist-in-residence

And, thanks, LAX for reminding us that it is December. Already.

Now the airport info booths are going virtual

We’re declaring the virtual information booth an official trend at airports.

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) rolled out its Virtual Information Booth back in May 2020. The super social distanced system lets travelers connect with a volunteer Airport Ambassador in a remote location via a live video feed.

In July 2020 Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) introduced a pilot virtual assistant program in Terminal 2. That system lets passengers have real-time conversations with customer service agents over a touch-free tablet at the real-world information booth. 

Two more U.S. airports now have virtual information booths as well.

The Virtual Information Desk at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) is near the Southwest Airlines baggage claim belts 1-5. Passengers can get help from a Pathfinder staff member stationed in a safe, remote location.

During this holiday season, Denver International Airport (DEN) is testing a new Live Agent program. DEN’s program will let passengers interact with a live customer service agent via video, text messaging, and live chat. 

At two information (one in the center of the terminal, near arrivals; one in the center of Concourse C) passengers can use iPads to contact a customer service agent for a virtual face-to-face interaction.

The customer service agents can also be reached through DEN’s website and via text chat.

The pilot program, in partnership with Recursive Labs, also allows a traveler to use the camera on their smartphone to show the Live Agent where they are in the airport so the agent can help with directions.