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Despite warnings, today's day-before-Thanksgiving mix of horrible weather and equally unpleasant crowding at airports hasn't been so bad. The expected snow only dropped inches versus feet on the east coast, and the FlightAware Misery Map lists 490 delays and 12 cancellations (as of 10am EST), whereas it lit up with over 1,600 cancellations during a blizzard back in January.
Still, there will be travelers inconvenienced whether it's the fault of the weather, airline scheduling, or relatives conspiring to keep you home longer over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Aside from following your airlines on social media and keeping up with travel waivers, what else can be done? For one, there are things you can buy at the airport to make your wait a little more comfortable. Or make the best of a delay by using the airport for their entertainment zone it is.
‘Tis the season for a little holiday shopping, and if you’re stuck at the airport—or are just on layover—the terminals and concourses might be a great place to cross a few people off the list. From Sydney to Salt Lake City there are toy stores doing their thing at plenty of airports, but just remember to pick up those batteries.
In no particular order here are some toy stores at airports across the globe, and we can’t help but imagine that the perfect gift or goodie is there waiting for you. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cost a lot of frequent flyer miles to find it—good luck:
T2 at SFO / SFO / Virgin America / Delta / San Francisco Travel / Airport News / Airports / → All Tags
For travelers flying out of Terminal 1 at San Francisco International Airport the options are pretty limited for dining and entertainment and, to make matters worse, the Delta Sky Club is located before the security checkpoint. Those stuck with this situation are traveling on AirTran, Delta, Frontier and Southwest.
At least they were stuck with it, as the good news arrives that SFO has opened up a new passageway connecting the boring and bland Terminal 1 with the contemporary and cool Terminal 2. We have a whole tag tied in with T2 at SFO, and we love everything about T2's shiny digs, from the bathroom and yoga room to the free WiFi and plentiful electrical outlets (not to mention a food court with a Pinkberry).
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There’s No Shave November, Movember, or whatever else you want to call it; however, just note that one airport is truly getting into the season.
The fun is all associated with cancer awareness and other men’s health issues, and of course we have even discovered a few planes doing their thing to help out.
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T5i's immigration and customs area sports the latest technology, like these automated passport processing kiosks
Next time you saunter through the market area at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at New York's JFK Airport and stand beneath the information halo wondering which way to go, you may notice there's a few more gates than usual. Go right or go straight ahead and it's all the same. Veer left, however, and you're heading for the spanking new international gate zone, dubbed T5i.
Yesterday marked the public opening of this, JetBlue's latest big project, and the first flights to arrive to the shiny new digs were JetBlue's non-stops up from Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Of course now it's open to all arriving JetBlue flights* from any of their nearly 25 international destinations from JFK.
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From yoga rooms and prayer rooms to wineries and food trucks, airports sure are thinking outside the box lately. Now, the folks over at San Fransisco International Airport have done the most San Francisco-y thing ever and created a new concept room for travelers to spend a few final minutes brainstorming and networking on the ground before boarding a flight.
A special space called Converge is now set aside for SFO passengers to come together and exchange ideas about technology, start-ups, the shared economy, "disruption," travel, politics, and ways to change the world. While the room is not limited to these ideas, the airport thinks these are good ideas to start. The #Converge brainstorming room is designed to create more of a community for those flyers who might feel lonely on a long layover, or who maybe just seek fresh input. Kitted out with free wi-fi, tables, chairs, power outlets, a white board and a magnetic chalk board, the #Converge room actually sounds like it might also be useful for "digital nomads" in transit.
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The folks over at the airline have just made a pretty big order over at the Apple Store, as they’re spending $120 million on new iPads and other gadgets to modernize bits and pieces of the airport experience. It sounds like the focus will be within Terminal C, as airline officials certainly recognize that their home at the airport is a little tired and certainly less than welcoming. We’re not so sure that travelers can be tricked by a little touch screen trendiness, but we shall see.
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There’s a warm welcome awaiting you on your next visit to New York City, as the area’s tourism board—NYC & Company—has kicked off a new campaign. The welcome wagon will be doing its thing over at JFK Airport, as the new year-long campaign features some snazzy artwork that shows off more than just Manhattan.
There are 37 displays in total, and they’re so darn big that if you lined them up one-by-one they would be as long as a football field. A bunch of them are specific to some of the city’s boroughs, so that travelers can see some of the offerings of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island too. Look for them—you probably can’t miss them—as you make your way through and around terminals one, four, and eight.
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ORD would be the last of the top 5 busiest U.S. airports to upgrade facilities for the double-decker airplane, and this is great news not only for travelers, but for a few airlines who have already pinned Chicago on their route map.
The massive airplane will head on over to Terminal 5, and the 34 airlines who call it home in Chicago have agreed to open up their wallets and cough up the $1 million for the preliminary designs for the airport upgrades. This comes after O'Hare's newest runway, (10C and 28C) along with nearby taxi route, was rated to accommodate the heavy aircraft.
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Traveling can be a little bit stressful, and that’s even with the reward of a new destination at the end of the journey. That’s why we’re happy to see that some airports are doing their part to make the process a little more fun with some furry friends.
We’ve seen stuff like this before, but since then there’s been a bit of expansion. The most recent appearance of therapy dogs in and around the airport has been in Canada, as Edmonton International Airport Is the first to be doing something like this in Canada.
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We have seen some weird stuff at airports, but even the oddest things seem to have a purpose—like those sleeping pod things. Now we’re not sure about this latest addition to London-Heathrow, as officials have wheeled in some kind of globe that shares the smells of the world.
The entertainment—if you can call it that—is now set up in Terminal 2, as the scent globe shares different aromas, smells, and fragrances from around the world. Spots like China, Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil are just a few of the featured offerings. Apparently those spots smell nice, and they’re of particular interest to those heading out of Great Britain on holiday.
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We love love love to report on airline lounges here at Jaunted, mostly because they're mysterious spaces within the realm of that jet set style that's inspirational, but mostly aspirational. There's also the fact that airlines typically don't publish more than a basic, small photo of a lounge on their site, and it's difficult to gauge what to expect from a teensy-weensy thumbnail peek.
Our most recent obsession has been with a chain of lounges accessible to anyone with an American Express card&151;the Centurion Lounges. For what you lose in exclusivity (and it's obvious airlines these days aren't exactly keeping a tight door), the Centurion Lounges makes up for with amenities. We're talking open bar, comfortable tarmac-view seating with power outlets, complimentary hot food, and a shower suite.
Already we've walked you around the original Centurion lounge, in Las Vegas-McCarran International, but where else may a traveler relax in this airside paradise?