An airport with a rooftop vineyard? Yes, please.

The Stuck at the Airport design team is all about airports of the future and the unusual amenities that can be incorporated into airport terminals.

And they were delighted when Rafael Viñoly Architects sent over the renderings for the design of the new international terminal at Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci (FLR) in Florence, Italy.

The airport is in the heart of Italy’s wine country and the new terminal will incorporate a 19-acre vineyard.

The airport vineyard will feature 38 rows of vineyards on the building’s rooftop, to be cultivated by a vintner from the region and to provide thermal insulation for the terminal building.

Better yet, the wine from the airport’s rooftop vineyard will be aged on-site, in cellars below the area where the ground begins to slope up to become the terminal’s roof.

It may take a while for the airport wine to be ready. But when it is, the Stuck at the Airport team will be there to raise a glass.

Images courtesy ©Rafael Viñoly Architects

Oregon & Washington wine flies free on Alaska Airlines


How’s this for the airline/airport amenity of the week?

Oregon’s wineries and wine-growing regions have become popular destinations for wine-loving travelers, but the cost of taking a case of wine on the airplane deters many people from buying more than the bottle or two they can tuck into their checked suitcase.

But Alaska Airlines and the Oregon Wine Board have teamed up once again for the Oregon Wine Flies Free program.

Starting May 1 passengers on domestic Alaska Airlines flights departing from Eugene, Medford, Portland and Redmond in Oregon and from Walla Walla in Washington can check in one case of wine for free.

Better yet – anyone with an in-bound boarding pass and a (free) Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan membership can get a complimentary wine tasting at any of about 300 participating wine tasting rooms.

The program, which ran for two months last year, has been renewed for a full year. More details about the Oregon Wine Flies Free program here.


Not to be outdone, Washington Wine Country continues to offer the Taste and Tote program for wine-loving travelers wanting to take wine home on Alaska Airlines flights departing from the Yakima, Pasco and Walla Walla airports. In addition to being able to check in one case of wine for free, Alaska Airlines passengers get complimentary tastings at regional wineries and waived rental car drop off fees.

Making it easier to fly with wine

Wine has become a big deal in Washington State, especially in the Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities and Walla Wall Valley regions. And, come September, anyone planning a wine-tasting trip will be happy to know that Alaska Airlines, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and the area tourism bureaus are expanding the Washington Wine Country Taste and Tote program that makes it easier to get to Washington wine country and take the wine home.

Since 2011, Alaska Airlines has allowed passengers flying home from the Walla Walla Valley to check their first case of wine free. In September, that policy will expand to include the Yakima and Pasco/Tri-Cities airports.

In addition, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will waive car drop-off fees for anyone flying on Alaska Airlines into Yakima, Pasco or Walla Walla regional airports who wishes to fly out of one of the other two airports.

The new program also allows travelers to sample wines at participating wineries and pay no tasting fees by showing a current Alaska Airlines boarding pass from one of the three airports.

Not interested in Washington wines? Alaska Airlines will also accept one box of up to 12 bottles of wine per passenger at no extra charge from customers on flights departing Sonoma County at Santa Rose Airport.

Here’s more information about the Washington Wine Country Taste and Tote program.

This seems like a win-win wine program for travelers and for wine-makers, so drink up!