We spotted a few airports celebrating National Crossword Puzzle Day on December 21 with their very own aviation-themed puzzles.
The holiday marks the day the first-known printed crossword was published in the New York World newspaper.
Give these puzzles from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) a try. And let us know which ones we missed.
And just for fun: TSA Nutcrackers
Two TSA officers working at A. B. Won Pat Guam International Airport (GUM) dressed up these 14-inch-tall nutcrackers in TSA uniforms. Their outfits include insignia patches, hats, airport security badges and, of course, face masks.
The airport is also using signs and floor stickers to encourage passengers to remember to keep their distance and wear face coverings.
Now, SJC is also getting even more creative with getting those messages out.
The airport has enlisted Santa Cruz-based singer/songwriter artist Nick Gallant to write and record three original songs to remind passengers and employees what they can and should do to keep things safe.
The ditties are catchy.
And you’ll have plenty of time to learn them by heart. Each song is being played throughout the Airport’s terminal buildings once an hour on a 20-minute cycle.
“By now our travelers and employees know what they need to do to keep each other safe while traveling,” said SJC Assistant Director of Aviation Judy Ross, “So the challenge for us was to find a unique, engaging way to remind everyone to stay vigilant.”
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) isn’t the first to have safety songs to remind passengers to pay attention to the rules.
Way back in 2011, Montana’s Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) was running a video of a local band named The Singing Sons of Beaches to remind passengers of the rules and routines required at the TSA checkpoint.
We like the no-nonsense social distancing signage and floor decals.
And we are impressed that instead of waiting months for out-of-stock hand-sanitizing stations and plexiglass barriers, the Facilities and Engineering team at SJC is making its own.
At Your Gate + Grab = Service
Grab, the time-saving app that lets you order from an airport restaurant and then go straight to the pick-up line to get your meal is partnering with AtYourGate, the service that lets you order airport food via an app and have it delivered to you wherever you are in the terminal.
The partnership makes sense on many levels but is perfectly timed for these ‘no-touch’ times.
Grab already operates in over 50 airports in 4 countries. AtYourGate serves 10 airports now, with 40 more to be served in short order.
Travel Tidbits from airports and airlines near you
Southwest expands Hawaii flights from California
Southwest Airlines announced new nonstop flights from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to both Kona (KOA), on the island of Hawaii, and Lihue, Kauai (LIH) will begin flying in January 2020.
Once these flights begin, you’ll be able to fly to
all four main Hawaiian Islands nonstop from SJC.
Southwest will start flights between SJC and Lihue four days per week (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun) starting January 19, 2020. Flights to Kona will be three times a week (Tue/Thu/Sat) beginning January 21.
These new flights will be in addition to Southwest’s existing daily, nonstop flights between SJC and both Honolulu and Kahului (Maui), which began in May.
Take the Train – half off
You can’t take the
train to Hawaii, but you can take it lots of other places – for half price.
Amtrak just kicked off its September Sale, offering 50% off tickets nationwide. The sale runs Friday, August 16 through Saturday, August 17, 2019 and covers travel anywhere between September 1 and September 30, 2019. Even better: no blackout dates.
Comic art at John Wayne Airport
Like comic books? Then you’ll love this comic book art.
Mixed Media Collage artist Fernando Del Rosario brings his “Real Heroes” collection of inspiring quotes and original composed art – made from comic books – to John Wayne Airport (JWA).
“My Real Heroes collection is meant to grab you, lose yourself within each piece and come out inspired, motivated, and creatively recharged,” said Del Rosario. “Every one of these comic book pages is from my collection as a kid. And this is my way of sharing my story and my inspiration with the public.”
Del Rosario’s artwork is on display in the JWA Community Focus Space from August 15 – September 17, 2019.
Without a doubt, the star attraction in the new terminal is the 26-foot-tall Space Observer sculpture by Bjorn Schulke in the middle of the terminal.
The glossy, all-white ‘creature’ has antennas that take pictures of what it sees, a playback screen and propellers on a set of arms of that wave about. See it in action on this video.
Down on the baggage claim level, there are two glass exhibit cases displaying Silicon Valley treasures.
Small Wonders includes technology-influenced “curiosities” by various artists.
The Wunderkammer, by SuttonBeresCuller, is “an imaginary natural history museum diorama of the San Jose region created using recycled materials that have defined Silicon Valley.”
And listen closely as you walk through some of the terminal jetways. You might hear wild Hawaiian Chickens, the sound of Texas at dawn or the songs of sparrows. They’re some of the soundscapes Bill Fontana created to connect San José with destination cities.
Sound like fun? I spent a several hours at Mineta San José International Airport and didn’t get to see – or hear – all the artwork. And are few pieces destined for Terminal B aren’t installed yet. So now I’m scheming for a reason to go back.