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Travel Tips / Lists / Travel 101 / Airports / Luggage / Baggage / Checked Luggage / → All Tags
Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip. Every week, we'll squeeze our mindgrapes and share tips to make sure you're the best informed flyer in seat 1A...or 38K.
This Week: The 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Checking Luggage
Holiday Travel / Christmas Travel / AIrports / Airport News / FRA / Germany Travel / Shopping Travel / → All Tags
With security lines, crowds, and other less than awesome features—an airport isn’t necessarily the best place to welcome the holiday season. Some airports are looking to change this, however, and one in particular has embraced the holiday spirit in grand style. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is the must-visit airport for December, as they've installed a full-on Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market.
FRA is boasting decorations, trees, lights, and all of the usual holiday trimmings as they do their best to bring a traditional German holiday market atmosphere right to the terminals. The over 300 shops and restaurants at the airport are in the holiday spirit with Christmas specials and other deals and, on Christmas Eve, many of the stores will even stay open later than usual—just in case you need one more thing for that special someone.
Porter Airlines / Canada Travel / Toronto Travel / Bombardier / Airplanes / Airports / YTZ / → All Tags
Things are moving along slowly but surely over at Bombardier, as the airline manufacturer gets ready to send their new C100s into the friendly skies. There’s already a few orders here and there, and now a local—as in one from Canada—is looking to get in on the new airplane smell.
As of now Porter Airlines is strictly a fan of propeller power, but it looks like they’re sold on the goings-on over at Bombardier. A little jet power could propel the carrier to spots beyond their usual range in and out of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, but before the planes and people can get to 35,000-feet there’s a lot of discussions that need to take place.
Free Stuff / Southwest / Airlines / Airline News / Video Game Travel / Airport News / Holiday Travel / Airports / → All Tags
It’s the season to celebrate the release of the latest and greatest in video games, and there’s one carrier getting in on the fun. Unfortunately they’re not giving away the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One, but we can’t complain if an airline just hands us one of those Nintendo Wii U things. That’s the case over at Southwest Airlines, as they’re partnering up with Nintendo to bring Mario, Luigi, and all their friends to 35,000 feet.
Just the other day, Southwest passed out a brand new Wii U console to around 100 or so of their passengers, and Flight 1883 from New Orleans to Dallas-Love Field was the lucky recipient. Apparently Mario was even there to welcome the flight to the terminal, and he jumped onto the intercom to confirm that everyone would be scoring some freebies.
Airport News / Airports / DFW / Holiday Travel / Shopping Travel / Christmas Travel / Dallas Travel / → All Tags
Today is Cyber Monday, and that means there’s all kinds of discounts to be had across the internet. However, after scoring a few digital deals, we suggest hitting the terminals and concourses to look for the next big thing in holiday gifts, and that’s because Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is all about shipping and shopping for the next few weeks.
The airport is offering to ship gifts back to where you call home—no checked baggage free required—for those items purchased at the airport. Things started up on November 22, and the option will run through December 24. It’s called "You Shop, We Ship," and is available to all travelers who grab something valued at $50 or more in the airport—but there are some certain restrictions depending on the store or the seller. Let’s just say that the copy of US Weekly from Hudson News isn’t going to be eligible for this promotion.
Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / MSP / ATL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / Airport Restaurants / Airport Bakeries / → All Tags
If you’re already on your way to visit the family for Thanksgiving we understand if you forgot to bring a pie or some dessert. Unfortunately, your Great Aunt Mildred won’t understand, so you might as well pick something up at the airport. We can’t guarantee that you’ll find the world’s best pumpkin pie, but at least there’s a few options at the airport.
For those connecting through–or heading to—Minneapolis-St. Paul there’s a solid option within Terminal 1, as French Meadow Bakery Café calls Concourse F home in its location near Gate 3. They’ve got cookies, pastries, and other organic bakery goodies, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they had something special just for the Thanksgiving. If you’re only looking for yourself it appears that they’re cooking up a warm seasonal fruit crisp, so go for that if you’re looking to sneak in an early dessert before Thursday.
Airline News / Delays / Winter Travel / Weather / Storm Travel / Airports / Thanksgiving Travel / → All Tags
While winter storm "Boreas" bears down on the east coast of the United States, travelers around the world are beginning to be touched by the flight delays and cancellations. Hundreds of flights already met the chopping block today, and with the worst of both the storm and the highest travel season of the year yet to come, you can expect it'll be a rough one for the airlines and airports clear through until next week.
Fortunately, several airlines have dropped ticket change fees to allow flyers with flexibility to attempt to fly later, on less hectic and less stormy days. Granted that may mean missing Thanksgiving at home, but if the alternative is an airport Sbarro's, then you know what to do.
American Airlines: Airports affected include New York-LGA, New York-JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, White Plains, Boston, Hartford, Washington DC-IAD, Washington DC-DCA, and Baltimore. Fee-free changes are so far only permitted if your original travel date falls on November 27.
Delays / Storm Travel / Boreas / Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / Travel Tips / Airports / Layovers / → All Tags
You're stuck. You're cranky. You're uncomfortable. If you're lucky, your home until you can fly out will be a hotel or the living room of a friend, but many will find themselves sleeping at the airport and that's just no fun. Here, however, are Five items you can buy at the airport to survive long flight delays:
· Beach Towel: Not only does it soften a sleep on the floor or hard chairs, but it's also effective as a dirt barrier between you and whatever is on that floor/soaked into the waiting area chairs. Spread it out on a blanket to curl up on, roll it up to use as a pillow or cover yourself with it like a blanket for privacy or warmth. There are many uses for something so simple, and luckily it should be cheap enough to throw out once your flight does board and depart.
· A carabiner clip: If you're planning on getting some good sleep, it's always an excellent idea to secure your belongings just in case. Buying a carabiner clip keychain or something similar may keep your purse strap/laptop bag handle/shoes/airport purchases bag next to you all night, instead of having it easily picked up and wandered off with while you're snoozing.
Weather / Storm Travel / Boreas / Thanksgiving Travel / Holiday Travel / Travel Tips / Airports / Layovers / Delays / → All Tags
With perfect timing, Mother Nature is rearing her head for Thanksgiving by dropping a Nor'easter storm named "Boreas" on the east coast. Airlines are already issuing change fee waivers for the major airports of the Northeast, and the rain is supposed to be heavy enough to cause massive delays and cancellations through Thursday and possibly even Friday.
While there's all of this focus on NYC, Boston, Washington DC and Philadelphia, let's not forget the scores of tired and cranky folks about to be delayed at other airports around the country, trying to make it to and not away from the East Coast just to eat some turkey with family.
Airport Security / Airports / Airport News / TSA / SYR / → All Tags
If you’re flying into Syracuse this holiday season there’s a special new surprise from the friendly folks over at the TSA awaiting your arrival. The security screening is pretty much the same on the way into the airport, but there’s a unique new featuring for those existing—or attempting to exit—the airport.
Call them revolving doors, exit pods, transportation devices, or whatever you want, but basically there’s a new one-at-a-time mandate for those looking to depart the airport. Step inside when the robotic voice welcomes you to do so, and then the pod thing will open up on the other side letting you outside towards freedom. Some might say that this is practically being detained as you exit the airport, but we just call it yet another slowdown and an inconvenience.
Auckland Field Trip / New Zealand Travel / Auckland Travel / AKL / Airports / Qantas / Business Class Travel / Immigration / → All Tags
All good things must come to an end and, sadly, our quickie Auckland Field Trip has closed, but not without a nice goodbye. Although it's difficult to see another vacation conclude, our time at Auckland International Airport couldn't have more civilized.
Passengers flying Qantas in business, or high flyers with gold or platinum status or the OneWorld equivalent, can reap the benefits of a special check-in process. The ease of it evokes the golden age of travel, as premium guests pass through glass doors into a private room to handle ticketing and baggage check.
FlightCar / Rental Cars / Cars / Road Trips / Car Shares / Car Sharing / Driving / Airports / LAX / → All Tags
Those looking to head out of town have a new option when it comes to the long-term parking lot, as FlightCar has recently started up shop over at Los Angeles International Airport. In case you don’t remember the deal with FlightCar—basically you rent out your car to others instead of just leaving the car in the parking lot. Someone gets the wheels they need, you don’t have to pay for parking, and you even make a little money on the deal.
The peer-to-peer car sharing system hasn’t really gone gangbusters as of yet, but the head honcho at FlightCar—he’s 19 years old—reports that the company has roughly 3,700 listings for the not really rental cars. We guess we would be a little concerned letting someone else take our wheels out for a spin, but at the same time the insurance, the liability, and other guarantees do provide some kind of warm and fuzzy feeling. Overall we think the idea is kind of awesome, and yet again we're jealous that we didn't think of this first.