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Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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Posts about Airports

Nursing a love of MSP

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: March 4, 2015 - 2:13 PM

Nursing mothers, take note. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport now has two new spaces in Terminal 1-
Lindbergh to privately pump breast milk.
MSP is a terrific airport. It’s loaded with local stores, healthful restaurants and plenty of places to power up. There’s also a Family Room, a quiet place with low lighting, a crib, a changing table and a rocking chair (near the entrance to Concourse E), a play area for toddlers and a nursing room (both in Concourse C). Now, the airport is upping its family-friendly vibe by adding two lactaction rooms, one near gate C12 and another near gate F2.  
“For nursing mothers, travel poses an extra challenge — where to comfortably collect their milk,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, via a news release. The new lactation rooms ease that, with sinks for cleaning equipment, electrical outlets and comfortable seating.
Like the nursing room, these are locked. To gain access to the Concourse F location, ask at the information booth across from Chili’s in the Airport Mall. For the Concourse C location, go to the booth across from Gate C12. Plans call for additional lactation rooms, including one at the entrance to Concourse E and, in 2016, a Terminal 2-Humphrey location.

Sidewalk sale at MSP

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: October 13, 2014 - 11:43 AM

Today marks the launch of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's sixth annual sidewalk sale, with airport shops offering deals. The sale runs Oct. 13-19, to correspond with the Education Minnesota-inspired long weekend break, typically a busy time at the airport.

More than 20 retailers are participating, including The Body Shop in the Airport Mall, tech store BluWire on Concourses C and F, and Uptown Minnesota on Concourse G. Many retailers offer shipping.

A few notes of caution: Only travelers with a boarding pass are allowed to area of the sale. And, given the week's surge in travel,please arrive at least 90 minutes prior to your flight, but allow more time if you plan to shop the sales.

TSA Pre-check envy

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: March 28, 2014 - 9:33 AM

Pre-check envy: A friend on his way to New York posted, “I love TSA Pre! I kept my shoes on and laptop in my bag and didn’t have to show my shaving cream.” A Facebook boast like that — when wait times at MSP demand we arrive more than two hours ahead of our flight ­— is akin to those selfies of legs on a beach chair with some warm ocean in the distance. It’s an invitation to envy.

Or maybe, it’s simply meant as encouragement to join the fast crowd, the one that skips the long lines at airport security checkpoints because the Transportation Security Administration has scrutinized their fingerprints and background and determined they are safe to board. 

Applications cost $85 (not refunded in the event you are not approved), which means that the outlay for my family of 3 would be enough to buy a round-trip ticket, at least during a fare sale. Besides, what’s the point of zipping through security if my family will wind along the security line for an hour? Of course, I could just wait for them somewhere. Say, Surdyk’s Flights, glass of wine in hand? If you want to join, too, go to www.tsa.gov.

At MSP, chariots await (for some)

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: November 25, 2013 - 5:27 PM

A Delta Air Lines program that whisks “high-value customers” from gate-to-gate in a Porsche has expanded to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. For the service, which started as a trial in Atlanta, a “Delta Elite Services representative” surprises select customers at the aircraft door and escorts them via a Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid vehicle  to their connecting gate. Delta says it is looking for ways to “enhance the travel experience for our most valued customers.” In this case, that refers to Diamond Medallion members, most of whom  have flown at least 125,000 miles.  “We’ve found a unique opportunity to surprise and delight customers,” Delta says.  Let’s hope those Porsche’s have horns so they don’t surprise other unsuspecting fliers in the process. 

McDonald's opening in late October at airport

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: September 30, 2013 - 11:32 AM

A press release from the Metropolitan Airports Commission revealed today what many hungry fliers had been waiting hear:

A new McDonald’s restaurant will open in Terminal 1-Lindbergh at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) by the end of October, bringing a familiar array of favorite fast, affordable foods back to the airport following a two-year absence.

"A new McDonald’s has been travelers’ most frequent restaurant request since that company’s contract with Delta Air Lines for stores on Concourse G expired two years ago,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “We’ve been working with McDonald’s since that time to find a suitable location for the restaurant’s return. I’m pleased to say that by the end of October, travelers will once again be able to satisfy their McDonald’s craving before boarding their flight.”

Construction crews are busy near the entrance to Concourse D building an 1,800 square foot store that will be open 24 hours a day and employ about 60 people, according to local McDonald’s owner/operator and Twin Cities’ McDonald’s Co-op member Courtney Henry.

"We're very happy to be back at the airport and extremely pleased that there has been such great demand for McDonald's to return,” said Henry, whose organization, Franchise Foods, owns eight other McDonald’s restaurants in St. Paul. “We look forward to serving the traveling public and MSP employees for years to come."

There will be Grand Opening offers available in the free November/December MSP Eat, Shop, Relax coupon book as well as on the Twitter feeds of the Twin Cities McDonald’s Co-op, @McD_Minnesota and the airport, @mspairport.

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