New Orleans Airport

MSY: 5 Things we Love About Louis Armstrong New Orleans Int’l Airport

Stuck at the Airport’s “5 Things We Love About…” series is back today with Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

The continuing series celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

We’re trying to keep our lists to just 5 cool things about each airport, but you are invited to add ‘bonus’ favorites in the comments below.

*Note that some of the things we love at airports may be temporarily closed or suspended due to COVID-19 concerns, but we’re pretty sure they are coming back.


5 Things We Love About Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

MSY debuted its new $1.3 billion terminal building in November 2019 to serve 16 airlines with 35 gates spread out across three concourses.

1. Live music as MSY

Any trip to New Orleans involves live music. And that includes live music at the airport on arrival – and before you leave. The new terminal has music stages in the bag claim area and in the terminal.

2. The shops and restaurants

The new MSY is filled with restaurants and bars that represent local favorites, including Lucky Dogs, Cafe Du Monde, Emeril’s Table, Leah’s Kitchen and many more.

Great souvenirs of New Orleans can be found at the MSY as well.

3. The MSY Treewall

The Treewall at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is an impressive three-story artwork portraying an oak tree that sits right in the middle of the airport’s main terminal area. It not only offers a great sense of place; it’s a great meeting place and, of course, a great photo opp spot.

4. MSY’s “Meet an Alligator” program

Every Friday the Audubon Nature Institute brings a few juvenile alligators to MSY airport so passengers can learn about these creatures and get a souvenir photo.

5. MSY’s K9 Krewe

Alligators aren’t the only animals that visit MSY on a regular basis.

The airport has a therapy animal program called MSY K9 KREWE.

13 dogs and their owners make visits to MSY to help decrease travel anxiety and hang out with travelers.

Did we miss something you love about MSY?

If we missed your favorite feature or amenity at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), please leave a note in the comment section below.

Want to nominate an airport for the series or sponsor one of the episodes? Get in touch.

Airports in the “5 Things We Love About …” series. So far:

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT)

Visit the New Orleans Airport without a ticket

Gate pass program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

As promised, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is joining the list of airports that invite and allow non-ticketed guests airside, past security to shop, dine, listen to live music and spend more time with friends and family leaving for trips or coming home.

The free MSY Guest Pass program kicks off December 4 and will be available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  MSY officials say the airport will issue no more than 50 passes on weekdays and no more than 100 passes each Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone seeking an MSY Guest Pass will need to sign up 24 hours in advance and provide their full name, date of birth and contact information. Visitors under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Pass holders must still pass through the security checkpoint and all pass holders will be limited to one visit per month.

Leah’s Kitchen at MSY

MSY is justifiably proud of its shiny new terminal, which has branches of local shops such as Dirty Coast and Fleurty Girl and restaurants from award-winning chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, John Folse, Michael Gullotta, Susan Spicer, and the late Leah Chase and her family.

We expect more airports to join this trend, but for now just a few other airports offer gate passes to non-ticketed guests: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has the MyPITpass program and Tampa International Airport (TPA) offers an All Access gate pass program.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is testing a gate pass program now through January 5.

Have you applied for a gate pass at one of these airports? If so, tell us how it worked.

Souvenir Sunday at New Orleans International Airport

It’s Souvenir Sunday – the day we take a look at some of the fun, inexpensive and locally-linked items for sale at airports.

MSY ALLIGATOR FROM airplane readling.

This week’s souvenirs come to us from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, courtesy of Christopher Shaberg, author of The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight

Christopher lives in New Orleans and sent out a tweet that he was heading to the airport to pick up some visiting family members. I asked him to poke around for fun souvenirs.

Here are just a few of the snaps he sent.


MSY VOODOOpet gator

As a thank-you, I’ll be sending Christopher a travel souvenir.

Want one too?

Next time you’re at an airport, take some photos of souvenirs that are fun, inexpensive (about $10) and “of” the city or regiona you’re visiting. Send them along and, if they’re featured on Souvenir Sunday, I’ll send you a travel souvenir.

At New Orleans Airport: hello & goodbye Super Bowl fans

SuperBowl  image

The Super Bowl party is underway at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport(MSY).


Arriving fans were greeted with live music by the Iguanas and many other bands on Thursday and Friday, but there’s plenty of music still on tap for Saturday. Check the schedule here.

The TSA, which has nearly doubled the number of checkpoint screening lanes at MSY for the post-game period, has issued its own list of tips for Super Bowl fans and, on its blog, listed “Items you may WANT to bring on the plane; but CAN’T…

The list includes air horns and flasks filled with liquor, especially “concealment flasks” disguised as something else: “Binocular flasks, beer bellies, cell phone flasks, cane flasks, pen flasks, flip-flop flasks, you name it… You may be able to sneak these into concerts and sporting events, but we’ll find them at the airport,” the TSA warns on its blog.

The TSA also urged Baltimore Ravens fans traveling with a live ravens to check with their airlines for the rules on traveling with pets and warned fans of the San Francisco 49ers that gold mining implements such as pick axes and shovels are prohibited as carry-on items.

Sports fans planning tailgating events were reminded to leave propane tanks, gas heaters and stoves out of checked or carry-on baggage and that, due to restrictions on carrying more than 3.4 ounces of liquids in carry-on bags, food items such as dips, spreads, BBQ sauce, peanut butter, salsa and other items more than 3.4 ounces should be put in checked, not carry-on bags.

Monday, February 4th will likely be the busiest post-game day at the airport, and on that day the TSA will have checkpoints open 24/7.

If you’re flying in on Saturday or flying out after the game, here are some transportation tips from New Orleans Host Committee and from Airport Chatter.

(Photo courtesy

Forget the Super Bowl. Party at the New Orleans airport.

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is all gussied up and ready for the throngs of football fans making their way to town for the Super Bowl XLVII festivities.

New Orleans mugs

In addition to Super Bowl souvenirs already on sale at the airport, there are many new restaurants and shops. And the airport has a stellar line-up of music planned to entertain arriving passengers. From Thursday, January 31, through Saturday, February 2, here are the bands on tap:

new orleans music

The exact music schedule won’t be out until Wednesday. And while you might not get a police escort like the one the Baltimore Ravens got on arrival, it’s a sure bet that anytime you touch down in New Orleans this week, it’s going to be a party.

NEW ORLEANS RAVENS police escort

(Photos courtesy Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport)