Sea-Tac Airport

Souvenir Sunday: travel-themed gear at PHL & SEA Airport

A new shop at Philadelphia International Airport – called Pilot & Captain – is the first brick & mortar effort from the design studio The Heads of State – and is filled with travel-themed items related to what the creators call “the good old days of planes, trains & discovery”


The shop offers city-specific t-shirts, mugs, posters, notebooks and more and can be found in Terminal 3.

There’s also a new travel-themed store at Sea-Tac Airport on Concourse C called Planewear – Style is in the Air , filled with items created for the Enumclaw, Washington-based Planewear company


Inventory includes the sassy SkyBelts, (belts made out of airplane seatbelts, which might be problematic for flight when you have to clip on the real airplane seatbelt…), Pan Am “vintage inspired” t-shirts, passport covers, luggage tags, those nostalgic Pan Am bags and kid-sized apparel.

Souvenir Sunday at Sea-Tac Airport

Two new shops at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport offer some great options for locally-themed souvenirs.


The Sub Pop shop sells music by many of the bands signed up with the independent record label, of course, but it also sells a wide variety of other items, including Sub Pop-branded t-shirts, note cards, travel pillows and coffee.

Sub Pop coffee

Over at the new Metsker Maps shop, you’ll find globes, books, small flags, all manner of maps (of course) and a wide variety of other geography-themed gifts. And when I stopped by last week, John Loacker, president of the historic Kroll Map Company, which joined forces with Metsker Maps of Seattle in 1999, was on duty and happy to show me around.

Metsker Maps owner.

The store had been open just a few days, but Loacker said there were already some bestsellers, including paper city maps and these country-themed patches.

Metsker Maps patches

Sub Pop music store opens at Sea-Tac Airport

SubPOP Mega Mart ad courtesy EMP

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s “Experience the City of Music” program includes live performances, overhead music and announcements by Northwest artists, videos, a web radio player and music–themed art exhibits.

Now there’s even more music: the first retail store for Sub Pop Records – the Seattle record label founded in 1988 that helped promote Nirvana and grunge music – has opened at Sea-Tac Airport.

The shop is located in the Central Terminal and features vinyl albums, CDs, sweatshirts, t-shirts, books, hats, art and more.

sub pop

Automated Passport Control machines at Sea-Tac

The airports in Vancouver and Toronto have them. And so do airports in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Montreal and Miami. JFK in New York has them.


Now Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks as well.

With these self-service machines, eligible U.S. and Canadian citizens should experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing when returning from an international trip.

 Here’s how they work:

 “Instead of filling out a declaration card and taking their travel documents to a CBP officer, passengers who are eligible and choose to use Automated Passport Control can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection passport-control area.  Travelers will follow the on-screen instructions to scan their U.S. or Canadian passport, answer the customs declaration questions using the touch screen, receive a receipt confirming their information and proceed to the CBP officer to finalize processing.  The kiosk allows up to four people residing at the same address to be processed together.”

At Sea-Tac, which now has 14 of APC machines, the entry process for eligible U.S. and Canadian citizens should be cut in half.

Sounds great!

Singing the praises of Sea-Tac Airport’s Music Program


Seattle-Tacoma International is not only one of my favorite airports, it’s my home-base airport.

And so I’m delighted that the airport has received a Future Travel Experience Award for its music program, which welcomes travelers with live music performances, exhibits about local music history and a music soundtrack of Northwest artists from the likes of Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, The Ventures and Perl Jam that is played overhead, on video monitors and on a web radio player that can be accessed in the airport and on-line anywhere. Many of the public safety announcements travelers hear in the airport are also now voiced by Northwest musicians. (Here’s Macklemore and Quincy Jones.)

SEA Hendrix Display