Music

Pittsburgh & Cleveland Airports celebrate their cities

superman

This week the AIRMALL at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is celebrating the city with a series of activities and exhibits.

Here’s a rundown of events:

On Tuesday, July 21:  The Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen is highlighting entrepreneurs and products such as BBQ sauces, roasted almonds, cookies and more – all made in Cleveland.

On Wednesday, July 22:  As part of “A Christmas Story House” display, travelers will have photo opportunities with character cutouts, the Leg Lamp and other movie memorabilia from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On Thursday, July 23:  The native Cleveland contemporary jazz band Forecast will perform from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Main Terminal Food Court.

And on Friday, July 24, Mitchell’s Ice Cream will treat passengers to a complimentary cone or cup from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Main Terminal Food Court.

PIT Trading card one

The AIRMALL at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is also celebrating its city this week.

On Tuesday, July 21, Peace Love and Little Donuts will give travelers a taste of its “far out” donuts from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. near the video wall in the airside terminal.

Wednesday, July 22, Ronald McDonald will be offering passengers free Big Macs from noon to 2 p.m. at the McDonald’s in the Center Core. The celebration honors the local inventor of the Big Mac, Jim Delligatti.

On Thursday, July 23, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s dinosaur exhibit includes hands-on activities and replicas from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. near the video wall and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the National Aviary will be on site with an African penguin to greet travelers.

And on Friday, July 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., there will be furs, pelts, skins, feathers and other touchable items from animals all over the world at the airport’s Pittsburgh Zoo’s exhibit near the video wall. Small reptiles from the zoo will be there as well.

Have fun!

Free music & e-books at Toronto Pearson Int’l Airport

American Express - Entertainment on Cloud 10

There are some fresh new perks for travelers who touch down at Toronto Pearson International Airport:

In addition to a “re-vesting” area (Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport calls theirs a ‘recombobulation area’) just past the security checkpoint for domestic departures in Terminal 1, passengers at Toronto Pearson Airport now have access to a selection of complimentary ebooks from HarperCollins Canada and music from Sony Music Canada.

The books and music will be refreshed monthly and are available on the Cloud 10 website, which is accessible via the airport’s free Wi-Fi network – all courtesy of American Express Canada.

The perks at Pearson get better if you have certain American Express cards (Platinum, Gold Rewards, etc.)

Everyone gets free Wi-Fi and access to that re-vesting area, but other benefits include access to priority security lanes, Plaza Premium Lounge access, access to a priority lane for taxis and limos, complimentary valet service and discounts on parking and car care services.

(This chart shows which cards get you which benefits.)

This airport also offers some other worthwhile services and amenities:

The Samsonite shop not only sells luggage and travel accessories, but will store luggage and other things, including coats – which you can leave behind for $2 a day (or $9 a week).

And this past year the airport replaced 3,600 pay-per-use baggage carts with 5,000 free ones.

Happy Birthday Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

AUS_Guitar

I admit it.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Maybe it’s because our birthdays are just one day apart.

Or maybe it’s because this was the first airport I visited right after my first book about airports – called what else but Stuck at the Airport – came out in the pre-9/11 summer and AUS was the first airport where I spotted the book on a store shelf.

Or maybe it’s just because, with almost two dozen live music performances a week and some great permanent and temporary art exhibits, including the ‘big hair’ etchings in the women’s bathrooms, the airport is so much fun to visit.

And, oh yeah, it’s in Austin. One hip, somewhat weird, city.

So, I’m sending Happy Birthday wishes to the airport, which is celebrating its 15th birthday on May 23 with cookies for passengers, a drawing for 15,000 airline miles and a special performance by Ray Benson, of Aleep at the Wheel, on Friday at 2:30 pm at the airport’s Asleep at the Wheel stage.

You don’t need to be there to be entered in the drawing for 15,000 airline miles (there will be two winners.) But you do need to enroll in the Thanks Again, customer rewards program by Thursday, May 22, 2014. Do it now.

Austin_Keep Austin Weird

Sub Pop music store opens at Sea-Tac Airport

SubPOP Mega Mart ad courtesy EMP

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s “Experience the City of Music” program includes live performances, overhead music and announcements by Northwest artists, videos, a web radio player and music–themed art exhibits.

Now there’s even more music: the first retail store for Sub Pop Records – the Seattle record label founded in 1988 that helped promote Nirvana and grunge music – has opened at Sea-Tac Airport.

The shop is located in the Central Terminal and features vinyl albums, CDs, sweatshirts, t-shirts, books, hats, art and more.

sub pop

Airplane-shaped piano at Pittsburgh Int’l Airport

Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International are among the airports with piano bars on-site. But through the first week in January 2014, travelers passing through Pittsburgh International Airport will hear tunes played on this airplane-shaped piano:

PIT Airplane Piano

The airplane piano is 13 feet 6 inches long and is valued at $160,000. It was created by Story & Clark/QRS Music Technologies in Seneca, Pa. and an Italian design firm and is controlled via an iPhone or iPad app and plays from a catalog of more than 6,000 songs.

The piano can also be played the old-fashioned way: by people. And it will used during live performances and during the airport’s holiday choral and concert series featuring local schools.

Look and listen for the piano on the Ticketing Level, Landside Terminal, near the US Airways ticket counter through the first week of January.