You don’t have to be a contestant on The Amazing Race to know that air travel can be extremely stressful. Even the calmest and level headed people tend to transform into harried, hurried monsters the minute they step inside an airport.
Flight delays, overpriced airport lounge cocktails, cramped leg room, the fear you’re going to be seated right in front of a colicky, crying baby. These are all good reasons to dread the entire flying experience.
In this post, we’re going to share some interesting airport facts — a few of which may even make you excited about traveling again!
Airports Are Increasingly Going Gourmet
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the options for airport meals were pretty limited. You could grab a fast food sandwich or a rubbery slice of pizza, or pay too much for a sit-down dinner of inferior quality.
Not anymore! The field-to-fork movement has moved from city centers to aviation hubs. A survey by RewardExpert found that Denver International Airport leads the pack when it comes to cuisine, citing the locavore eatery Root Down, Cru Food & Wine Bar, and Tapas Sky Bar.
Houston Bush Airport’s eateries came in first for vegan and vegetarian cuisine, surprising given Texas’s reputation as cattle (and BBQ) country.
No matter where you find yourself while flying out of Logan, you can indulge in delicious fish and shellfish. The legendary Legal Sea Foods now has five separate locations in the Boston airport.
Yes, It Is Possible to Relax in an Airport
At Newark International Airport, visit d_parture Spa for a relaxing massage. Many airports offer not just spas, but complimentary yoga rooms so passengers can do some down dog before they go up high.
If you’re waiting out a layover in Atlanta, Philadelphia, or DFW, you can book some nap time in a Minute Suite. Private rooms are available for a short snooze or just some privacy while you catch up on your favorite Netflix show.
Anxious about being airborne? If you’re at Miami International Airport, you can get some canine cuddles from trained therapy dogs to help calm your nerves. Their human companions can also direct you to your gate.
There’s More to Do Than Ever Before
Feel like a quick game of ping pong? Detour through General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, where tables and paddles await. When in Nashville, you can dance away flight delays while catching a live show at one of the airport’s six concert stages.
Airports are also increasingly incorporating art exhibits, usually by local artists, for passengers who are bored with scrolling through their smart phones. O’Hare is practically a destination in itself for families, boasting an aviation-themed playground, a life-size dinosaur replica, an actual fighter plane on exhibit, and a huge supply of LEGO bricks to play with.
Some Airports Are Famous for Their…Carpet?
No list of airport facts would be complete without mentioning the famous Portland International Airport carpet. It dates back to the 1980s — and it looks it — but for some reason the blue-green flooring has developed a cult following.
Although it was replaced a few years ago, the geometric design lives on. It’s been used for craft beer labels, Nike shoes, water bottles, many items of clothing, and even tattoos. The carpet has also been featured prominently on social media, thanks to the many Instagrammers who posted pics of their feet stepping back onto that hometown carpet.
Airport Facts Wrap Up
These days, airports are more than just transportation hubs. As these facts demonstrate, there is more to them than meets the eye. As a traveler, you should not just board your place or alight and leave. Take time to enjoy what else airports have to offer.
What are some of your favorite airport facts? Let us know in the comments!