Houston Travel Guide
Airline News / IAH / Houston Travel / EVA Air / EVA Air Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / 777 / Airplane News / Livery / Cartoon Travel / Sanrio / TPE / Taipei Travel / Taiwan Travel / New Routes / → All Tags
OMG OMG OMG. We have good news and great news, both related to Hello Kitty and a certain airline fond of covering their planes in the illustrated character.
First, the good news:
Taipei-based EVA Air will soon add another Hello Kitty aircraft to their fleet, bringing the total to 7 airplanes covered in Sanrio cuteness. The theme hasn't yet been leaked, but the planethe second Boeing 777-300ER to sport a Hello Kitty livery (the other five are Airbus A330s)will be delivered in May 2015. Inside will be 333 seats: 39 business class, 56 premium economy, 238 economy.
Now, the great news:
Airport News / HOU / IAH / Airports / WiFi / Free Stuff / Texas Travel / → All Tags
For whatever reason big airports seem to have big problems when it comes to concourse connectivity. Of course WiFi is available everywhere, but it usually comes with an annoying fee. Some of the big boy airports—like Atlanta—have finally flipped the switch to make things free, and now yet another major airport is finally doing the same.
It’s time for the WiFi to be free for all across Houston, as the airport authority has opened up the network to passengers at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. The rollout is complete over at Hobby Airport, but a couple of the terminals at Bush Intercontinental will need another month or so to work things out—so just be aware.
Airport Security / Travel Tech / Global Entry / TSA / IAH / Airports / Airport News / Passports / → All Tags
We have not been shy when it comes to sharing our love and affection for some of the new technology making its way into the passport and immigration control line. Automated kiosks smooth the process, and of course cutting down on lines after a long-haul flight is always a plus.
This week some of this travel technology makes its way over to Texas, as Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport is now featuring some of those awesome Automated Passport Control kiosks.
If you’re looking for something to do with the kiddos that’s a little more exciting that the checking out the Santa Claus
imposter helper at the local mall—we’ve got an idea. An exhibit, "Merry Grinchmas! The Art of Dr. Seuss," is now doing its thing at the Children’s Museum of Houston. It’s one way to get into the holiday spirit, and we’re thinking it might just get a smile out of both the little kids and the big kids.
Things run through January 23, as visitors are welcome to check out the life, times, and artwork of Theodor Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss. Original artifacts, drawings, paintings, and a few reproductions will all be on display to show off over 70 years of creativity and color. The museum promises to show off some rare images from times between the 1920s and 1990s, and they’re saying its stuff most have never even seen before.
Airport Construction / Airport News / Airports / HOU / Houston Travel / Southwest Airlines / Airline News / LCCs / → All Tags
Yes, that statement still sounds a little weird for us too.
Last week, construction crews started moving dirt to make way for Houston Hobby's newest expansion: the airport's first international terminal, which will benefit Southwest as it plans to cross borders for the first time in the 43-year history of the airline.
The $156 million project plans to add a completely separate building to house Southwest's international operations. When all is said and done, the airline will be pulling up to one of 5 gates the airport will offer with immigration facilities. Along with new gates, the existing ticketing and security areas will see a facelift to make way for increased passenger traffic.
Food Travel / Airplanes / 777 / United / Continental / Houston Travel / Food Festivals / → All Tags
THERE IS. A BARBEQUE PIT. SHAPED LIKE A BOEING 777.
Take a second to process that, and then update your iCal to include the dates February 27 - March 1 2014, when this miracle of modern engineering will again cook up thousands of hot dogs and hamburgers during Houston's World Championship Bar-be-que.
The pit itself was born in 1999, designed by a Continental Airlines maintenance foreman and constructed by BBQ Pits by Klose. It's a 1:10 scale 777, now repainted with the updated United merger livery.
Space Travel / Museum Travel / Houston Travel / NASA / Boeing / 747 / Space Shuttle / Texas Travel / → All Tags
Houston has a problem.
Or, rather, Houston had a problem, as their bitterness from being passed over when NASA handed out Space Shuttles may be staunched by the delivery of the special 747 carrier plane instead.
Okay, so the home of Mission Control will likely never heal from the pain of the Shuttle decision, but a consolation prize does mean the city's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center will have something other than laboratories, training rooms and the mission control center to show off to visitors. According to Space.com, the modified 747 "Shuttle Carrier Aircraft" will be disassembled with Boeing's help, shipped to Houston, and reassembled within a brand new, $12 million, six-story building at Space Center Houston, adjacent to Johnson Space Center.
First Class Travel / Airlines / Airline News / United / Airports / IAH / Frequent Flyer Miles / → All Tags
If you’re a frequent flyer you're probably used to some of the benefits that come along with elite status. Dedicated check-in lines at the airport, access to faster security checkpoints, and of course the potential to be bumped up to business class on occasion are all just part of the fun. Well that’s just the beginning for United flyers, as it looks like there’s even a new way to get around the airport.
The carrier just received a fresh order of vehicles, and now they’re starting to pick up passengers—with a Mercedes-Benz or two—right at the airport. Travelers heading through George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston now have the chance to get picked up right from their plane and chauffeured over to their connecting flight.
Airplane News / Airline News / United / BFI / IAH / Star Alliance / Boeing / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787 / Boeing 787 / 787 Dreamliner / United 787 / → All Tags
The 787 gets a water cannon salute after landing in Houston
The skies above Texas today were absolutely speckled with the green and yellow radar blips of thunderstorms. That sucks for Texas, with the exception of one other radar blip: United Airlines' very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which came home to Houston on its delivery flight from Boeing Field in Washington State.
Those thunderstorms did add a twenty minute arrival delay, though; it was the final delay in a what's really been a saga of delays leading up to the first delivery of a 787 to a US airline.
Space Shuttle / Endeavour / 747 / NASA / Space Travel / Museum Travel / Los Angeles Travel / → All Tags
Houston, Texas isn't in the best mood today. After all, around sunrise this morning "Space City" lost what it should have kept: the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, which departed for the last time from Houston's Ellington Field, en route to its final resting place in Los Angeles. The Endeavour first hit the sky in 1992, flying 25 times, with 123 million miles in space and 4,700 circles around Earth.
It won't be a direct flight to LA for the Endeavour, atop its modified Boeing 747 carrier plane; it's booked to stop at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, before heading to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Then, tomorrow, the journey in the skies completes at LAX Airport before the shuttle takes to the streets in October.
Airport News / Southwest Airlines / Southwest / Airports / Airline Mergers / AirTran / HOU / → All Tags
Not that long ago we discussed the city of Houston’s plan to develop the city’s smaller airport into a true international hub. That didn’t sit too well with United—they’re pretty darn happy over at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport—and they put up a stink.
Southwest Airlines / Southwest / Airports / Airport News / Airline Mergers / AirTran / HOU / → All Tags
There’s still plenty of unknown this and that with the Southwest Airlines and AirTran merger, but one thing that is intriguing—to us at least—is how the newly combined airline will handle international flying. Of course we dream of cheap flights down to Mexico or over to the Caribbean, but it’s still not totally clear on how the Southwest planes will get there or where the flights will originate.
Although nothing is official as of yet, it does sound like one airport is planning for the possibility of some international departures and arrivals. Houston Hobby Airport—a favorite of Southwest—is now considering what it might mean to the airport and the city to add the capacity to handle international flights. It sounds like the city is looking into the possibility, as Southwest has already expressed interest about adding some planes and people to spots in Mexico and South America.