StuckatTheAirport

Eating at airports: 2 ideas to steal from Heathrow

For a trip to London this week, I had the great treat of getting an upgrade (both ways, thank-you!) to Virgin Atlantic’s swank Upper Class cabin.

That’s not what I want to crow about today.

Instead, I want to mention two great dining amenities I spotted at Heathrow Airport.

At Spuntino, an airport outpost of a popular London restaurant known for its Italian/American comfort food, prohibition era-inspired cocktails and its great blues soundtrack, there was sign outfront that let customers know how long it might take to get served once they sat down and ordered.

That’s exactly what most travelers want to know when deciding between sitting down in a restaurant, grabbing something from a shop or just winging it with what’s offered on the airplane.

I hope this is adopted by more airport restaurants.

Another great amenity, offered at Spuntino and many other Heathrow airports during holidays and school vacation weeks (and year-round at a few restaurants), is a Kids Eat Free Menu that includes one free kids entree for each adult entree offered.

Great ideas!!!

Cash in on that middle seat on the plane

 

Whether or not you end up a middle seat on an airplane this holiday season, or just live in fear of finding yourself there, Stella Artois has a contest for you.

The beer-maker will be granting “upgrades” in the form of gift card vouchers and free Lyft ride codes to frustrated travelers who post a photo and a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about getting stuck in a middle seat. 

To be entered in the contest, be sure include a photo and include #StellaUpgrade, #Contest and @StellaArtois in your message. (More instructions here).

The contest runs through December 21. Social media posts will be judged during 29 posted entry periods, with prizes to include gift card vouchers worth up to $500 for upgrades on return flights, $500 e-card for adventures on the ground, and codes for free rides on Lyft. 

Judging criteria includes creativity, originality and relevance to the contest theme of  showing the woes of travel.

Let the grimacing begin…

11 gates open at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

New York’s LaGuardia Airport is in the midst of an $8 billion makeover and the first 11 gates are now open in the state-of-the-art Terminal B.

Airlines operating out of this new concourse include Air Canada, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. They’ll be joined by United Airlines in 2019.

The space includes soaring ceilings, a colorful children’s play area, charging stations throughout the seating areas and a nursing room.

The kids’ area has a 16-foot interactive display that allows users to design their own aircraft on a tablet and watch it come to life on a giant digital wall. Next to the kids area is an indoor green space with greenery, benches and plenty of natural light.

A slection of New York-inspired food, beverage and retail offerings include a branch of toy store FAO Schwarz and dining options such as Shake Shack, La ChulaBar & Taqueria (Mexican taqueria), Osteria Fusco (Italian), Kingside Bar & Restaurant, Irving Fam Coffee Roasters and Five Boroughs Market.

In-airport food and retail delivery service ‘At Your Gate’ is up and running in LGA Terminal B as well.

The terminal also has an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, with a United Club scheduled to open in 2019.

Other retail offerings include independent bookseller McNally Jackson, Hudson, LaGuardia Dufry Duty Free Shops, Spa Here, M∙A∙C,  and District Market, with specialty Made in Queens products.

“You’re going to love the new LaGuardia Airport,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet.