Tampa Int’l Airport Turning 50

Tampa International Airport (TPA) turns 50 on Thursday, April 15, and is celebrating with giveaways, a sweepstakes drawing, and special surprises for travelers passing through the terminal that day. 

The airport is hosting a sweepstake with a first prize of a $1,000 gift card for redemption at TPA’s shops and restaurants. The winner will also get a TPA swag basket and an exclusive airfield tour. There will be smaller prizes for second and third place. The contest is open until April 15 at 10 a.m. and winners will be announced later that day. Enter TPA’s sweepstakes here.

If you happen to be at Tampa International Airport on April 15, you’ll also be able to enjoy:

  • Giveaways for every 50th passenger going down the escalator, exiting the shuttles and at other key touchpoints.
  • 50th-anniversary décor around the Main Terminal 
  • A TPA branded photo station 
  • Special anniversary videos playing throughout the Main Terminal and on social media
  • Snacks and treats 

Fresh Art at TPA

Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Tampa International Airport also has some fresh new artwork to its collection. Both “Cove” by Jason Hackenwerth and “Untitled” by Soo Sunny Park are in the newly completed SkyCenter Atrium.

How does a free trip to Hawaii sound?

It may still be hot and summery where you are, but come winter, a trip to Hawaii will probably sound mighty nice.

Especially if it’s all-expenses-paid.

Sound good?

To celebrate the launch of Virgin America service from San Fransisco into Honolulu on November 2 and into Maui on December 3, 2015 the airline has teamed up with Airbnb for a contest with prizes that include attending the inaugural celebration with Sir Richard Branson.

Details about entering are here – but the grand prize includes a seat for you and a guest on the inaugural flight from San Francisco to Honolulu (with a return flight, of course) a three-night stay at a beachfront Airbnb estate with Sir Richard as the Airbnb host on the first night, invitation to all launch celebration activities, car rental, Go Pro camera and 12 hours of lessons from a professional kiteboarder.

Deadline for entering is September 30, 2015, with the drawing taking place on October 6. If you don’t win the grand prize, don’t give up: second and third place prizes are pretty darn nice as well.

Good luck!

(More) travel contests: because you can’t win if you don’t play


Must be something about the season, but there seem to be a lot of contests awarding travel and grand trips as prizes.  Give these a try and don’t forget to send me a souvenir if you win.


Nashville International Airport is marking the 75th anniversary of Berry Field Nashville, the airport’s original name and the source of its BNA airport code, with a sweepstakes that ends on June 1st. The prize: a trip to Nashville over the July 4th weekend that includes backstage passes to a fireworks event and performance, roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines, four nights at a Nashville hotel and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry. Enter here.

USTOA (the U.S. Tour Operators Association) has kicked off a four week Around the World with USTOA Sweepstakes with a different grand prize each week. This week’s prize: a trip to China! Coming up: trips to U.S. National Parks, Australia & New Zealand and to South America.

And Motel 6 is looking is having an Open Road Correspondent Contest. To enter, you’ll need to make and post a short (2 minutes max) video and answer a few questions in writing. The three ‘correspondents chosen will get to take a week-long road trip, with a guest to help out with the driving, and report on their adventures along the way.

The prize includes $5,000 for round-trip airfare to the starting point of the trip and for car rental, meals, gas and other expenses during the road trip, two iPads and hotel stays at, you guessed it, Motel 6 properties along the way.


Good luck!

Free Santa photos at the airport

This year, when he’s not in malls and department stores listening to children tell him what they want for Christmas, Santa will posing for photos with passengers at airports.

Windows and Southwest Airlines are sponsoring a “Holiday Photos on the Fly” service at more than two dozen airports on Dec 2-5, Dec 9-12 and Dec 17-20.

You and your family can get your picture taken with Santa for free and the Windows elves will walk you through the process of retrieving and printing your picture.

Check here to see if your airport is on the list.

And check here to enter a holiday sweepstakes for cash and airplane tickets.

Tidbits for travelers: lost luggage, found privacy, & contests

A little bit of this ‘n that today.

Blackpool Suitcase

(No one is walking off with this bag!)

The story out of Phoenix about a couple who managed to steal more than 1,000 pieces of luggage from the baggage claim carousels at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is alarming, for sure.

But we shouldn’t be surprised.  While many airports have some sort of security in the bag claim area, the job of making sure passengers walk off with only their bags is the responsility of each airline. And in most airports, airlines haven’t been actively monitoring bag match-ups for years.


I’m working on a story about this for my column next week on MSNBC.com, and would love to hear from you if you have any first hand experience to share.

In the meantime, here are some other travel tidbits you might find useful:

Through November, the folks at 3M are once again hosting “privacy havens” at several busy airports around the country.

This year, you’ll find these quiet spots at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and in Terminal 8 at New York’s JFK International Airport. (Exact locations here).

On the busy days right before and after Thanksgiving, these “privacy havens” will also be offering free massages and free Wi-Fi.

And two sweepstakes you may want to enter:

Up in the air

To coincide with the new movie “Up in the Air,” with George Clooney, American Airlines is having an auction and a sweepstakes.  You’ll need to use AAdvantage miles to bid on travel, movie and “experience-” related items in the auction, but entering the contest, which has prizes that include a trip to Los Angeles and 260,000 AAdvantage miles, is free. You’ll just need to watch the trailer and then enter your details.  (Auction bids and sweepstakes entries must be in by Jan 5, 2010.)

And Hilton (which seems to have a part in the Up in the Air movie) is also having an Up in the Air sweepstakes.  You can enter by booking a Hilton stay, but if you’re not heading out on the road before January 18, 2010 you can enter for free by “sending your hand-printed name, address and phone number on 3” x 5” paper to Hilton “Up In The Air” Sweepstakes Alternate Entry, P.O. Box 8600, Westport, CT 06888”

Good luck!