TNT has been running the movie “The Terminal,” starring Tom Hanks. You can see a summary of the movie here at the Internet Movie Database. But it reminded me that there are so many concessions in major airports, you could actually live in one if you needed to. So below are my five favorites. Enjoy!
Aero Clinic: there is NOTHING worse that getting sick while on travel. You’re far from home, your doctor and your local pharmacy. So if you’re sick and in a location where Aero Clinic is, you can go in, get a diagnosis, get a prescription and be on your way. They take most major health insurance, and if not, fees are pretty reasonable. Right now, they’re located at Hartsfield-Jackson and Philadelphia International airports, with plans (announced in 2009) to open at Charlotte-Douglas. Check out my June 2007 Aviation Week Towers and Tarmacs blog post on Aero Clinic here.
Harmony Pharmacy in JFK Airport T5 Photo by Benet J. Wilson
Harmony Pharmacy: you’re on a trip. You have your prescription medication with you, but realize you’re running low. If you happen to be at Newark, JFK, San Francisco, DFW, Cleveland-Hopkins or Baltimore-Washington airports, you’re in luck, since they all have a Harmony outlet. You can also buy the items you’d normally find in your local drug store. Nice!
Minute Suites: these little oases at Hartsfield-Jackson and Philadelphia International airports are favorites for offering a sofa/daybed with blankets, along with WiFi access, television and a desk, all for only $30 an hour .I am a BIG believer in the power of naps, and this concession allows you to take one during longer layovers.
O2 Bar & Spa: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. You had a great time, but may be feeling a bit “out of sorts” right before you get on that flight at McCarran International Airport. Folks swear by the therapeutic effects of this bar which offers oxygen and aromatherapy to cure what ails you.
So — what did I miss? What are some of your favorite useful airport services?
Back in August 2007, I took trip out to Las Vegas to do a series of articles about McCarran International Airport. Weirdly enough, I have a deathly fear of heights, but I have never let it get in the way of seeing something cool.
The something cool on this day was a trip to the top of an operations tower at the airport. I managed to get this shot of some AirTran and Alaska Airlines aircraft parked at the gate. Enjoy!
Despite all the sweltering heat, the work still must go on, and we had another fun — and busy week in aviation. So let’s get started, shall we?
This is a classic case where social media forced an airline to change a bag fee policy. Delta Air Lines was left with egg on its face after two soldiers coming home from Afghanistan posted video on YouTube of 36 reservists being charged $2,800 in bag fees at BWI Airport. There were almost 1,000 stories came up on a Google search of the incident. Delta used its blog to apologize and change the policy, effectively immediately. As the daughter and granddaughter of Air Force officers, stories like this always hit close to home, and I’m glad that Delta has done the right thing. I also commend American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines for following suit.
When I travel, I’m always amazed at two things: one, why pilots and flight attendants on duty still have to go through security like the rest of us; and two, how I see passengers who get aggressive when crew members cut to the top of the line. Back in July 2008, the Transportation Security Administration started a pilot program called CrewPASS, a system to take properly credentialed pilots out of the regular line and into an expedited queue, via an airport’s exit lane. Three years later, my Aviation Week colleague Jim Ott blogs about how TSA is still “dithering” over easing security for flight crews. You can see my original Towers and Tarmacs blog post on the topic here.
As a student of the aviation industry, I enjoy reading articles and columns on the financial status of airlines. Good friend Bill Swelbar of Swelblog, has written an interesting post on the topic: In The Airline Business We Just Do Not Talk About Balance Sheets Enough. Before deregulation, it was all so easy. The Civil Aeronautics Board handled airline routes, fares and schedules, ensuring everyone could make a comfortable living. But now some 34 years after deregulation, airlines are still fighting over their balance sheets.
As airports continue to search for ways to bring in more non-airline revenue, several have looked to bringing slot machines into their facilities to bring in more cash. New Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing just that for O’Hare and Midway airports, according to Jaunted. Back in February, I wrote a blog post over at Things With Wings on how my hometown airport — BWI — was considering a similar measure. Don’t laugh — slots brought in $25.7 million in FY 2009-10 at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
I have many dear friends who happen to be gay. I have been following columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign, created to help gay teens considering suicide after being bullied over their sexual orientation. No matter what a teen’s orientation, none of them should feel so desperate that they see suicide as their only option. So I was happy to see that American Airlines has become the first carrier to make a video contribution to the project via its GLEAM employee resource group.
We have a bumper crop of crazy in today’s Strange But True Aviation News, with rats on a plane, issues with Virgin Atlantic employees and more problems with TSA screeners. Enjoy!!
I have a deathly fear of heights, but I refuse to let it stand in the way of seeing something exciting or getting a good photo shot. Back in August 2007, I was in Las Vegas working on a story about McCarran International Airport. One of the airport ops directors took me up to the top of their control tower, where I managed to get this great shot (and many more). Enjoy!