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Travel Rants / US Airways / Travel Hell / DEN / PHL / Airports / → All Tags
We know a good traveler has tons of travel horror stories to share, some of which are no doubt hilarious, but have you ever boarded the wrong flight? Jaunted Contributor Will McGough successfully failed recently in Philadelphia, finding himself on a flight to Orlando when he wanted to go to Denver. How can this happen? He gives his first-hand account:
In all honesty, I never thought it possible. I mean, really. Between the terminal and desk monitors, the ticket scanning, and general awareness, how the hell could you get on the wrong plane? So many things would have to go right, err, wrong, for it to happen.
Which is why I was so confused. Granted, I was running a little late, but I was on time. I checked the terminal monitors upon clearing security, and saw my flight, US Airways 483 from Philly to Denver, gate A10. Having only about 10 minutes until the gates would close (it was about 8:30ish, flight left at 8:55), I hustled up, slowing my pace upon seeing the flight information on the monitor behind the desk and a line still formed at the gate.
Airport News / Airport Dining / Airport Restaurants / MSP / DEN / TPA / ALB / MCI / SEA / CLT / → All Tags
HMSHost—you know them from airport restaurants everywhere—is teaming up some new up and coming chefs, as they just tapped the Culinary Institute of America for some new menu ideas. They held a little contest for some new and tasty recipes, and two students—Jessica Hargrove and Lauren Fury—came out on top. Among some other stuff their culinary creations will now be featured at airports across the country, so it’s time to dig in during your next layover.
The winning dishes are Toasted Flatbread Mac n’ Cheese and Chicken and Waffles, and will be available at select restaurants through the end of February. For those looking to indulge in the macaroni and cheese dish, you can expect the usually stuff piled onto a whole-wheat flatbread topped with candied bacon—nice. As for the chicken and waffles it’s pretty much what it sounds like, but there’s also white gravy, maple syrup, and green onions to top things off.
Animals / Airport Parking / Airports / Airport News / DEN / → All Tags
When it comes to cute critters on the internet it’s hard to beat kitties, but we have to argue that bunnies might be able to give felines a run for their money. Unfortunately the bunnies we’re talking about aren’t 100 percent cute, as apparently the bunnies that call Denver International Airport home have a little bit of a mean streak.
There’s quite a few rabbits living in and around the airport, but they’re getting a little frisky when it comes to checking out parked cars at the airport. They are getting a little too friendly with the vehicles, as they’ve started to nibble and chew on some vital components—like wiring and brake lines.
The US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services is already on the case, as they’re promising to remove any of the critters that are doing the damage. However, it might be a good idea to leave some carrots outside your car when parking at DEN—you know, just in case.
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As we explained when we went over the infuriatingly stupid debate on banning electronic cigarettes on airplanes, there's this famous Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and he has this kind of infamous theory on anti-smoking campaigns. The main argument is that there's something not quite right with our society, where we're pushing toward more permissiveness and legalization on one hand, but when it comes to smoking cigarettes the trend goes way, way, way the other direction. We pushed smokers into smoking-only sections, then we pushed them outdoors, and now we've even banned outdoor smoking in some places. With the e-cigarettes ban, the suggestion is that even water vapor as a substitute for smoke is too much for people.
In airports, where you can't go outside, the usual practice has been to confine smokers to closed lounges. If Zizek's right, we'd expect to see efforts to ban what remains of those lounges. Hey guess what?
Airport News / Airports / DEN / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Shopping around for an airport really isn’t an option. Sure you might have a couple that are convenient depending on your location, but you’re kind of stuck flying in and out of the one that’s the closest—or at least most accessible—from where you call home. However, if there was a way in which to choose something like an airport we’d probably make sure that it had some decent eats, clean and comfy terminals, and of course plenty of free WiFi. Now there’s one more thing to add to the list, and it’s called Saab Sensis Aerobahn.
This might be venturing into airport nerd territory, but we’re still excited to talk about it. Basically, Sensis Aerobahn is some new kind of high tech tracking system for airplanes at the airport. The browser-based surface management system knows where they are, where they are going, and where they are supposed to be. It can pretty much track planes through each and every step of the process while they are on the ground.
Airplane News / United / AIrline News / Airlines / Airplanes / Boeing / 787 / Boeing 787 / NRT / DEN / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / United 787 / → All Tags
There’s already a few Boeing 787 Dreamliners doing their thing high in the sky around the globe, but unfortunately still with no carriers from the nifty fifty...yet. That’s about to change sooner rather than later as United prepares for the arrival of their very first 787. Unfortunately the new airplane scent isn’t exactly going to be around for your summer vacation, but it does look like it won’t be too much longer.
They’re pretty excited over the arrival of the new airplane, as UA has already loaded in the seat map and started selling tickets for the very first 787 flights. If all goes according to plan—and that’s a big if—the factory fresh 787s will start flying between Denver and Tokyo-Narita beginning on March 31, 2013. We looked at some sample dates to get on one of the first flights, and you’re looking at around $1,750 or so—in coach—for about a week of Tokyo travel.
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If you’re flying through—or heading to—Denver International Airport any time soon you might just notice something you haven’t ever seen before. The airport is planning to install some kind of high tech advertising screens, and apparently they’re the first to get these new slices of sales-y technology.
Technically they’re digital LED video curtains, and the plan is to install them all over the airport—with a focus in and around the security screening spots. They’ll also be hung from some of the elevator towers in the main terminal, where they can welcome visitors but also inform passengers of the best deals on airport parking. They’re super thin—truly like electronic curtains—and super large, as the new screens are around 26-feet diagonally.
TSA / Airport Security / Airline Security / Airport News / ORD / DEN / MCO / PDX / Travel News / VIPR / → All Tags
In the name of giving credit where credit is due, we're hereby noting that TSA is considering maybe letting travelers over the age of 75 keep on their shoes and light jackets as they pass through security. The pilot programwhich will be launched Monday in ORD, DEN, MCO, and PDXjoins other experiments designed to speed the screening of trusted fliers, pilots, and children. They're all part of TSA's effort to move away from a one-size-fits-all model, which is quite laudable and so three cheers for slightly less stupid airport security.
But come on. Have we really gotten to a place where we need staggered pilot programs to evaluate whether it's OK to let grandma wear her beach flip flops as she shuffles, ever so slowly shuffles, through a scanner? It's definitely worth trying out, but it just seems so small.
TSA / Airport Security / Drug Travel / Crimes / DEN / → All Tags
Sometimes (most of the time) TSA agents make a point of being studiously straight-laced. That's more or less how we prefer our airport security officials, and we still reference this very matter-of-fact story from last year. Somebody was ejected from San Diego International Airport for refusing to choose between a full-body scan or a patdown. There's a job to be done; TSA agents intend to do that job; and they get sad and grumpy when you don't let them.
It's also worth noting that when TSA officials decide to show off their freestyle improv skills, things tend to go awry. Last October, a TSA agent searching journalist Jill Filipovic's checked baggage found a vibrator and left Filipovic a note encouraging her to "get her freak on." An angst-filled blogosphere firestorm immediately erupted and the agent was duly punished. We personally weren't really offended because we suspected that the note might be a failed attempt at being sassy.
Now a TSA agent has left another destined-to-go-viral note in another piece of checked luggage. We anticipate that, in contrast to the incident with Filipovic, the Internet will respond with something less than outrage.
For football fans—and those who enjoy a juicy steak—one of the best airport restaurants is now on the drawing board. Former NFL great John Elway—quarterback of the Denver Broncos—has a couple steakhouses in the greater Denver area. Apparently the restaurants—known as Elway’s—are pretty popular and very tasty, so the plan is now to expand Elway's to the airport.
There’s still a lot of paperwork to be completed and plans to be finalized, but it sounds like Denver International Airport is getting ready for plenty of steak and excited for the opening late next year. The plan is to build the restaurant in and around the existing United Airlines gates within Concourse B.
Of course we were thinking about how the steakhouse is going to handle the lack of metal knives after security, but they’re not too concerned. One member of the restaurant group commented on the tenderness of a steak from Elway’s remarking that cutting one of their steaks doesn’t require a knife. However, if you need one, they do have plans to source some pretty descent plastic knives.
Airline Mergers / Airport News / CLE / DEN / SFO / Airports / Airline News / United / Continental / Airlines / → All Tags
United and Continental have slowly but surely been aligning their services over the last few months, and they’ve been doing so through goodie giveaways, updated apps, and of course plenty of new signage. We were checking out the changes at Chicago-O’Hare at the beginning of the summer, but now as the season is winding down the changes have begun elsewhere.
Upgrades and updates have arrived in San Francisco, as they got their new signs and stanchions in the middle of July. You still should check-in with United for their flights and with Continental for their flights, but the new branding has certainly arrived.
Airport News / Airports / DEN / FAT / IND / Indianapolis Travel / Green Travel / Technology / → All Tags
Dear airports: it's about time you started exploring the possibilities of alternative energy, like solar energy via solar panel farms, for instance. The Indianapolis Star reports that, like Fresno-Yosemite Airport and Denver International Airport, the Indianapolis Airport is outfitting itself with the latest in solar power in a bid to generate "10 megawatts of electricity an hour -- enough to power up to 6,000 homes." There's just one problem here; the airports aren't using the energy to power themselves, but selling it to the grid in a bid to make cold, hard cash. it's estimated to pull in some $190 million just at Indianapolis over the next 30 years. That better become one bangin' airport with all that moolah.
It's actually a pretty genius ideathat the fancy airport Sbarro's from which you're ordering was partially funded by the sunand empty lots of land or unused runways are now being given a somewhat altruistic purpose. Homes get energy, airport gets money, and fossil fuels are eliminated from the equation. Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-bah.