This week: food trucks, busy Atlanta, Google airport and more

This week we found a great mix of interesting airport news for you: there’s Atlanta (again), San Jose Airport with a private investor, a new foodie solution, an impromptu performance in Europe and a lesson from Hong Kong. Sounds intriguing? Read on!

Last week we wrote about Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport (ATL) winning the race for having the best services and amenities of any U.S. airport. This week word got out that the airport retains its title as the world’s busiest airport in terms of number of passengers and operations as reported by The Washington Post. We think, they do have a good thing going there as maintaining this position with awards in quality is definitely commendable!

Let’s move on to Hong Kong (HKG) where this week we got a lesson in terms of politeness in security checks when the South China Morning Post published an interesting “opinion article” about differences in handling passengers. According to the article Hong Kong’s security staff have the fancy braided uniforms to show that they are serious, but they also behave professionally, capably and politely. They don’t smash locks or pilfer luggage; if they are in doubt about a bag after a six-step screening, they invite the passenger to open it for them. The article compares many elements to the often harshly criticised U.S. TSA. It’s clear which side the writer favours, nevertheless, it makes for an interesting read.

Back to the States where this week we heard from Google and its involvements in airports. Plural? Well, just one for now – the Mineta San Jose International Airport in California (SJC). The San Jose Mercury News reported that San Jose airport officials urged the city to approve a deal with Signature Aviation and Blue City Holdings — the company representing the Google [aircraft] fleet — that would result in a privately funded 29-acre, $82 million facility on land that was formerly a parking lot on the west side of the airfield.

The final story from the United States from this week is all about food. Airport food. But this time not your usual fast food chains you find in every terminal, it’s about food trucks. Excuse me? Yes, according to an ABC News article the latest craze in airport dining is food that comes from a truck. Food trucks are big thing in the U.S. at the moment and the author of the article reckons that it was only just a matter of time until food trucks came to airports. The article then says that a few airports have recently brought food trucks to their cell phone parking lots. Orlando International (MCO) has six food trucks at its commercial lot and taxi staging area. One – Los Angeles International (LAX) – even has plans to build a structure that looks like a food truck in Terminal 4, rotating the offerings from the city’s most popular food trucks. But the author wrote that Tampa International (TPA) has the most robust offering as their program started in mid-November as a way to service the throngs of people waiting in the cell phone parking lot to pick up loved ones during the busy holiday travel season. We think, there’s more to come, maybe even from outside the U.S. – let’s see!

And to finish the week of, some music for your ears: Euronews brought us a superb video this week showing the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra staging a flashmob at ‘Henri Coanda’ International Airport (OTP) near Bucharest, Romania. The 40 musicians, disguised as pilots, cabin and ground staff, or even as passengers, delighted and surprised onlookers with a short recital of classical music. Here’s the video – definitely worthwhile watching!

That’s all for this week – safe, musical travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by stu_spivack]

  • Food trucks. I have one question. Does the airport keep any of the proceeds from food truck sales? If so, how does it work?
    Ralph Hood CSP, Airport Business

  • Good question, Ralph – I don’t know but will try to find out. My guess is they don’t but may collect some sort of license (parking?) fee.