Here are some Thanksgiving items we spotted at airports this week. If you’re on the road or in the air, please travel safely.
Some people scroll through TikTok dances at the end of the day.
We click through the airport and airline news on Twitter.
Here are some items we stopped to read Tuesday evening.
Leave the fireworks at home
July 4th is going to be a busy time at airports and long security lines might make tempers flare. Don’t make it worse by bringing fireworks (even sparklers) in your carry-on bag.
Southwest Airline’s Freedom One
This plane with a patriotic livery is making the rounds. Be sure to watch how they made the paint scheme happen.
SFO adding some new gates and amenities
SFO keeps moving forward. We’re can’t wait to visit the new museum gallery.
United Airlines going all-in with new aircraft
We’re all for new planes, bigger overhead bins, seatback entertainment, and the promise of being able to connect wireless headphones with Bluetooth technology.
A heatwave in the Pacific Northwest and some other parts of the country is adding another challenge to air travel as we head into a holiday weekend.
As a result, some airlines, including American Airlines and United Airlines, are offering fee-free travel waivers. And Alaska Airlines has put a ban on pets traveling as cargo to and from more than a dozen cities until at least after the July 4th weekend.
Here are some of the details, and useful links to policies as of Monday evening, June 28:
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is ‘pre-canceling’ some flights and has travel advisories posted for many cities experiencing heatwaves, including Burbank, Fresno, New Orleans, Ontario, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Portland, Redmond, Sacramento, Seattle, Spokane, Texas, and Tucson.
And while Alaska Airlines isn’t offering change fee waivers as of Monday evening, it is pre-canceling some flights.
“While we never want to let our guests down, only a small fraction of our flights have been pre-canceled and we are doing our best to re-accommodate those guests,” the airline said on its website, “
And, because of the heat, through July 7, Alaska Airlines is not accepting animals for travel in the baggage departments to or from most of the affected airports listed above. Ticketed pets are still permitted to travel in the cabin with their owners.
Waivers offered by American and United Airlines
American Airlines’ change fee waiver offer is in effect for ticketed travelers through June 29 for trips to, through, or from the cities below. The airlines’ website notes that this information was current as of June 25, 2021, so if record-breaking heat continues in these areas, the waiver could be updated or extended. Check the website for details.
- Billings, Montana (BIL)
- Boise, Idaho (BOI)
- Bozeman, Montana (BZN)
- Eugene, Oregon (EUG)
- Eureka Arcata, California (ACV)
- Idaho Falls (IDA)
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC)
- Kalispell, Montana (FCA)
- Medford, Oregon (MFR)
- Missoula, Montana (MSO)
- Portland, Oregon (PDX)
- Redmond / Bend, Oregon (RDM)
- Reno, Nevada (RNO)
- Sacramento, California (SMF)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)
- Seattle, Washington (SEA)
- Spokane, Washington (GEG)
The heat-related travel waiver on United Airlines also currently covers travel booked through June 29 and includes this long list of cities:
- McKinleyville, CA (ACV)
- Boise, ID (BOI)
- Bozeman, MT (BZN)
- Cody, WY (COD)
- Eugene, OR (EUG)
- Everett, WA (PAE)
- Great Falls, MT (GTF)
- Helena, MT (HLN)
- Idaho Falls, ID (IDA)
- Jackson, WY (JAC)
- Kalispell, MT (FCA)
- Medford, OR (MFR)
- Missoula, MT (MSO)
- Moab, UT (CNY)
- North Bend, OR (OTH)
- Pasco, WA (PSC)
- Portland, OR (PDX)
- Redding, CA (RDD)
- Redmond, OR (RDM)
- Reno, NV (RNO)
- Sacramento, CA (SMF)
- Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
- Seattle, WA (SEA)
- Spokane, WA (GEG)
- Twin Falls, ID (TWF)
- Vernal, UT (VEL)
- West Yellowstone, MT (WYS)
Sweepstakes prizes include free travel
Not wanting to contract, transmit, or die of COVID-19 is a darn good reason to get vaccinated.
But some people may need a bit more encouragement and the promise of rewards.
That’s why we’re reading about bars offering free drinks, donut shops offering free donuts, and employers offering time off and cash bonuses to people who roll up their sleeves for a jab.
Fine. Whatever it takes.
Now United Airlines is upping the ante.
In support of the national effort to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 vaccination, the airline is offering its loyalty program members the chance to win free flights for a year’s worth of travel.
Under the terms of the “Your Shot to Fly” sweepstakes, any new or existing MileagePlus member who uploads their vaccination records to the airline’s mobile app or website before June 22 will be entered to win a roundtrip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere in the world United flies.
The sweepstakes is open to any resident of the United States who is at least 18 years old and a MileagePlus member.
United will give away 30 pairs of tickets throughout the month of June. In addition – on July 1 United will announce which five randomly selected MileagePlus members who have entered the sweepstakes will win a grand prize of travel for a year for themselves and a companion – also in any class of service, anywhere in the world that United flies.
We’re all for finding the odd in the world. So we’re pleased to see United Airlines adding a new “America, Who Knew?” filter to its Map Search program. Some of the tidbits you can learn from the map:
- Zzyzx: Pronounced “Zye-Zacks” is a scenic desert oasis in the Mojave National Preserve with self-guided trails
- Whynot: Situated on Highway 75, or the North Carolina Pottery Highway, this town is world-renowned for its ceramics. The town’s name comes from a debate with settlers where a frustrated farmer said, ‘Why not name it ‘Why Not’ and then we can go home?”
- Devil’s Kettle: Minnesota’s Devil’s Kettle Falls has one side that tumbles down a two-step stone embankment and continues on like a normal waterfall. The other side vanishes into a deep hole and disappears — apparently forever.
- Mooselookmeguntic Lake: Tied for being the longest place name in the United States with 17 letters. This Maine lake is framed by mountains and has great deep water trout and salmon fishing.
Save the earth? Alaska Airlines offering water in boxes
To reduce plastic waste on airplanes, Alaska Airlines is replacing e single-use plastic bottles with Boxed Water’s 92% plant-based cartons. This will help remove 7.2 million plastic bottles a year, the equivalent of approximately 98,000 lbs of plastic.
Boxed Water is already served on Alaska’s Horizon Air-operated flights and is expanding to all Alaska flights throughout the summer, beginning this week with First Class.
The airline is also resuming its program of recycling cans, bottles, and water bottles starting May 19. The program has been on hold for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline’s employees first started a recycling program more than 15 years ago.
MIA Airport rolls out wheelchair charging stations
Just in time for Mobility Awareness Month, Miami International Airport (MIA) is celebrating the installation of 10 new wheelchair charging stations. If you use a wheelchair or travel with someone who does, you will be pleased to know there are now 10 charging spots at MIA: eight post-security and two pre-security.
Starting May 10, MIA will also have an on-site COVID-19 vaccination site that will be accessible to travelers who live and work in Florida, as well as to airport employees and family and friends of airport employees.