The Friendly Skies

Tis the season for travel, air travel in particular. As families across the country brace for the inevitable long lines, security checkpoint hassles and the dreaded flight cancellations that come with holiday travel, it’s nice to know that if you are going to be delayed at an airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is actually a quite pleasant place to spend some time. Many recent additions to the airport restaurants, shopping and even its art displays, have helped take the hussle and hassle out of travel. (You can even enjoy live music through the end of the year, every Wednesday and Friday, through a partnership with McNally Smith College of Music and the MSP Arts and Culture Program).

Minneapolis-St. Paul International AirportEarlier this week, the Airports Council International-North America honored Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with two awards for its airport concessions: Surdyk’s Flights won first place in the Best New Food and Beverage Concept category, while MSP’s Concourse C Cart Program won second place for Best Specialty Retail Program.

Surdyk’s Flights, a locally owned restaurant and wine market exclusive to the Twin Cities, serves gourmet foods with fine wines, that travelers may enjoy with their meal or take along on their journeys. Its restaurant, complete with patio seating, is located in the heart of the airport mall in Terminal 1-Lindbergh. MSP’s retail cart program provides opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses to become involved in airport retailing. Recent changes expanded the program, while also allowing quick changes in concepts and product offerings in response to seasonal shifts and consumer demand. There are now seven carts in Terminal 1-Lindbergh and one in Terminal 2-Humphrey.

Other recent concession news at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport:

• Taco Bell is now serving all your favorites in the Airport Mall Food Court at Terminal 1.

• Pei Wei Asian Diner, located on Concourse C near gate C2, is now open offering inspired flavors from five Asian cultures.

• La Tapenade Mediterranean Café, located on Concourse F near gate F6, is an all-day café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So if it has been some time since you have traveled, remember to arrive early. Look for the Eat, Shop, Relax coupon book, available at all directory kiosks and information booths through the end of the year. And finally, don’t forget to download apps to your smartphone to make your time at the airport well spent. A couple of recommendations include B4YouBoard, which allows you to order food delivered to you directly to your gate as you wait for your flight, and goHow Airport, which provides real-time gate updates, parking lot availability, menus for MSP’s rull-service restaurants, and much more.

Also, MSP International Airport customer service representatives are a phone call away if you need any assistance, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day at 612-726-5555. Wishing you happy and safe holiday travels.