Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Tidbits for travelers: Free Wi-Fi, Olympic travel tips, and in-flight body-mass tax

We want Wi-Fi

Slowly but surely airports large and small are getting with the program and making free wireless Internet access available in the terminals.

The latest major airport to join the party: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).


Packing tips from Olympic athletes

Curious about what some Olympic athletes do when they’re traveling – or getting ready to travel? Them you may in interested in the video clips the folks at VISA (a 2010 Olympics sponsor) have posted of athletes talking about what they pack, how they prep for a trip, how skier Ryan St. Onge just had to have an airport burrito, and what Olympic Hockey player Angela Ruggiero packs in her carry-on.

Just as interesting, is the fact that the credit card company is giving away a trip to the Olympics – for life. To enter, you just need to charge something on a VISA card.

Seat tax on Air France for Seatmates of Size

And, just a day after announcing that it was introducing “the lightest and most comfortable short-haul seat in the world,” on some of its planes, Air France announced that passengers who cannot fit into a single seat (on any Air France flight) will have to pay for a second seat – at 75% of the cost of the first seat.

The new policy applies to tickets purchased beginning February 1st for flights April 1st and beyond.

Think the new rules may apply to you? Here’s the policy for Passengers with High Body Mass.

What do you think? Should seatmates of size be asked to pay for more than one seat?

Happy Souvenir Sunday from: Vancouver International Airport

In February, Vancouver, B.C. will host the 2010 Winter Olympics Games and, as you might expect, everyone up there is pretty gosh darn excited.

That includes the folks at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). During the course of the winter games, the airport expects to host about 230,000 Olympics-bound passengers. On March 1, the day after the closing ceremonies – the airport expects a record 30,000 people to pass through the airport on their way home.

A lot of those travelers will be looking to take home an Olympics souvenir.  And the airport has made sure visitors won’t be disappointed: all sorts of Olympics-related items are for sale right there in the terminals.

In fact, the airport’s official Olympics souvenir shops have been open for about a year.

Our souvenir budget here at Stuck at the Airport is pretty slim. So we’re always on the look-out for items that are $10 or below.  This week, we had plenty to choose from.

The most popular Olympics souvenirs are pins. There are pins for pretty much everything, and pin-trading has been elevated to an unofficial sport.  So the airport has set aside a special area inside the terminal where travelers can gather to trade.

Clothing, toys, accessories, wallets, pens, etc.:  anything with one of the Olympics mascots on it seems to be popular.

Including this cute cold pack, which would come in handy in case of a sports injury.

But, so far, the most popular and hard-to-keep-in-stock 2010 Vancouver Olympics items are these red mittens.

More than million have been sold already and every time a new batch hits the stores, they’re snapped up in moments.  Proceeds from mitten sales go toward supporting Canadian athletes. And at $10 a pair, they’re our pick for Souvenir Sunday.

Have you found a great souvenir while you were stuck at the airport? If it’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along.

Your souvenir may be featured on a future Souvenir Sunday!

Souvenir Sunday: Olympics souvenirs at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport (SEA)

Happy Souvenir Sunday!

Each Sunday here at we take a look at some of the fun things you can buy at airports for under $10.

This week we picked up a few souvenirs from the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics that will be taking place in February.

Vancouver Olympics passport

Olympics souvenirs will be sold at the games of course, but they’re already for sale on-line and at the Vancouver International Airport.

Turns out you can also buy Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics souvenirs in Seattle, at a pop-up shop in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) that will stay open through March 7th, 2010.

Vancouver Olympics pillow

But what to buy?  A good choice would be something that bears the image of Quatchi, the Sasquatch-like creature chosen to be the mascot of this winter’s games.  Or of Sumi, Miga, or one of the other sidekick creatures.

SEA - Olympics - pink purse

But while the USA Store on Sea-Tac’s Concourse C sells t-shirts, sweatshirts and other Olympics souvenirs, there’s not much you can buy here for under $10.

So for Souvenir Sunday we considered making an exception and raising our shopping limit above $10.

Instead, we settled for that old stand-by – chocolates – from this small section of  stickers and other small – very small – under $10 items.


Have you found a great souvenir while you were stuck at the airport?  If it’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally, a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along.  It may show up as next week’s pick for Souvenir Sunday.