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Airport Security / TSA / Airports / BNA / RDU / MEM / AUS / CLE / TSA Pre-Check / → All Tags
We can all agree that airport security—at least in the United States—is kind of a pain in the rear. At this point we’ve pretty much become used to being patted down, scanned, zapped, and viewed through x-ray glasses. The TSA has made some improvements with expediting the whole process, and their pre-check program—or Pre✓ as they like to call it—is probably one of the best. It’s at a whole bunch of airports across the land, but their most recent update improves the options a little bit more.
In total there’s five new airports in which the program should be kicking off, and this will bring the country’s total to about 40 by the beginning of April. Austin-Bergstrom International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Memphis International, Nashville International, and Raleigh-Durham International are the ones on the schedule to get the airport security upgrade.
Airport Restaurants / Airport Dining / ABE / RDU / BWI / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
New restaurants seem to be popping up at airports across the country faster than we can keep track of them, so we took some time to check out some of the newest options. Here’s just a few of the latest establishments competing with Sbarro for your airport restaurant dollars:
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
All the good stuff is usually going down over at Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Terminal 2, but this week it sounds like some goodies are heading into Terminal 1. Local basketball fans—and travelers heading through RDU—will be able to participate in March Madness all year round, as an officially licensed restaurant from the Atlantic Coast Conference will be arriving sooner than later.
Joining the airport dining scene will be local burger place Char-Grill, as well as spots like Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina and La Tapenade Mediterranean Café. The new stuff should be arriving at the airport by spring of next year, and they’ve even got a new Starbucks on the constriction schedule as well.
If you love lemurs and want to see them in their native habitat, you’re going to have to get to the island of Madagascar, where the animals are natives. But if you can’t quite make it to Africa (or Sir Richard Branson's island sanctuary for them), there’s a pretty good plan B: the Duke Lemur Center, at Duke University in Durham, NC, not far from the Raleigh/Durham airport.
The center at Duke is home to the world’s largest sanctuary for prosimian animals, which includes lemurs, bush babies, aye-ayes, and other adorable creatures.
Airport News / Airports / RDU / Television / TV Travel / → All Tags
Despite having our share of mobile devices and streaming services we often still find ourselves gazing into the glow of the televisions in and around the airport. Usually it's some odd version of CNN where Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer is discussing—on mute of course—the day’s events. Well that’s about to change, as it looks like another company is getting ready to challenge CNN and their airport television dominance.
Clear Channel loves everything from radio stations to billboards, and now they’re going after the screens in the terminals and concourses. Their new ClearVision network will splice together bits and pieces of news, sports, and weather in hopes of grabbing your attention as you attempt to down those last few bites of airport food court cuisine. Networks like CBS, Fox, and NBC are even jumping on board, so maybe a few of your favorite programs will make the leap to the gate.
Airport Food / BBQ / AUS / MEM / RDU / Airports / Restaurants / Food Travel / → All Tags
We want to go to this sandwich...
No one wants to spend the long holiday weekend at the airport, but with these barbeque options it won’t be that bad. Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork will make it all better when you are forced to spend Memorial Day Weekend at the airport. Here’s three picks that are finger lickin’ good:
Salt Lick Bar-B-Que - AUS
It doesn’t take a true foodie expert to tell you that Texas has some pretty decent barbeque options, so it was no surprise to find Salt Lick Bar-B-Que within the West Food Court at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We’ve been on a couple of occasions, and always make extra time before our flight to grab a brisket sandwich. Smoked sausage and plenty of house made sauce are always good options, and they even throw in a spongy hunk of bread to sop it all up. Best of all they sell the sauce to go, so you can bring a bottle to the family cookout and be a hero.
Interstate Bar-B-Que and Corky's BBQ – MEM
There’s two awesome options from which to choose at Memphis International Airport, and we honestly cannot pick just one—so go ahead and try both. Up first is Corky’s near Gate A23. Pulled pork, ribs, and of course baked beans are all solid picks, but just make sure you save some room for option number two. Over in the Concourse B Rotunda is Interstate Bar-B-Que, and they’ve got whatever you didn’t get to try back at Corky’s. Ribs, brisket, and other pork parts are all available in all their smoky and saucy goodness. Just stock up on napkins—and antacid—before you complete your double dip of BBQ while killing your layover in MEM.
Airports / Airport News / RDU / Raleigh Travel / → All Tags
There’s been so many airport renovations and remodels around the country that we kind of forget what was going on at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. They finished off the second part of their brand new Terminal 2 earlier this year, but now they’re focusing their attention across the street to the dated—and one we find smelly—Terminal 1.
Airport officials are thinking that it will cost around $60 million to add all the niceties and upgrades to Terminal 1. Sure that sounds pretty expensive, but compared to the near $600 million they spent on the new Terminal 2—it’s just peanuts. Some of the features to get a facelift include the ticketing counters, security lines and baggage area. There will be glass elevators, a place to grab a coffee or snack before security, and plenty of translucent building materials to allow for some natural light. Architecture firm Pearce, Brinkley, Cease and Lee are still working on all the details, but the bulldozers are expected to roll through beginning this spring.
A few years ago, we got to take a sneak peek inside Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s brand new terminal, and since then we’ve been in and out of it several times and have always been pleased. However, we’ve been eager to see what was behind the construction wall, as the second half of the terminal has been under construction for quite some time. Well, over the weekend things finally opened up to traffic—and just in time too—as hockey’s best players and fans are headed to the North Carolina’s Triangle for this year’s NHL All-Star Game.
This time we’re not on hand to check things out for ourselves, but we’re expecting a mirror image of the first half of the renovated Terminal 2—which is a good thing. High, soaring ceilings allow for plenty of waiting space for Continental and US Airways passengers as they will no longer be stuck in the outdated—and kind of smelly—Terminal 1. All in all, the new place cost around $600 million to build, so it’s only natural to expect the best of the best.
Airport Food / Airports / Airport News / Food Travel / JFK / RDU / YVR / MKE / Pinkberry / Airport Restaurants / → All Tags
We’ve done our share of taste-testing at airports around the country, and we certainly have our favorites when it comes to the fancy and not-so-fancy options for airport eats. Now we have the official opinion when it comes to airport concessions, as Airports Council International-North America released their picks for some of the best eats within North America.
Top honors go to our friends north of the border in Vancouver, as the airport scored the overall award of excellence thanks to its 167 shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Officials especially like their different plazas and “streets” that feature all kinds of different stuff from British Columbia. We’re sure a healthy dose of Tim Horton’s coffee—with Timbits of course—helped out their cause a bit. We’ve only been to Vancouver’s airport once, so we can’t give a full review, but we did think both the pre and post security options were pretty darn nice.
Airport News / Airports / RDU / SNA / SFO / → All Tags
There’s many reasons to love airports. Sure we’re stuck in them more than we’d like, but they’re all unique and all offer an escape to somewhere else. That’s why we’re always on the look out for any airport activity or terminal trends. Here’s the scoop on three airport construction projects that you might run into sooner or later:
Airports / T2 at RDU / RDU / → All Tags
There's nothing quite like spending the day at the airport when you have no intention of flying anywhere. Yet that's where we were over the weekend as the Raleigh-Durham International Airport flung open the doors on its new Terminal 2.
Families, business travelers and dorks like us were all on-hand to check things out and figure out where to charge the laptop before take-off. (Answer: At the copious plugs found at every gate.) There was a pretty good turnout, and airport staff provided novelty boarding passes and event programs.
Airports / T2 at RDU / RDU / → All Tags
The new $570 million Terminal 2 at RDU will open in two phases. The party this weekend is in the North Concourse, which will have a dozen restaurants, 19 gates, two large art installations and seating areas with plentiful standard and USB power outlets. The airport is also planning family activities, live music and prize giveaways for the open house.
T2 officially opens on October 26, when American, Delta, United and Air Canada move in. Continental and US Airways are scheduled to join them by the end of 2011.