Philadelphia International Airport

PHL Airport has a short story dispenser

Here’s a great contender for Airport Amenity of the Week: Philadelphia International Airport has a short story dispenser.

PHL short story dispenser

Courtesy PHL Airport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)’s newest amenity is a Short Story Dispenser.

The five-foot tall, screen-less, translucent glass kiosk is now in the airport’s ‘Virtual Library’ (in the D/E Connector) and prints a free fiction story that can be read in one, three or five minutes.

To get a story, users press one of three buttons indicating which length of story they prefer and then  the machine delivers a story printed on eco-friendly paper.

The stories are drawn from a catalog of stories submitted to and edited by Short Édition, a French community publisher that developed the dispenser. Some stories dispensed are short works by classic authors such as Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, but Short Edition says it has work submitted by 9,000 authors in its database and pay royalities to authors every time their work is accessed in a Short Story Dispenser.

PHL is the first US airport to get a Short Edition Story Dispenser, although the machines debuted a year or so ago at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and are also installed at Canada’s Edmonton International Airport and about 150 other non-airport locations out in the world.

courtesy Short Edition
PHL has had a Virtual Library since 2014 that is designed to bring the city’s Free Library’s vast electronic resources to passengers. In addition to the short story dispener, travelers can log on to PHL’s free Wi-Fi to access the Library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content.

A great airport amenity!

Fresh art at Philadelphia Int’l Airport

To mark the 20th anniversary of its locally-curated art program, Philadelphia International Airport asked 20 local artists to transform one previously art-free area of the airport into a colorful installation.

 PHL_Jay Walker, taped walkway glass; Miriam Singer ceiling tiles.jpg

Courtesy PHL: Jay Walker, taped walkway glass; Miriam Singer ceiling tiles

The artists used used yarn, fabric, felt, found objects, tape, paint and vinyl and applied their work to the  ceiling tiles, columns, rocking chairs, walls, walkway and windows. Now this part of Terminal A-East is an immersive and experiential art-filled passageway.

“The artists responded to the existing architectural elements  – even the furnishings and planters – to create an unexpected visual experience and an engaging space for people to pass through,” said Leah Douglas, PHL’s director of exhibtions. “It is a form of urban interventionism where art activates the built environment with the intention to see a public space in a new and creative way.”

It’s a Wrap: 20 for 20” will remain on site through February 2019.

Find out more about the wide array of art exhibits at PHL Airport  online and take a look a some of the other art pieces created just for this art installation below.

Courtesy_PHL Airport. Artist: Kay Healy


Courtesy_PHL Airport. Artist: Kay Healy

 

Courtesy PHL. Rocker by Angela McQuillan

Courtesy PHL. Rocker by Angela McQuillan

 

Courtesy PHL Airport. Artwork by Eurhi Jones

Courtesy PHL Airport. Artwork by Eurhi Jones

Travel Tidbits for air travelers

 Brazilian restaurant for Miami International Airport

A popular chain restaurant from Brazil – Viena – has opened on the top (seventh) floor of the pre-security MIA Hotel at Miami International Airport.

The restaurant, which replaces the “Top of the Port” restaurant that was in that spot for many years, has a menu featuring Brazilian and European dishes, including salt cod fritters (Bolinho de Bacalau), Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

In addition to great views, this new restaurant has free Wi-Fi, happy hour, large-screen TVS and electronic charging stations.

Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport

 March 12-18 is Foodie Week at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) with seven restaurants in Concourse B offering special entrees at a discount – $12 – throughout the week

  • Baba Bar: Harissa Chicken Sandwich
  • Boule Café: French Onion Grilled Cheese
  • Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar: Shrimp Calabrese
  • Germantown Biergarten: Cheddar Brat Platter
  • Love Grille: Cheesesteak Hoagie
  • Mezzogiorno: Short Rib and Tomato Pizza
  • Noobar: Spicy Chicken Fried Rice

United Airlines passengers can buy a place in line

United Airlines now allows standard economy passengers to purchase Priority Boarding, allowing them to board in group 2.

The cost is $9 per segment and, according to United, the number of passes sold will be “closely controlled based on flight, date, time of day and day-of-week restrictions.”

For those who already have TSA Precheck and really want to move up in the boarding process, this is a less expensive add-on than Premier Access, which offers priority boarding benefits along with other benefit such as access to premier check-in lines and security lanes. Prices for this add-on start at $15 per segment.

Keep in mind: the new Priority Pass option, like Premier Access, is non-refundable and is not available to you if you’ve purchased a Basic Economy ticket.

SXSW bring extra music to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport  

The SXSW mash-up of conferences and festivals is underway in Austin and the airport in the Live Music Capital of the World is doing its part to make sure everyone gets their fill of music.

In addition to the usual 21 live music events it offers each week, Austin Bergstrom International Airport is adding six extra performances during peak SXSW travel days – March 12, 13 and 19.

Of the extra performances, bands will play at the airport’s Asleep at the Wheel State at Ray Benson’s Roadhouse near Gate 10, while extra solo acts will perform at Annie’s and Waterloo. See the full schedule here.

Post Office plus at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports

The Parisian postal service – La Poste – has opened enhanced post offices at both Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle airports, In addition to 24-hour postal machines, these post offices will have gift shops, terminals where customers can make photo postcards, rentable work spaces, and other services, including a key drop.

Your face is your boarding pass

Passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick can now opt to use their face as their boarding pass, thanks to SITA’s biometric boarding technology, which scans a person’s face and matches it up with the data U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has on that passenger in their files.

The process is already being used with certain JetBlue flights at Boston Logan International Airport and British Airways flights at Los Angeles International Airport.

Going biometric isn’t a requirement to board the flights testing the new technology, but last year’s SITA’s passenger IT survey showed that 57% of passengers would use biometrics instead of a boarding pass. SITA reports that real world rates are even higher than that: nearly 100% of passengers are opting to use the biometric boarding during the trials.

Philadelphia International Airport celebrates shiny new Terminal B.

Philadelphia International Airport held a celebration this week for its shiny new Terminal B.

With American Airlines and the hospitality group OTG, PHL invested $30 million to makeover Terminal B with new restaurants, shops, and more than 2,000 power and USB ports built into redesigned seating.

Much of that seating comes with OTG’s familiar tablets, which not only let passengers order foods and goods from nearby venues to be delivered to them at their seats, but gives them access to Wi-Fi, flight tracking and games.

New to Terminal B are: the French‐inspired bakery Boule Café, Mediterranean mezze concept Baba Bar, Italian eatery CIBO Bistro & Wine Bar, beer & brat restaurant Germantown Biergarten, steak & chop house Independence Prime, fresh sushi at Noobar, Philly comfort food at the LOVE Grille and Neapolitan Pizza at Mezzogiorno.

In addition to the improvements by OTG to the gate areas, the airport did a “Touch Every Surface” program that includes new ceiling tiles, new heating and air conditioning, new ceramic tiles and refinished terrazzo floors.

Nice!

Restaurant week at PHL Airport

 

PHL TastyKakes

 

If you’re traveling to or through Philadelphia International Airport October 20-26, be sure to pack your appetite and maybe save that Tastycake for later.

The airport is hosting its sixth annual Restaurant Week, during which 10 restaurants throughout the airport will be offering two and three-course menus for $20 per person.

The deals may be a bit different at each of these participating restaurants:

· Cantina Laredo (Concourse E)
· Chickie’s & Pete’s (Concourse A West, C, D & E)
· Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar (Concourse B)
· Jack Duggan’s Pub & Restaurant (Concourse A East)
· Jet Rock Bar & Grill (Concourse B & D)
· Legal Sea Foods (B/C Connector)
· Local Tavern (Concourse F)
· Re:Vive (Concourse F)
· Sky Asian Bistro (Concourse C)
· Vino Volo (Concourse A West, B/C Connector & D/E Connector)