Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

First look: new terminal at New Orleans International Airport

Airport employees, passengers, and meeters and greeters joined a second line parade through the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) on Tuesday night, November 5.

The occasion: a celebration and a last goodbye to the old terminal in anticipation of the opening of a brand new terminal Wednesday morning, November 6.

The old terminal, with its low ceilings, worn seating areas and multiple ticketing lobbies for different airlines, was closing down as the parade marched by.

The last flights of the night were boarding and the Lucky Dogs stands were wrapping up business.

During the day on Tuesday, workers hurried to put finishing touches on restaurants and concessions.

There were speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

And, of course, cake.

The new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport terminal is a beauty.

There are 3 concourses, a central security checkpoint, stages for live music, a Delta Sky Club with views of the airfield activities and oodles of restaurants and shops that represent the charm of the city.

Here are some snaps from a pre-opening tour.

Entrance to the Delta Sky Club

Stuck at the Airport will be on hand for the first flight out of the new terminal at 5:00 AM on Nov 6, so stay tuned for more snaps and stories.

New Orleans Int’l Airport getting a new terminal

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is set to open its new airport terminal on Wednesday morning, November 6.

Starting with an early morning flight at around 4 a.m., all 16 commercial airlines at MSY will operate from the new terminal. The old terminal will be close to the public tonight.

StuckatTheAirport is in town for the switchover. We will share snaps of closing and opening ceremonies. We’ll also check out all the fresh amenities in the new terminal.

In addition to some great, locally-themed shops and restaurants, the new terminal promises power chargers at 50% of the gate area seats, water bottle refill stations, the three Mothers Rooms and music venues. The “fully automated” restrooms promise “sanitary seat covers.”

That’s tomorrow.

Today we’re sharing some snaps of the old terminal gathered on our way in. In case you’ll miss is.

We’re hoping this mural of New Orleans Jazz musicians makes a return.

Move over therapy dogs, New Orleans Int’l Airport has ‘gators

 

You’ve likely seen or heard about the therapy animals that visit airports around the country to help de-stress travelers.

Most airports have dogs, but San Franciso International Airport’s team includes a pig, Denver International Airport’s team boasts a cat and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport regularly hosts minature horses.

What’s next?

How about alligators?

On Fridays at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport the Audubon Nature Institute brings live alligators to the baggage claim area and encourages passengers to pose for an “MSY Gator Selfie.”

Brave travelers can also touch the baby gators, which are one to three years old and up to three feet long, according to an airport spokeswoman.

MSY airport does have a dog therapy team – the MSY K-9 Krewe (a nod to the krewes, or groups, that organize parades and balls in New Orleans) – but alligator visits and gator selfies are another way the airport is working to enhance the passenger experience.

Pittsburgh International or (Mister) Fred Rogers Int’l Airport?

There’s a petition out there to change the name of Pittsburgh International Airport to Fred Rogers International Airport.

Where would you weigh in?

Fred Rogers grew up near Pittsburgh and for 33 years episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the beloved children’s television show he and his red sweater starred in, were produced at Pittsburgh’s public TV station, WQED.

A special gallery at Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center displays artifacts from the show, including Rogers’ iconic sweater, necktie, khakis, sneakers and the living room set he entered at the beginning of each show.  There’s also a recently refreshed exhibit dedicated to Rogers on Concourse C at Pittsburgh International Airport.

But that isn’t enough for Ian Miller, a Pittsburgh citizen who last week started a change.org petition asking that the name of Pittsburgh International Airport be changed to Fred Rogers International Airport.

“Fred Rogers, a television pioneer and children’s entertainer, shared Pittsburgh’s sense of community with the world through his PBS show,” Miller writes in his petition, “Pittsburgh is still an active transit hub and, for many people, our airport will be their first experience in Pittsburgh. We wish to welcome everybody to our neighborhood.”

The petition has over 11,000 signatures so far.

And while Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International, appreciates Miller’s enthusiasm and agrees “Fred Rogers occupies a special place in the hearts of Pittsburghers and people around the world,” said airport spokesman Bob Kerlik, it seems unlikely the airport’s name will be changed.

“In 2016, we completed a rebranding of the airport to better match the ongoing renaissance of the Pittsburgh region,” said Kerlik, “And at this time our focus is on continuing to advance ‘Pittsburgh International Airport’ as a global aviation leader.”

Naming – or renaming – an airport after a celebrity with a local connection isn’t unheard of in the United States.

In Santa Rosa, CA, for example, passengers land and take-off from the Charles M. Schulz -Sonoma County Airport. In Louisiana, the major airport is the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. John Wayne Airport serves Orange County, CA and the Will Rogers World Airport provides air service to Oklahoma City, OK.

 

Oklahoma City Airport

And while it has recently been rebranded as Hollywood Burbank Airport, the official name of the airfield about 12 miles north of downtown Los Angeles is still legally Bob Hope Airport.

 

Flying with King Cakes and Rubber-tipped spears?

It’s Mardi Gras season and the folks at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) have some intriguing travel advice posted on the Web site:

king_cake

What to do when traveling with a King Cake:

King cakes, filled and plain, can be brought through the security checkpoint.  But, please be advised that king cakes are subject to additional screening.

Other Mardi Gras Items:

Rubber tipped spears and Zulu coconuts will be allowed through security and may be subject to additional screening

What’s a King Cake?  According to the city’s official tourism Web Site, NewOrleansonline.com:

It’s a traditional confection “made of braided Danish pastry, laced with cinnamon. It is always iced in the Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power). Hidden in each king cake is a tiny plastic baby. The person who finds the baby must buy the next king cake or host the next party.”

Zulu coconuts? They’re the most most coveted Mardi Gras souvenir.

msy-mardi-gras

(Photo courtesy: Jean-Paul Gisclair and NewOrleansOnline.com)