Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Airport Amenities We Love: Coat Check Service

Here’s a great airport amenity we’re glad is back.

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is once again offering its popular coat check service.

The service is back for the third winter season and means passengers setting out from MKE for warm weather destinations don’t have to lug their bulky winter jackets, scarves, and gloves with them on the plane.

They can instead check these items inside Summerfest Marketplace, which is located pre-security and open 7 days a week, and available for all flights.

The cost to check a coat is a reasonable $2 per day, with a maximum charge of $10 per trip.

Great idea! Maybe other airports will begin offering this service as well.

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.

MKE: 5 Things We Love About Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

The “5 Things We Love About...” series on StuckatTheAirport.com celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

And today we land at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE).

If we miss one of your favorite amenities at MKE, be sure to leave a note in the comments section below. And if you want to nominate an airport to be featured in the ‘5 Things We Love About…” series, drop a note in that section as well.

5 Things We Love About Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)

1. MKE’s Recombobulation Area

The “Recombobulation Area” just past the MKE security checkpoints is a place where passengers can put their coast and shoes back on and get their belongings in order after passing through TSA.

Evidently, the Recombobulation Area has become more than just a thoughtful airport amenity.

“Recombobulation” has become a part of every Wisconsinite’s dictionary, MKE officials tell us. And it was the answer to a question on the popular game show Jeopardy!.

2. Baron’s Beer Garden at MKE

Milwaukee is well-known for its great beers and a brewing history dating back to 1840.

So it makes sense, doesn’t it, that MKE is home to what may be the first beer garden in a U.S. airport.

Located on Concourse C, Baron’s Beer Garden takes inspiration from traditional German beer gardens and the repurposed fire trucks that the Milwaukee County Parks uses for its Traveling Beer Garden program.

In addition to a nice variety of local beers on tap, the beer garden has a full menu and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

3. MKE’s Moss Wall

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport makes selfies simple with the MKE Moss Wall.

The wall is real and made up of fern, pillow, and mood moss that has been treated with a safe, non-toxic preservation liquid. So snap away.

4. MKE’s Coat Check service

This is an airport amenity we love and wish was offered at more airports.

MKE is the only major airport in the U.S. to offer a coat check service during the winter. Smart, right? Even smarter: the reasonable rates. Last winter it cost $2/ day to check a coat, with a maximum charge of $10.

The coat check is located inside the Summerfest Marketplace retail shop, which is a tribute to the Summerfest festival, an event billed as the World’s Largest Music Festival.

In addition to Summerfest merchandise and House of Harley-Davidson products, the shop sells goods made by local vendors and many Wisconsin-centric souvenirs.

5. The only used bookstore in an airport

Located in the main terminal area at MKE, Renaissance Books is the only used bookstore we know of in an airport.

(Powell’s Books recently announced the permanent closure of their shop and kiosk at Portland International Airport that offered new and used books.)

And, as you can see from the photo above, Renaissance Books at MKE isn’t a kiosk or a small shop. This is a full-fledged bookstore with dozens of categories and thousands of used and rare books to choose from.

We wouldn’t be surprised if some people missed their flights while poking around this shop.

Bonus: Gallery of Flight

The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a must-see aviation museum that recently reopened on the south side of the MKE terminal, next to the USO.

You can visit the museum 24-hours a day at the airport and on this virtual tour.

Did we miss one of your favorite spots at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)? Drop us a note in the comments section below and let us know which airport we should visit next.

Airports are being challenged, but there are bright spots

Despite this recent NYT article documenting how truly awful conditions are right now for airports and the operators of airport concessions, there are some bits of hopeful news.

New shops at MKE Airport

At Milwaukee Mitchell Airport (MKE), which will be getting new daily nonstop flights to both Tampa and Fort Meyers on United Airlines in December, there’s a Leinie Lodge pop-up on Concourse D.

In addition to snacks and beverages, passengers can build their own souvenir variety 12-pack of Wisconsin-made Leinenkugel’s beer.

MKE also recently celebrated the opening the Bronzeville Crossing retail shop on Concourse C. The shop carries locally crafted goods from the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

SFO Airport reopening a concourse

During this pandemic, airlines have cut back schedules and parked airplanes. As a result, airports around the country have closed concourses due to flight inactivity.

But here’s some good news.

Enough flights have come back on the schedule at San Francisco International that the airport will be reopening a concourse in the International Terminal which has been closed since April 1st.

Boarding Area A, which houses Gates A1 – A15, will reopen on September 1, 2020. The Airport has been operating all international flights on a single concourse since the closure.

13 airports: 1 big virtual music festival

13 airports around the country have put their hearts and efforts together to host a free online music festival Wednesday evening, August 19, starting at 5 p.m. CST.

The show starts at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and then work its way around the country with short sets by stellar local musicians chosen by the participating airports.

Each airport will be running the event on their respective Facebook Live page.

The rundown is below. Note that Kenny Loggins (remember him from Loggins and Messina?) will be capping off the event for the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

Airport coat check service at MKE

Airport amenity of the week

Heading to a warm-weather spot for vacation? Lucky you!

You’ll need your winter coat when you go to the airport and when you come home from your trip.

But you probably don’t need that coat at the beach.

That’s why we love the new coat check amenity at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) that lets travelers check their coats at the recently opened Summerfest Marketplace, located pre-security in the airport’s concession mall.

“Heavy winter coats can take up a lot of space in luggage. This new option allows travelers to wear their coats to the airport, leave them with a friendly attendant in the Summerfest Marketplace, and then claim them after landing back here at MKE.,” Airport Director Brian Dranzik

Coat check service is $2 a day, with a maximum charge of ten dollars.

MKE coat check service is great. And wins this week’s Airport Amenity of the Week award. But it isn’t the first airport to offer this service.

Frankfurt Airport offers a winter coat storage service from October through April for just €0.50  a day in Terminal 1, Concourse B.

And Korean Air offers a coat storage service at both Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2) and Gimhae (Busan) International Airport from December through February. The first five days are complimentary, after that there’s a charge of about $2 a day.

And back in 2014, there was a coat check service for a short while in the JetBlue terminal at JFK.