The 2017 airport amenity honor roll includes a fresh batch of amenities, services and special events introduced and embraced by both airports and airlines who proved themselves to be both enthusiastic and creative in the quest to better serve air travelers on the ground.
Getting to the gate a even if you're not flying
Remember the good old days of flying, when friends and family could go with you to the gate to send you off, and when your loved ones could greet you with hugs and kisses when you got home?
9/11 changed all that, but this summer Pittsburgh International Airport worked out a unique deal with the Transportation Security Administration to bring that perk back.
Now members of the non-flying public who check in at a special MyPITPass (http://www.flypittsburgh.com/mypitpass) ticket counter can get a pass that gives them access to the gates, shops, restaurants and art offered by PIT airport beyond the security checkpoint. No other airports have yet been given permission by TSA to replicate this perk, but at PIT the service is quite popular and is being used by between 75 and 150 people a day, according to airport spokesman Bob Kerlik.
Back in 2014, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport opened the See 18 screening room near Gate C18 to showcase short films. This year, at least three other airports joined the in-airport movie fan club (https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2017/03/08/airport-movie-theaters/98869346/) as well.
In March, a 17-seat Hollywood Theatre "microcinema" opened at Portland International Airport, showing a round-the-clock program of short features made by Oregon filmmakers.
In August, a bank of old flight monitors at Miami International Airport (https://news.miami-airport.com/mia-vintage-video-project-takes-passengers-down-memory-lane/) began showing vintage film footage of the airport and of celebrities arriving the airport from the 1950s through the 1980s, courtesy of Wolfson Archives.
And in October, San Francisco International Airport unveiled a pre-security Video Arts Center in the International Terminal which features a rotating showcase of short films.
Many travelers are familiar with OTG's iPad-enhanced airport seating areas that allow passengers in many gate-hold areas to order food, drinks and products from nearby restaurants and shops to be delivered to them at their seats.
This summer two app-powered services, Airport Sherpa and At Your Gate, announced...