Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Travel Tidbits: Animals at Airports

Update on the giant flamingo at Tampa Int’l Airport

The airport art team at StuckatTheAirport.com can barely wait for Tampa International Airport to finish the installation of a 21-foot tall sculpture of a flamingo in the main terminal.

When completed the big bird will appear to be gently dipping its head beneath the water’s surface.

TPA shared the news this week that the 6,0000 pounds of custom-made ceiling panels designed to replicate the surface of the water surrounding the flamingo have finally arrived in Tampa from Japan and are being prepared for installation.

On Watch for Wildlife at SEA Airport

Speaking of wildlife…

There’s a new exhibit at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) encouraging passengers to help save endangered animals around the world.

The exhibit includes information about endangered animals and illegal animal trafficking.

Included in the display are examples of confiscated illegally trafficked wildlife artifacts alongside sustainable look-alikes.

Look for the exhibit in SEA’s S Concourse, the departure point for most international flights.

Landing at SEA is now much different

The swanky, new, state-of-the-art, International Arrivals Facility (IAF) officially began welcoming and processing all international arrivals at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on Tuesday.

We stopped by to take some snaps, witness the official first-day operations, and collect some of fans SEA was giving out bearing the names and skylines of international cities served.

What’s the big deal about SEA’s new arrivals facility?

Well, the old one was dark, cramped, out-of-date, and overall just a sad way to say “Welcome to Seattle and the United States.”

The new one has a stunning 85-foot-high aerial walkway and a giant (450,000-square-foot) grand hall for baggage claim and customs processing.

We’d watched as the facility was built. But now that it’s fully operational, we’re glad that StuckatTheAirport.com’s headquarters is in Seattle so we get to use it.

Here are some more snaps from our visit on the cut-over day.

The aerial walkway is the star of the show. Passengers get great views out to the mountains and off to the city. Plus, there’s the treat of seeing planes go by below from the longest structure over an active taxiway.

Accessing the walkway is a thrill too on a ride up one of the longest sets of escalators in the country. Too long? There’s an elevator option as well.

Passengers may travel along the aerial walkway by foot or hitch a ride on the moving sidewalk. With such great views, we recommend a slow amble.

And then there’s the bag claim and arrivals hall. Which is now a million times more welcoming than what greeted passengers before.

SEA’s Shot Bar & other great airport amenities from 2021

We love the annual Resolution Wall hosted by Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) around this time each year.

As airport amenities go, it is charming and engaging for travelers. Much like many of the amenities on the list of Best Airport Amenities of 2021 we shared with The Points Guy site this week.

The list of Best Airport Amenities in 2021 includes:

*Wellness Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and the free yoga mats they’ve been handing out;

*The growing trend of offering reservation times to do through the airport security checkpoint;

*Robots that deliver food ordered via airport mobile apps;

*The Visitor Toll Pass available at Orlando International Airport (MCO) to help tourists avoid getting gouged by rental car companies;

*And several more.

One other item on our list is the Shot Bar that appeared for several months at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

The Shot Bar was created by Seattle celebrity chef and mixologist Kathy Casey, a frequent traveler whose company operates some food and beverages outlets at SEA airport.

“With the early covid restrictions on seating, no sitting at the bar, 25% occupancy, and tables 6 ft apart, our seating at Rel’Lish Burger Lounge was very limited,” Casey told us. “Options for travelers were very limited to get a quick drink before their flight. Many folks were also nervous about their first flight in a while, so they were looking for a quick drink.”

The to-go counter at Rel’Lish wasn’t busy, “so I thought, why not provide an area that people could have a quick shot and be on their way,” says Casey. “Our tag line was: order shot – shoot shot – fly off.”

The simple idea took off. Social media loved the concept and the tiny red Solo cups. And the Shot Bar even got a mention by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

The Shot Bar was open from early March 2021 to June 30th, And during that time Casey says about 8,000 shots were sold – far above expectations. Now there are plans are for the Shot Bar pop-up to reopen sometime this spring or summer.

The Shot Bar at SEA

Something Fishy Spotted at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

Sometimes the coolest stuff is below you

You know how during the airline safety instructions (you pay attention, right?) they say the nearest exit may be behind you?

Well, sometimes at the airport the coolest art features may be below you.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) one of the artworks is a river of 300 brass fish running along the terrazzo floor in Concourse B.

The work is called Flying Fish and is by Judith and Daniel Caldwell.

Most of the fish are regular fish, but there are some unusual ones in there.

Including the fish spotted swimming with a suitcase.

We’ve been walking over the floor and appreciating the fish for years, but yesterday was the first time we noticed this bonus traveling fish.

Maybe it was because it was early in the day and we could actually take our time walking down the concourse.

But we think it was because after being so nervous about traveling during the pandemic, we’re finally starting to go back to our normal travel mode of being excited to travel and alert to everything around us.

Even the art on airport floors.

At the Airport: News from SEA, SFB, & LFT

Party at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is having an in-terminal and virtual celebration on Thursday, Nov 4 to celebrate the end of all the major construction at the N Concourse. If you happen to be traveling through SEA between 11 am and 1 pm, head to the N Concourse for music and spoken word performances, food sampling, art tours, and giveaways. The even will able streamed online. In the evening, at 6 pm, SEA will host a travel trends panel that will be streamed live as well.

Bee Mascot for Orlando Sanford Int’l Airport

We’re big fans of airport mascots and noticed that Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) has a bee as a mascot. We’re wondering if the beekeeper is an official part of the team.

Look What’s Coming to Lafayette Regional Airport

Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) is opening its new terminal in January 2022 and it looks like it will have some colorful amenities.