Airports everywhere are continuing their “keep clean things clean” campaigns. Touchless tech helps, and we see Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) just added touchess/wave-to-call elevator buttons.
Places We’d Go… Cleveland
Cleveland is hosting the NFL Draft, with lots of bonus activities.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a new exhibit celebrating the Super Bowl Halftime Show music and performers.
The Biggest Show on Turf: 55 Years of Halftime Showswill be on exhibit through September 21 and includes performance outfits, instruments, and set pieces, including Prince’s turquoise suit worn during his unforgettable purple-rained 2007 performance, where he asked production managers “Can you make it rain harder?” and Katy Perry’s beach-ball inspired costume and “Left Shark” that ignited a pop culture phenomenon after her 2015 performance.
Instead of the annoying buzzer and flashing light that announces the arrival of bags at some airports, the newly redesigned bag carousels at MSP airport send up the alert with nature sounds and a light show.
We’re making this the first nomination for Airport Amenity of the Week.
Hand washing help
Our second nomination for Airport Amenity of the Week is this high-tech hand-washing station Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) installed to encourage travelers to wash their hands and “scrub away germs in 12 seconds flat!”
O’Hare Airport’s new Twitter Bio
Pete Buttigieg, who has been named transportation secretary nominee by President-elect Joe Biden, put a spotlight on O’Hare International Airport (ORD) during his formal introduction on Wednesday.
During the event, Buttigieg noted that he proposed to his husband, Chasten, at O’Hare. “Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic,” he said.
Avgeeks know that.
So does United Airlines, which sent out a tweet identifying the engagement gate.
And O’Hare Airport even change its Twitter bio.
It now begins “Place of romance.”
Which would you pick as Airport Amenity of the Week?
MSP’s bag carousel? PIT’s hand washing station? O’Hare’s new status as place of romance?
Let us know in the comments section which of these airport stories you’d pick as Airport Amenity of the Week.
And feel free to nominate an airport amenity for next week’s Airport Amenity of the Week.
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.
Passengers can order food through the Grab app, a special section of the PHL website, or scan Grab QR codes in the terminals. Merchants are searchable by food type and terminal. And orders can be delivered to wherever you are in the terminal.
Participating restaurants at PHL include Auntie Anne’s, Bar Symon, Bud & Marilyn’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Dunkin’, Gachi, Geno’s Steaks, Jack Duggan’s, Jamba, Piattino Pizza, Smashburger, and Vino Volo.
More merchants will be added soon.
There is a small charge for delivery. But first-time users can use the promo code ‘RUSH’ to save 20% – up to $5 – off their first order.
Since then, other U.S. airports have rolled out cleaning robots. But PIT was the first.
Now PIT is making the hard-working robots even more endearing by giving them eyes.
The robots also have names:
Amelia is named for Amelia Earhart, the famed pilot and female aviation trailblazer.
Orville and Wilbur are named after the Wright brothers.
And the fourth PIT robot is named Rosa. She’s named after Rosa Mae Willis Alford, the sole female mechanic to work on the planes of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.
Travel to a scary galaxy
In the spirit of the Halloween season and the scary, bizarro times, we’re printing out frameable copies of these science-inspired Galaxy of Horrors “travel” posters from NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau.
The posters look like vintage horror movie advertisements, but they are really out of this world.