During one of my many visits to Delta Air Lines’ headquarters in Atlanta, I always enjoyed visiting the Delta Flight Museum. When I worked at the carrier, I used to enjoy eating my lunch there and volunteering for events. One of the crown jewels in the museum collection is the Spirit of Delta, a Boeing 767 that was donated to the airline by its employees in 1982. Inside, it holds historical items, including my photo below of a pair of Concorde models in the Delta livery. Enjoy!
I finally got to see the new International Concourse F at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in October 2013 when I was attending a journalism conference. The nice folks at my former employer, Delta Air Lines, sent over Morgan Durrant to give me a tour of the facility. The picture below was taken from the second level of the terminal outside Delta’s Sky Club. Enjoy!
In October 2013, I went down to Atlanta for a journalism conference. I came early so I could get a tour of the International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Part of that tour was the Delta Sky Club, which features an outdoor seating and bar area. I had the chance to take a seat, sip a cocktail and watch the planes go by. Below is a shot I took on the patio. Enjoy!
Last week, the “Today” show website’s travel section included an article polling writers for Sherman’s Travel on their favorite airports for shopping. I have been to –and shopped in — more airports than I care to remember, so I thought I’d share my top 10, in no particular order.
- Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – I could spend my life in this airport, and I think they designed it like that on purpose. I have bought everything from tulip bulbs to sunglasses. It’s also a great airport to pick up that last-minute souvenir you forgot to get when you were actually in Amsterdam. The prices are fair, so you don’t have to feel like you’re being ripped off.
- London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 – I know, I know: everyone calls this place a shopping mall with an airport terminal attached. That said, I really enjoyed the shopping. Heathrow is known for its alcohol tastings and they have great duty-free liquor selections. I switched from Tanqueray 10 to Bombay Sapphire gin after a tasting at Heathrow. And the selection at Harrods is pretty good.
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — Back in November 2006, the facility rebid its retail concessions contract (my Towers and Tarmacs blog post on that is here), that brought in a bounty of new stores, including Sean Jean, Kiehl’s, Ermenegildo Zenga and Lather, among others. And Hartsfield was the first airport to get ZoomSystems’ vending machines, which at the time sold Apple iPod products.
- JFK Airport JetBlue Terminal 5 — I just love the feel and design of this terminal. And the shopping is pretty good too. I’m a BIG fan of the Harmony Pharmacies, which sell over-the-counter drugs, beauty/cosmetics and will fill a prescription. I went a bit nuts in Japan’s Muji store, which sells everything from travel accessories to office supplies. I just love the shrink-wrap tshirts that are compressed into a cube that fits nicely into a carry-on bag. I could spend hours in the Techshowcase looking at the latest in geek toys.
- Pittsburgh International Airport — Back in the day when it was still a hub for US Airways, the facility decided to go all out and revamp its retail concessions. I bought shoes for the man at Johnston & Murphy and toys for my godchildren at Creative Kidstuff. They also have a Clinque store and the fabulous Pajama Shop.
- Orlando International Airport — The airport for amusement park central has stores from Disney, Sea World and Universal Studio. It also has beauty/bath store Lush (a favorite from my time spent in London), the Kennedy Space Center store, Harley Davidson and Swatch watches.
- Incheon International Airport — a girl could lose her MIND in this airport. The airport authority went all out to attract all the major luxury brands to the facility, including Channel, Burberry, Christian Dior, Missoni, Guess, Max Mara, Dunhill, Nina Ricci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein and Samsonite, among others.
- Changi Airport — see Incheon. Plus a bonus — if you go to the Singapore Visitors Center in any terminal and you have at least 5 hours to kill, you can get a FREE 2-hour colonial or cultural tour.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – I know this one is a surprise, but I like the shopping choices in this airport. The Authors Bookstore is not to be missed, and there’s a nice balance of national and local brands.
- Vancouver International Airport – I had to include this airport. I just love The Gourmet Shop and La Cava del Cigarro, which sells gourmet foods and has a great selection of cigars. Although not shopping per se, Vancouver also has the Plaza Premium Lounges, which features a place to nap, eat and shower.
My list only includes airports that I’ve actually seen and experienced. I know there are plenty of others out there, so what did I miss?
– See more at: http://www.aviationqueen.com/aviation-queens-top-10-favorite-airports-for-shopping/#sthash.4OsrFKKX.dpuf
The lunch I ate recently at One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson.
Yesterday, I received a timeline request on my Facebook page from friend John-John Williams IV, the amazing fashion reporter for the Baltimore Sun and one of THE best cooks on the planet. He posted a link to a story at GQ.com with a simple question: “Benet Wilson, do you agree with this?”
My answer was simple: “Yes. 100 percent. I’ve eaten at 8 of the 10 restaurants.” I’ve not been to Ink Sack at LAX or Shoyu at MSP.
A champagne flight I enjoyed at the Sacramento Airport branch of Vino Volo. Photo by Benet J. Wilson.
The list included favorites including Salt Lick Barbecue (just as good as the off-site branch), Tortas Fronteras (I’ve booked myself through Chicago O’Hare to eat there, and Vino Volo (a favorite since they opened at BWI in 2007). So take a look at the story and let me know which ones should have been included.
Related blog posts on airport restaurants:
- The Daily Meal: Best Airport Restaurants Around The World
- Top 5 Airport Restaurants You MUST Try
- Top 10 Airport Restaurants – Aviation Queen’s Picks
- Randy Peterson To Airports: Give The Travelers What They Want (Part 1)
- Top 10 Airports Healthy Food Choices
- Airport Concession Confessions-Fast Food
- Airport Concession Confessions: The Full-service Restaurant Edition