Nashville International Airport threw a party last week to celebrate the opening of a dozen new food, beverage and retail vendors. Nationally recognized chains such as Wendy's and In Celebration of Golf are mixed with Nashville-themed outlets including Discover Nashville Music City, the Nashville Zoo and Swett's, a branch of a local cafeteria-style restaurant specializing in Southern home-style cooking and a traditional "meat and three" menu.
The new shops and dining establishments are part of the airport's multiyear terminal renovation program. Plans include new concourse skylights, flight information panels, restroom improvements and the consolidation of eight existing security checkpoints into one single location with 11 checkpoints.
Airport pet stops increase
Pet owners in the Twin Cities will soon be able to take advantage of a pet boarding facility adjacent to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Animal Humane Society has won the contract to operate a 24-hour pet boarding and day care facility, with parking and shuttle service to and from the airport terminals.
The center will have room for 141 animals — 96 dogs, 30 cats and 15 smaller animals — and will offer its services to the general public, airport passengers and airline and airport personnel. In addition to pet day care, plans call for outdoor play and exercise areas, indoor play areas, training, a retail area and a large spa and grooming area with a pet therapy pool and massage. The facility is scheduled to open in October.
Other airports with nearby pet-boarding facilities include Jacksonville, New Orleans and Portland, Ore.; several others have projects in the works.
Delta adds New York-Tel Aviv route
Delta Air Lines dal has launched service between New York-JFK and Tel Aviv, Israel. Flights are on 767-300ER aircraft with up to 215 seats, and feature a special kosher menu onboard.
Delta already serves Tel Aviv from its hub in Atlanta.
The carrier is continuing its international expansion at JFK. Earlier this year, Delta added service to airports in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, with plans to have a total of 15 new overseas destinations by the end of 2008.
Welcome to the neighborhood
For years, Fred Rogers taped his Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood public television program in Pittsburgh, and this week, the City of Bridges is celebrating "Won't You Be My Neighbor Days."
Travelers can join the festivities by visiting the Mr. Rogers exhibit at Pittsburgh International Airport. Located in Concourse C by Gate 51, the exhibit includes one of the star's signature sweaters, a pair of his sneakers and several puppets and figurines from the Neighborhood of Make Believe, including King Friday, Queen Sara, Prince Tuesday, Henrietta Pussycat and X the Owl.
Fred Rogers, who died of cancer in 2003, would have turned 80 on Thursday, which is also the last day of the festival. This year, his birthday is being promoted as "Sweater Day," with event organizers urging everyone to wear a cardigan to honor Mr. Rogers.
C.R. Smith museum gets upgrade
The American Airlines amr C.R. Smith Museum, just south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, is celebrating its 15th anniversary with significant renovations inside and a giant mural outside.
Upgrades include the installation of a large-format high-definition digital-projection system in the 114-seat theater, a new historical walkway highlighting American Airlines' Flagship Service program and a redesign of the museum's History Circle.
The exhibit spans the airline's history from the 1920s to the present, and includes interactive activities and oral history stations where more than 50 airline employees and retirees share their stories. The museum is also home to the restored Flagship Knoxville, a 1930s-era American Airlines DC-3. Named for aviation pioneer and long-time American Airlines leader C.R. Smith, the museum has had 1.1 million visitors since opening in 1993.