Temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona are going to be well over 100 degrees next week and a sizzling 108 degrees this Saturday.
That’s just one reason Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is rolling out a piece of its summer fun campaign and arming its Navigator volunteers with plenty of lip balm to hand out to airport visitors next week, June 27 – July 3.
When it comes to airport amenities, sometimes it really is the small things that count.
So we’ll make this the Airport Amenity of the Week.
Bonus: here’s a snap of all the lip balms we’ve collected over the past few years and ‘rediscovered’ during a pandemic lock-down clean-up.
The new, state-of-the-art, eight-gate concourse will be used soley by Southwest Airlines. Amenities include charging stations in every seat, an Animal Relief Area, a Family Restroom and a Nursing Room. Hearing loop connectivity allows those with hearing devices to connect to the PA system.
For now, passengers will find kiosks offering food, beverage, and retail items. Shops, restaurants, and a Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club are set to open in the coming months.
Local favorites Pedal Haus Brewery and Berry Divine – Acai Bowls will be in the new concourse as well as regional concepts Bobby’s Burgers, Eegee’s and others.
Retail shops will include national brands as well as local products from Changing Hands Bookstores, Made Art Boutique, and Melrose Pharmacy.
The new concourse also showcases the arts and includes a terrific-looking terrazzo floor depicting aerial views of the Phoenix landscape. 28 terrazzo wall pieces are shaped like airplane windows.
The work is called “Phoenix Lights, Phoenix Rising” and is designed by artist Susan Logoreci.
May 18 is International Museum Day, which gives us an excuse to talk about some of the great museums in and adjacent to airports around the country.
Having a museum or museum program in an airport just makes so much sense. Millions of people pass through airports each year. Many passengers have plenty of downtime before their flights. And art or history exhibits in airports can connect passengers with a place, inspire them, educate them, or create those sought after moments of suprise and delight.
Here are a handful of airport museums and museum programs to look for on your next trip. Let us know if we missed your favorite.
Phoenix Airport Museum
The Phoenix Airport Museum at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is one of the oldest and largest airport art program in the country. You’ll find permanent artwork and temporary exhibitions throughout the sprawling airport facilities, including in the rental car center and at the Sky Train stations.
The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is accredited by the American Alliance of Museum (AAM). In addition to permanent public art and more than a dozen temporary exhibitions at a time, the museum maintains a video arts program , student art programs, and photography galleries.
The free Mitchell Gallery of Flight at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is located pre-security and open 24 hours a day. Exhibits include airplane models, aviation paintings, propellers, a scale model of the Milwaukee airport terminal as it looked in 1941, and sections dedicated to famous Wisconsinites in aviation history such as astronaut James Lovell and General Billy Mitchell, known as ‘the father of the U.S. Air Force.
You’ll find aviation-themed history exhibits and full-fledged aviation museums in and adjacent to many other airports too.
Earlier this month, celebrity skateboarders and skateboard crews from across the country rolled into the old terminal facilities – and even onto the tarmac – at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. They were there for Red Bull’s second Terminal Takeover.
Here is a short video of pro skateboarder Jake Wooten showing off his skills – and the airport terminal transformation – from last year’s event. And below, a link to a story we prepared for The Points Guy site.
Celebrate Museum Month – at the airport
Many airports around the country have official museums and museum programs. Stuck at the Airport will highlight as many as we can. But Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport gave us a head start.
The diverse selection of artworks, all from the Phoenix Airport Museum’s own collection, includes a realistic bronze tortoise family, an embroidered and appliqued art chair with butterflies and flowers, and large vibrant paintings of cactus blooms – to name a few.
Persistent Plants and Desert Dwellers is in Phoenix Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3, on level 4, and is an inviting and colorful respite, especially for travelers from colder climates who will appreciate the sunshiny images.
Travelers can visit the exhibition in the post-security gallery while airport visitors without a flight ticket can see a sampling of works near the PHX Sky Train® portal through August 2022.