“From hot pants and go-go boots to disposable paper dresses, the 1960s and 1970s were known for breaking fashion norms and traditions – even in the airline industry. Mid-century air travel had progressed into a posh experience and airlines built unique brand identities to set themselves apart. Each airline found new ways to attract passengers with amenities like onboard movies, gourmet meals, and glamorous flight attendants.“
This exhibition is put together by the Phoenix Airport Museum and includes eight flight attendant uniforms, historic photographs, and a variety of airline amenity objects.
If you are passing through Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, look for the Style in the Aisle exhibit in Terminal 4, level 2 near ticketing through October 2021.
In the meantime, we’ve got some images to share here.
Highlights of the exhibit include Hughes Airwest’s 1977 “sundance yellow” dress with matching bucket-style hat and an American Airlines plaid “Americana” uniform with a raccoon-fur cap. A Trans World Airlines (TWA) single-use, gold paper dress – part of the “Foreign Accents” collection – is also on display.
Airline amenities on display include fine china and themed cocktail swizzle sticks. There’s also a first-class menu featuring caviar and lobster, and an ashtray and lighter with airline logos.
Whether or not you’re flying during the holidays, it pays to keep up to date with what airports are doing to serve passengers during what is sure to be another unusual season.
Here are some tidbits we’ve already spotted this week.
PIT has its holiday tree up
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) won’t be having its annual Holiday Open House this year. And local choirs and bands won’t be offering holiday performances.
But PIT is setting up a holiday-themed selfie station in the Airside Center Core and hosting distanced (instrument-only) performances by local musicians. And there will be terminal visits from the PIT PAWS airport therapy dog team.
The holiday tree is already there. Here’s a fun time-lapse video of it going up. PIT reports that 20 people worked to raise the 26-foot-tall tree over a span of eight hours and that this year’s tree has 538 ornaments, 42 yards of fabric, and 166 strands of lights.
This is the same airfield tour that used to be offered to students, community groups, and others curious about LAX operations before COVID-19 arrived. Now anyone can access the immersive, high-resolution 360-degree video experience online using a smartphone, tablet, computer, or VR headset.
Coat check reopens at MKE
If you’re flying from Milwaukee to Hawaii, Florida, or some other warm spot, you probably won’t need your winter coat when you arrive.
The Coat check program operates in partnership with retail partner Paradies Lagardère and is offered inside the Summerfest Marketplace store, which is located pre-security. Each coat is wrapped in protective plastic and the charge is a very reasonable $2 per day, or $10 per trip.
As far as we know, this is still the only U.S. airport offering this service.
Fresh art at PHX
Fun and games from BWI
New experiences from SAN’s artist-in-residence
And, thanks, LAX for reminding us that it is December. Already.
Airline passenger numbers are way down. Many airports still feeling sort of empty, with many shops and restaurants closed or operating on reduced schedules. And buying a plane ticket right now comes with a lot of “what ifs” and few perks.
So, it is an interesting time to a look at the findings of J.D. Power’s 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study.
First, the “winners”
The survey put airports up against each other in three categories: “mega” airports with 33 million or more passengers per year; large airports with 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year; and medium airports with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.
The airports are scored on a 1,000 point scale that takes into account passenger satisfaction with factors that include terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail, in order of importance.
As with everything else right now, the coronavirus pandemic has put a twist into this year’s airport satisfaction rankings.
The overall customer satisfaction score for North American airports is up this year, to a record-high 784, which is 22 points up from 2019.
Good news, right? Sort of.
“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 environment when most airports were running significantly over capacity, the lack of crowds and long lines is actually creating a convenient experience for travelers right now,” says Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, in the study notes.
“Obviously, this lower passenger volume is not sustainable for most airports. Airport managers are doing all they can to provide a safe and clean environment to facilitate a rebound in travel,” he adds.
Here are top five airports in each category. You can see the full rankings here.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (805)
Miami International Airport (801)
McCarran International Airport (797)
Denver International Airport (793)
John F. Kennedy International Airport (793)
Dallas Love Field (844)
John Wayne Airport, Orange County (837)
Tampa International Airport (837)
William P. Hobby Airport (823)
Portland International Airport (814)
Indianapolis International Airport (866)
Palm Beach International Airport (833)
Southwest Florida International Airport (829)
Albuquerque International Sunport (826)
Pittsburgh International Airport (826)
What about the airports at the bottom of each list?
In the mega category, Newark Liberty International Airport was at the bottom of the list, with a score of 733, just below Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which had a score of 758.
Among large airports, New York’s LaGuardia Airport (in the middle of a much-heralded make-over) ranked lowest, with a score of 712.
And for medium airports, Hawaii’s Kahului Airport was at the bottom of the list, with a 745 score.
Baseball is back. (Sort of). And Alaska Airlines has a fun promo running with the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants.
Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants fans – or anyone – can enter to win one million miles as part of Alaska’s Million-Mile Home Run Sweepstakes. Register with your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan number, or sign up to get one free.
As a bonus, each week of the season Alaska Airlines will also pick one winner to receive air travel and tickets to 2021 Spring Training.
We also found an easy to enter sweepstakes from Bojangles. Prizes include $2,500 in cash, a $500 hotel gift card, a $500 gas card, a $500 rental car gift card, and $500 to spend at Bojangles.
The robots are part of an installation titled “Electro-Symbio Phonics for Phoenix,” by Nam June Paik.
What you’ll see: a mother, father, and child robot in an athletic pose with arms raised nearly touching the ceiling. Their heads, appendages, and torsos consist of 63 televisions blitzing with fast-paced video clips of sports highlights, popular culture, and desert imagery.
Ready to reconsider cruising?
Do you think you – and the world – might be ready to embrace cruising again in a year or so? Then you might want to go all-in on Viking’s new 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise. The trip will last 136 days, with visits to 27 countries and 56 ports.
The ship sets sail in Fort Lauderdale on December 24, 2021. After visiting ports of call in Central America, transiting through the Panama Canal, and going up the West Coast of North America, the ship will cross the Pacific Ocean and visit Hawaii. From there it’s off to New Zealand and Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean before ending in London.
Too long a trip for you? There’s a shorter, 119-day sailing. The 2022 Viking World Horizons which departs from Los Angeles on January 10, 2022, and visits 22 countries and 49 ports before ending in London.
Prices (which include lots of extras, such as business class airfare and transfers to and from the ship) start at $49,995 per person for the 2021-2022 Viking World Cruise and $45,995 for the 2022 World Cruise Horizons (based on double occupancy).