Tampa International Airport

Visit the New Orleans Airport without a ticket

Gate pass program at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

As promised, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is joining the list of airports that invite and allow non-ticketed guests airside, past security to shop, dine, listen to live music and spend more time with friends and family leaving for trips or coming home.

The free MSY Guest Pass program kicks off December 4 and will be available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  MSY officials say the airport will issue no more than 50 passes on weekdays and no more than 100 passes each Saturday and Sunday.

Anyone seeking an MSY Guest Pass will need to sign up 24 hours in advance and provide their full name, date of birth and contact information. Visitors under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Pass holders must still pass through the security checkpoint and all pass holders will be limited to one visit per month.

Leah’s Kitchen at MSY

MSY is justifiably proud of its shiny new terminal, which has branches of local shops such as Dirty Coast and Fleurty Girl and restaurants from award-winning chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, John Folse, Michael Gullotta, Susan Spicer, and the late Leah Chase and her family.

We expect more airports to join this trend, but for now just a few other airports offer gate passes to non-ticketed guests: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has the MyPITpass program and Tampa International Airport (TPA) offers an All Access gate pass program.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is testing a gate pass program now through January 5.

Have you applied for a gate pass at one of these airports? If so, tell us how it worked.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Free paletas at LAX

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is celebrating Latino Heritage Month with a wide variety of cultural performances, art and guest experiences, including complimentary tastings.

Today, Friday, Sept 20 there will be a cart with free paletas (Mexican popsicles) in Terminal 1 near the L.A. Original store from noon to 3 p.m.

Next Friday, Sept. 27, the cart will be in Terminal 2, next to Barney’s Beanery, from noon to 3 p.m. And on Friday, Oct. 4, free paletas will be offered in the Terminal 6 W Kitchen Food Court from noon to 3 p.m.

TPA has a special drink

This may be a first: Tampa International Airport (TPA) has a airport-wide, signature cocktail.

On September 13, TPA rolled out The Spirit of Flight, a signature cocktail that is now available at all restaurants and bars airport-wide.

The one-of-a-kind cocktail is a blend of guava, white rum and orange and is meant to give travelers a taste of Tampa Bay.

To come up with the perfect drink, TPA called in mixologists from Ulele, Mise en Place and Cigar City Brewing – three of Tampa Bay’s well-known concepts.

“We wanted to create a drink that would represent the area,” said Ulele Manager Phil Cacciatore, who helped craft the drink. “We wanted guests to think ‘Wow this is unique.’”

Guests who order the drink will receive a Spirit of Flight coaster with the ingredients listed on the back, so whenever they see it, they’re reminded of their trip to Tampa.

The drink is also available in non-alcoholic version.

Here are the ingredients and mixing instructions in case you’d like to try this at home.

2 oz Guava Nectar

1 tbsp Guava Marmalade

1 oz Florida Orange Juice

1.50 oz White Rum

0.50 oz Orange Liqueur

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake all ingredients and strain over ice into a Collins glass.

Garnish with a slice of orange and mint leaf.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Tampa International welcomes visitors past security

This week Tampa International Airport (TPA) introduces a program that offers non-ticketed guests access to the shops, restaurants, artwork and gate areas beyond security.

TPA’s program is called All-Access and will issue passes to 100 people each Saturday, starting on May 4. Passes will be good all day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

TPA has four distinct Airsides (A, C, E and F) and each week the 100 passes will be divied up by 25 passes issued for each Airside. So, to figure out which Airside to request, visitors should check out TPA’s shopping and dining guide.

Tampa International Airport is the second airport in the nation to offer non-ticketed guests this perk. Pittsburgh International Airport’s MyPITPass started in 2017 and offer passes on weekdays.

Airport Restaurant Month

HMSHost has brought back Airport Restaurant Month to 60 of its dining venues in airports across the country.

Throughout May, diners can choose from a selection of three appetizers and four entrees at the participating restaurants.

The menus may vary a bit by restaurant, but most will offer their take on Seared Salmon, Flatbread Prima Vera, a Spicy Slaw Burger, a Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and an AM Wrap.

The meals include a dark chocolate sea salt bar as well.

See the menus and find the full of list of restaurants participating in HMSHost’s Airport Restaurant Month here.

SFO moves pick-up spot for ride-hailing pick ups

Starting June 3, travelers getting picked up by ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft or Wingz at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will have to head to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.

International Terminal pickups will continue in the current location (at the center island of the Departure level roadway) and all ride-hailing drop-offs will continue to occur at designated upper-level departure curbside areas.

The change is designed to lighten traffic on the airport’s terminal roadway and comes after Uber X and Lyft began offering their customers a $3 discount if they chose to be picked up in the Airport’s Domestic Hourly Garage instead of at curbside.

That didn’t do much to reduce congestion, so in June SFO is going ahead and moving all domestic ride-hailing ride pickups to the Domestic Hourly Parking Garage.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, McCarran’s Las Vegas International Airport and an increasing number of other airports direct ride-hailing customers to a central garage area for picks ups as well.

And this from the TSA Week in Review:

Between April 22 and 28, TSA security officers found 85 firearms in carry-on bags at airports. 75 of those firearms were loaded and 28 of those firearms had a round chambered.

Alarmed?

Airlines, airports go pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month

Airlines and airports are going pink to promote Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Throughough October, Tampa International Airport is lighting up its SkyConnect stations in a shade of pink. TPA’s Guest Service Representatives are all wearing pink scarves and ties and airport police officers are wearing pink ribbon-adorned badges.

Miami International Airport is also going pink during October.

Travelers will see pink signage on MIA’s Central  Boulevard welcome sign,  flight information screens, ticket counter monitors and more.

Last year, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) raised more than $35,000 for the American Cancer Society’sMaking Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) Walk – the most of any Miami-Dade County department – through employee-led food sales, raffles, auctions and activities. This year, MDAD has partnered with concessionaires at Miami International Airport to raise more than $16,000, with the goal of surpassing its 2017 total.

Airlines are also going pink.

To raise awareness and support for breast cancer research, Delta Air Lines employees will wear pink uniforms and sell pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets, on board and in Delta Sky Clubs throughout the month of October.

This year, customers can also purchase Pink Boutique merchandise through the Pink Boutique online store. Proceeds from the onboard sales and online Pink Boutique benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s research projects and the overall mission of finding a cure. Delta will also donate 10 percent of all on-board sales directly to BCRF during the month of October.

American Airlines is also participating in Breast Cancer Awareness month by raising fund for the Susan B. Komen group:

  • AAdvantage customers can receive 20 AAdvantage miles for every $1 donated to Susan G. Komen with a minimum donation of $25 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.
  • Team members who are survivors of breast cancer will be prominently featured on aa.com, on AA flight and gate information display screens and in Admirals Clubs.
  • On planes, there will be pink beverage napkins and pink inflight menus, amenity kits, Wi-Fi portal and more.
  • Passengers will also be invited to donate directly to Susan B. Komen during flights. flight.

Other airlines and other airports will be marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well with fundraising efforts, information campaigns and lots of pink. If you know of a campaign, let us know.

Travel Tidbits from SEA, TPA and Changi airports

Happy Friday! Here are some travel tidbits and ‘coming atttractions’ from several airports.

Happy Birthday Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is marking its birthday month with a variety of local events. The airport first opened to the public on July 9, 1949,

Courtesy Port of Seattle

Looking forward, travelers will soon be able to drink beer brewed on-site at Tampa International Airport:

And for long-haul travel, Singapore’s Changi Airport has rolled out a new stopover program that includes a (one-way) hotel transfer, a SIM card and an overnight stay at one of 20 participating hotels.  Packages start at S$63 – about $46 US dollars.