Tag Archives: Louis Armstrong International Airport

Lovin’ The Airport Lavs

Editor’s note: no “Strange” this week, so I thought I’d end the week with this fun post on lavs that I originally wrote back on Oct. 25, 2011.  Enjoy, and I’ll be back live on Monday.

An article in SmarterTravel on a contest naming America’s best public restroom(Chicago’s Field Museum) prompted me to look at this topic on the airports side.

So, kids, let’s talk toilets — airport toilets.   To be real, I’m one of those folks that hates using public restrooms.  But sometimes, you just have to go, and I know what I like in a good bathroom.

  1. Larger stalls.  When I’m traveling, I usually have my backpack and a rollerboard, and I don’t want them out of my sight.  Or I’m traveling with my daughter, and I REALLY don’t want her out of my sight.  So I appreciate the larger stalls that accommodate my stuff, at airports including Terminal A at Boston-Logan International Airport or Terminal D at DFW Airport.
  2. Purse shelf above the toilet.  We’ve all heard the stories about people reaching over and taking purses when you’re at your most vulnerable, so you want that shelf that is way out of reach, like those at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
  3. A sani-seat. I’m one of those people who carry their own paper toilet seat covers and a purse-sized can of Lysol just in case they’re not available.  But I love the toilet seats at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, because they have the automatic plastic sleeve that covers the seat — the ultimate in cleanliness and sanitation.
  4. The Dyson Airblade hand dryer.  Paper towels are messy and wasteful. The old-school hot air hand dryers take too long and leave your hands dry.  I tested this hand dryer on the exhibit floor of an airports conference and was sold.  It dries quickly and leaves your hands soft, so I’m glad to see airports like Los Angeles International installing them in restrooms.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the bathroom attendants at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  I had come off a US Airways red-eye and was desperate for a bathroom. I go in and I’m startled by a bathroom attendant in NASCAR clothing.  But she turned out to be a lifesaver, since she had some mouthwash, among other necessities, on her tray. And yes, I did leave a tip.

So what do you like to see in your airport restroom?

Random Aviation Photo

Back in June 2008, I attended an airports conference in New Orleans.  It was my first trip back to the Big Easy since Hurricane Katrina.  I had some time to kill at the gate, so I took some random shots. Mexico’s Aladia was a low-cost charter carrier that went out of business in October 2008. Below is an Aladia Boeing 757.

Rolling Aviation Thoughts

  • Regular readers know how I feel about lap babies on planes ( my post is here).  So was US Airways really so wrong in throwing off a family of two adults, a 3-year-old, 20-month-old twins and an 8-month-old baby because the parents did not buy tickets for the younger children, as reported in Yahoo News.  Technically, the twins and the baby could fly as lap children.  First the parents wanted to put one of the twins in a seat with the 3-year-old (really?).  Then they took an offer from a stranger to hold one of the twins (a stranger?).  They also accepted an offer from a passenger to buy another ticket for one of their children (why not buy your own?).  In the end, it’s about safety, and that’s why they were booted, according to US Airways. I won’t judge, but I don’t disagree with US Airways’ handling of the situation.
  • I can’t wait to see what U.S. airline merge this year. The only question: which ones? American Airlines-US Airways? JetBlue-American Airlines? Alaska Airlines-American Airlines? Virgin America-JetBlue? Bahahaha!
  • I really wanted to fly on the Farmers Insurance zeppelin when I went to Oshkosh last summer.  This article from the Ventura County Star really makes me even sadder that I didn’t try harder to get a ride.
  • Will 2012 be the year we FINALLY see a long-term FAA reauthorization bill? Considering this is an election year, I’m afraid that we won’t see any real action until 2013. How sad is that?
  • An O&D airport like New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International needs to step up its concessions game. A city with such a rich food heritage should have an airport that reflects the same. With a few exceptions (like Acme Oyster House), it’s been only a dream, as cited in this article on NOLA.com. It’s an embarrassment, and the city — and its visitors — deserve better.
  • My parents leave on Thursday for a trip to UAE, with stops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  They took my advice and will fly Etihad out of Chicago O’Hare. Too bad they won’t get to experience the first class chef, as profiled by Business Traveller.
  • Back in late 2003, I did a mileage run to keep my Continental OnePass gold status. I flew from DC to San Jose in a day; I even rented a donut-wheel car just to add onto the pile.  So I love The Points Guy website for helping us all feed this strange addiction.
  • And last, but not least, a question for my pilot and student pilot friends: I hear songs in my head when I’m flying. Is this normal?

Lovin’ The Airport Lavs

An article in SmarterTravel on a contest naming America’s best public restroom (Chicago’s Field Museum) prompted me to look at this topic on the airports side.

So, kids, let’s talk toilets — airport toilets.   To be real, I’m one of those folks that hates using public restrooms.  But sometimes, you just have to go, and I know what I like in a good bathroom.

  1. Larger stalls.  When I’m traveling, I usually have my backpack and a rollerboard, and I don’t want them out of my sight.  Or I’m traveling with my daughter, and I REALLY don’t want her out of my sight.  So I appreciate the larger stalls that accommodate my stuff, at airports including Terminal A at Boston-Logan International Airport or Terminal D at DFW Airport.

  2. Purse shelf above the toilet.  We’ve all heard the stories about people reaching over and taking purses when you’re at your most vulnerable, so you want that shelf that is way out of reach, like those at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
  3. A sani-seat. I’m one of those people who carry their own paper toilet seat covers and a purse-sized can of Lysol just in case they’re not available.  But I love the toilet seats at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, because they have the automatic plastic sleeve that covers the seat — the ultimate in cleanliness and sanitation.
  4. The Dyson Airblade hand dryer.  Paper towels are messy and wasteful. The old-school hot air hand dryers take too long and leave your hands dry.  I tested this hand dryer on the exhibit floor of an airports conference and was sold.  It dries quickly and leaves your hands soft, so I’m glad to see airports like Los Angeles International installing them in restrooms.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the bathroom attendants at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  I had come off a US Airways red-eye and was desperate for a bathroom. I go in and I’m startled by a bathroom attendant in NASCAR clothing.  But she turned out to be a lifesaver, since she had some mouthwash, among other necessities, on her tray. And yes, I did leave a tip.

So what do you like to see in your airport restroom?

Five Interesting Aviation Stories

Kids, I must confess — I was so busy with this week’s National Business Aviation Association annual conference that I barely had time to keep up with the rest of the industry.  But I did manage to find five interesting stories I’d love to share with you.

  1. Back on July 9, I got to take a day trip up to United Airlines’ Chicago O’Hare hub for a party being held for Tom Stuker, who accumulated 10 million (yes, million) Mileage Plus miles (my AvWeek blog post on that is here).  One of the gifts given to Stuker was a Boeing 787 model. During his remarks at the festivities, United CEO Jeff Smisek said the 787 would be in the fleet by 2012.  He also quipped about how he had been waiting four years for the delayed plane.  And now, my Aviation Week colleague Darren Shannon writes about how another 787 production delay has caused United to cut its 787 delivery schedule from six to five of the type.
  2. Are you one of those people who use websites to manage all of your frequent flyer miles (I’m not one of them)?  if you’re using sites including AwardWallet, MileWise and GoMiles, you may be facing some trouble, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have sent “cease and desist” letters to these companies over their activities.
  3. SmarterTravel’s Ed Perkins gives us the skinny behind the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck trusted traveler program, which is quite similar to the old registered traveler programs (which were privately run).  But he also asks some very good questions about the program, including cost, locations and enrollment.
  4. My friend Sandra Gonzales, a multimedia journalist in New Orleans, shot this piece on how Louis Armstrong International Airport has become one of 8 American approved airports to fly to Cuba.
  5. As you know, the nostalgic aviation geeks had been waiting with bated breath for the new ABC-TV series “Pan Am.”  You can see my review of it in this Sept. 26 post.  Which is why I enjoyed this post from travel expert Peter Greenberg’s thoughts on the real Pan Am.

I’m still catching up on my Airplane Geek podcast episodes.  I just listened to Episode 166, featuring Delta Air Lines social media guru Susan Elliott.  It was a great episode., and you have to love a woman who has a genuine DC-3 prop and a white leather sofa in her work space!!  And I got to guest host Episode 168, with Lori Ranson, he America’s Air Transport Editor at Flightglobal. And don’t forget to read this week’s edition of Strange But True Aviation News!

I have one more week to go at Aviation Week.  And I thank you all for your kind tweets and emails.  But as a result, there will be some changes on my blog.  Mondays will now be my top stories of the previous week.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays will remain the same.  Thursdays are for Random Aviation Photos and Friday will be Strange But True Aviation News.    I hope you’ll continue to support me here!