A Publication of Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

January 2019


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Live music, rich history

Memphis is not Nashville. It's not even close. It's 200 miles away from the other musical place you've heard of in Tennessee — and culturally, more like a million. It's night and day. It's on the river, not in the valley. It's city, not country. It's about the blues, soul and rock 'n roll. About howling, not yodeling. It's about bar hopping, Beale Street and barbecue and B.B. King. It's not a nice little vacation, it's a hell of a good time. It might be closer to New Orleans.

There are a number of must-dos in Memphis — Beale Street, Graceland, Sun Studios, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music — but there is more to the city than live music and dead musicians. It's the old south. Everywhere you look are museums, memorials, Victorian mansions and shotgun shacks. There's a real Dixie feel to the place.

Trophy room at Graceland

Trophy room at Graceland

Take a riverboat ride

Take a riverboat ride


It's city, not country. It's about the blues, soul and rock'n roll.

Then there is the river itself. The mighty Mississippi is a storied waterway and still vital shipping lane in America. It's worth seeing. There are miles and miles of public parks along the banks in Memphis. A good place to stop and take it all in is Mud Island River Park, which offers a model of the Lower Mississippi River, a Mississippi River Museum, a monorail, and an amphitheater. Beale Street Landing — home to riverboats, restaurants, a splash park and public art — is a better place to launch from for an afternoon on the river, and then a night on the town.

Memphis is not really a touristy place, it's more like a mecca. Thousands come through each year to hear the sounds of the city, or stand where luminaries like Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson, W.C. Handy, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and many others once stood.

You'll probably hear the heart of Beale Street before you see it. It's a lonesome sound. It's home to some of the best blues clubs in America, and on any given night you can be blown away by a rising young talent or famous performer. B.B. King's Blues Club is a popular choice. Blues Hall Juke Joint is another. But they're up and down the strip. You won't have any trouble finding one. Look for a happy, dancing crowd. In Memphis, sometimes the blues will make you jump and shout.

B.B. King's Blues Club

B.B. King's Blues Club

Mud Island River Park

Mud Island River Park

National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

What to see and
do in Memphis

  • Graceland


    The garish home of Elvis Presley is the top attraction in town for good reason. While you're there, you can pay your final respects. The King is buried out by the pool.

  • Sun Studio

    Sun Studio

    This humble little storefront is where American rock 'n roll was born. Artists such as Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King and Ike Turner, first recorded there in the 1950s, followed by the rockabilly dynasty of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and, of course, the King himself.

  • National Civil Rights Museum

    National Civil Rights Museum

    Memphis played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Housed in a building across the street from where Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, this museum tells the story.

  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music

    Stax Museum of American Soul Music

    The Memphis sound is more than blues and rock. It's funky. Tour Soulsville USA, where this museum sits on the site of the old Stax recording studio. Home to Otis Redding, Booker T and the MGs, Wilson Pickett, and Isaac Hayes' tricked out Cadillac.

See the Shockers
in Memphis

The Shockers will be in Memphis for the American Athletic Conference championship tournament, March 14-17. You should go, too.

See the Shockers in Memphis

End Plane

Rewarding Travel

Southwest earns points with Bonnie Tharp

Rewarding Travel Rewarding Travel Rewarding Travel

Travel is a hard cost. Bonnie Tharp, owner of Copp Media Services, has made it easy on herself and her business. She uses a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premiere Business credit card to accumulate points — massive amounts of points that amount to free travel for herself or for a companion. The other day, she did the math. She was sitting on 225,000 points.

She doesn't have to use them on herself. With the Companion Pass, she can fly her spouse, friend, family member, employee or anyone that she wants to for free.

Bonnie Tharp Quote Bonnie Tharp Quote Bonnie Tharp Quote
Southwest Companion Pass

One person flies free with the Southwest Companion Pass

"It's a really cool program that I don't think a lot of people know about," Tharp said.

The Companion Pass is available to Southwest Rapid Reward Premiere Business card holders that charge more than $100,000 per year to the card. Tharp says that is easy to do in her line of business, so using the card is an easy and rewarding decision.

"Half of our business flights are free," she said. "It's a real business perk."

Tharp is a frequent traveler and says she's taken about 20 round trip flights this year using the points or pass. And while she's doing that, she's earning more points.

"It's a great benefit," she said. "Plus, Southwest goes to some pretty cool places."

Tharp said she flies to Las Vegas several times a year, and also Phoenix and San Jose.

"When you don't have to pay for airfare, it makes sense to take a long weekend," she said.

And she does. Frequently. She's also used the points to help a friend during a family emergency and has donated them to local causes.

"I love it," she said of the card and points programs. "It's been a great deal for me. I think it would make sense for any business."

Makes sense for her family, as well. When Air spoke with her, she was planning her next Southwest flight.

"I'm taking my girls to Napa Valley this month," she said.

See all routes from Wichita on Southwest

Plan Your Trip

Bonnie's Favorite Travel Destinations on Southwest

Southwest Companion Pass

Napa (typically flying into San Jose)

Bonnie visits Napa as much as three times a year. "It's a chance to explore different wine and an opportunity to completely slow down. It is a place without tight schedules and feeling like you need to rush."

Southwest Companion Pass


This is a frequent stop for Bonnie for business conferences and leisure. "We're really not into the casino scene, we just enjoy the weather and friends." She's also a fan of the restaurants and says she's enjoyed some surprisingly good wine there.



Boston is in all the history books but rarely comes close to the top of the list of tourist destinations. Bonnie thinks it should. There is history on nearly every corner and the food is unforgettable.



It's a direct flight from wintery Wichita to sunny Phoenix from ICT. Bonnie finds that she makes the trip frequently, often for a long weekend. It's a great spa destination, and the golf courses and water parks are open year round.

How to get a Companion Pass

Southwest Companion Pass - Flights

Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights

Southwest Companion Pass - Points

Earn 100,000 qualifying points

Must be accomplished within one calendar year. Companion pass will be good for remainder of year and one full year following.

Cardholder Perks

2X points on Southwest purchases

2X points on Southwest purchases

6,000 bonus points on card member anniversary

6,000 bonus points on card member anniversary

Points never expire (as long as account is open)

Points never expire (as long as account is open)

First 2 checked bags free, $0 change fees

First 2 checked bags free, $0 change fees

End Plane

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Editor Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority
Creative Agency Greteman Group
Creative Director Sonia Greteman
Art Director Meghan Wolfe
Contributing Writer Barry Owens
Photography Heath Cajandig, Laura Gilcrist, H. Michael Miley,
Joseph Wigenfield, Carl Wycoff, Michael Gaylard,
David Jones, Adam Jones, Allan Grey

Eisenhower Air is published for the traveling public by the Wichita Airport Authority. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please direct them to Valerie Wise at vwise@wichita.gov. We also encourage you to share articles through social media and email. Help us spread the word about the good things happening at our airport.

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