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Chocolate Travel / Spain Travel / Barcelona Travel / Shopping Travel / Airport News / Airports / BCN / Dessert Travel / Duty-Free / → All Tags
Next time you're flying into or out of Barcelona, you'll want to reach for a few sweet sticks of Swiss Toblerone chocolate. No, really; you'll actually be subconsciously sold on the stuff, as an entire section of Barcelona El Prat Airport's duty-free shop has been converted into a golden altar to the awesomeness of Toblerone, all to promote the newly designed packaging featuring a Gaudi-influenced Barcelona design.
For as long as we can remember, Toblerone has been king of duty-free. Whereas airports on tiny Caribbean islands may push their handmade crafts and massive airports of Asian metropoli stock themselves to the gills with designer perfumes, there's one thing they'll both have in common: the availability of Toblerone.
Passports / Airports / Airport News / Lists / ORD / DFW / JFK / MIA / Airport Security / Travel Tech / Global Entry / → All Tags
Word to the wise: automated immigration kiosks are the new hotness. These machines process the passports of US & Canadian citizens in a matter of seconds (minutes, if there's a line), and we foresee it one day pushing the Global Entry program to the curb. Oh, and it's free.
How to use the kiosks:
Simply roll up to one, scan your passport page, confirm that the screen has your ID and arriving flight info correct, tap to answer "no" to the usual "are you bringing anything weird into our country?" questions, and a camera snaps your photo and prints a receipt of the transaction. Show that receipt to a man in a booth (no waiting!), he'll stamp your passport, and you're free to enter baggage claim. You'll finally yield that receipt to the customs inspection officers after baggage claim, with minimal bother and no queuing.
Who's got them:
As far as we know, there are four US airports with immigration kiosks up and running for holders of US passports. They are:
Airport News / Airports / BOS / Boston Travel / → All Tags
If you’re flying into Boston for the holidays your landing might be just a little bit safer, as the city’s airport has scored something that’s not available at any other airport in the country. It all has to do with the runway, as Boston-Logan can now tell if there’s stuff on the runway that shouldn’t be there.
It’s the first airport in the country to get one of these full runway system things, and it enables the place to automatically know if there’s debris, junk, or hunks of airplane stuff that could do bad stuff to planes taking off and landing.
At this point everyone knows that Singapore-Changi Airport is consistently ranked one of the best airports in the world. They’ve got a movie theatre, they’ve got slides, and of course they have plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
As if it could get better, the airport has announced another expansion. This time it’s all about Terminal 4, as plans are heading off the drawing board and into construction mode. The fresh construction won’t be quite ready for your next flight through the region for some time, as the new airport expansion is looking to make its appearance at some point in 2017.
Airport Security / TSA / CLT / DFW / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
We’re not sure if this is the future of airport security here in the nifty fifty, but the changes that are taking places in Charlotte and Dallas are certainly something that we can support. Think more comfortable spaces, better signage, and even places specifically intended to use for slipping your shoes back on.
If you’re looking to check things out for yourself you need to make your way to—or through—checkpoint E at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Things are being sponsored in part by SpringHill Suites by Marriott, so a lot of the touches are things you would normally see at one of their hotels. Of course the advertising is just part of the new setup, but there are some new comforts as well.
While we love to see that money is being invested in airports to make the flying experience more comfortable, sometimes we grow a little concerned that terminal upgrades are tilted too far towards the luxury traveler. In this rant, our contributor wonders when budget travelers will catch a break.
When I landed in Philly this weekend and picked up a copy of the Inquirer, the front-page story was all about the big upgrades taking place at Terminal F. The headline read: "Need an iPad? Or a Shower? A Haircut? Fine Dining? A redesigned Terminal F provides travelers with amenities they can't fit in their carry-ons." It continued:
Breaking News / LAX / Airports / Airport News / Tragedies / Crime / Delays / → All Tags
The emergency situation of Friday at Los Angeles International Airport is thankfully over, but while the police continue their investigation into the gunman who entered Terminal 3 and shot TSA agents (killing one), the airport itself returns to mostly normal operations.
For travelers with upcoming flights into or out of LAX, here's the latest answers on what's up at the airport:
Breaking News / LAX / Airport News / Airports / Delays / → All Tags
Update: 5pm EST: The latest findings report that the gunman is not a TSA employee, and may have been a ticketed passenger harboring anti-government feelings, who targeted the TSA staff. As for airport operations, LAX is still under a ground stop and all travelers with tickets into/out of LAX are encouraged to check with their airlines and consider alternate dates of travel, or routing through other airports. Bottom line: be flexible and be patient.
Update: 3:30pm EST: Virgin America has issued a statement confirming the events of this morning and expressing their concern for passengers. It has now been clarified that the suspect is in custody and is in critical condition, but alive. Vehicles heading to LAX (if they make it there) and to other LA-area airports should expect to be fully searched. JetBlue's flights to LAX will instead fly to Long Beach (LGB),
Update: 2:20pm EST: The gunman was an off-duty TSA agent. He has been killed my law enforcement, and is not simply in custody as earlier thought, according to NBC News.
Update: 1:55pm EST: It being reported that the police are confirming one death, a TSA agent shot and killed. Another TSA agent was shot and wounded, and has been transported to the hospital.
All LAX terminals are being evacuated (with no definite destination for the evacuated passengers). The 105 and 405 freeway ramps leading into LAX are closed. LAX is on a ground stop, with no flights departing and all arriving flights being held on the tarmac.
The weapon is rumored to be an AR-15 rifle.
BREAKING 1:15pm EST: There have been gunshots at LAX Airport, with a few people injured and a gunman in custody.
Facts are still fuzzy. According to the AP, "Witness Brian Keech said he heard "about a dozen gunshots." Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said emergency crews have responded to a multi-patient incident. The incident was reported after 9:30 a.m. PST"
Spooooky / Halloween Travel / Savannah Travel / Airports / Airport News / SAV / Georgia Travel / Weird Travel / → All Tags
Want to hear something spooky? There are two graves underneath one of the runways at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia.
If you know enough about airports to realize your flight is departing on Runway 10 (or your pilot requests the "graveyard tour" route from the tower), then you'll want to keep a look out the lefthand side windows for two rectangles patches in the tarmac that simply don't belong. In truth, these spots are graves, which belong in that spot more so than the airport, being original tenants from back when the land was a family cemetery.
The markers of the final resting places of RIchard and Catherine Dotson say "At rest" and "Gone home to rest," respectively. Stories of shadowy figures strolling the runway on low visibility nights circulate among flight crews who frequently land at SAV, so perhaps all the jet engine noise has awoken the Dotsons from their rests?
There’s all kind of great stuff to check out at the airport, but one thing that we may overlook is the airport art. We’re usually focused on restaurants, lounges, and WiFi access, but airport art is that little bit extra that keeps things classy within the concourse. There are others that agree, and the people over at 10Best and USA Today are now getting together to help pick out the very best in airport art—at least in the United States.
There are 20 airports from which to choose, and they’ve been selected for their unique takes on decorating the terminals. Entries from spots like Boston-Logan, San Francisco International, and Seattle-Tacoma are all available, and you can click on each to check out a photo and get a little background information. As for airport artwork snubs are concerned, we could suggest a few, including the lack of a nomination for the neat stuff over at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.
Open Thread / Customs / Airport Security / Lists / Travel Tips / Airports / → All Tags
When traveling internationally, even if your flight gets in on time, you still need to budget an extra hour on the ground after you land for the dreaded customs line (Unless you are a member of Global Entry returning back to the States, then you can skip this part...and this post.)
Not only is the line often long and slow-moving, you're not allowed to use your cellphone, not even to
play Candy Crush, er, flip through your sightseeing photos. So what can you do while you wait to have your passport stamped? Here are few suggestions. Add yours in comments below!
Airport Security / Travel Tech / Global Entry / TSA / JFK / Airports / Airport News / Passports / → All Tags
Pardon the slightly blurry photo, but we're beside ourselves with excitement.
Those new self-service passport processing kiosks slowly appearing at US airports to speed the re-entry process for US citizens are a godsend, and we can finally say so from experience. Already the machines are installed at Chicago-O'Hare and Dallas/Ft. Worth Airports, but encountering them ourselves at New York-JFK last week was an eye-opening surprise. It knocked our usual 40 minute wait time down to an impressive 40 seconds.
Located in Terminal 4, whose passport control area often erupts into airport hell after the arrival of foreign A380s, the 40 new kiosks were turned on October 15 to welcome travelers holding US passports...for free!
How do you use it? Well, simply roll up to one, scan your passport page, confirm that the screen has your ID and arriving flight info correct, tap to answer "no" to the usual "are you bringing anything weird into our country?" questions, and a camera snaps your photo and prints a receipt of the transaction. Show that receipt to a man in a booth (no waiting!), he'll stamp your passport, and you're free to enter baggage claim. You'll finally yield that receipt to the customs inspection officers after baggage claim, with minimal bother and no queuing.