Everybody has a different favorite thing that they like about the terminal. I do, too. It changes for me every time. Today it may be this, tomorrow it may be that.
What we hear from customers and passengers is that some of them are just blown away by the artwork, the beauty of the 330-foot-long glass sculpture that hangs from the ceiling in the great hall. How it changes colors, the light and the shadows creating a different experience each time you walk through.
Others point toward the history of aviation display on the mezzanine. That's a spectacular story. Then there are those who rave about the architecture, and the efficiency, of our security line. It's different than the rest of the building. It's a little island of neat, visual clues, and it calms passengers as they pass through.
Me? I can't pick a favorite. Ask again tomorrow.
Victor White, director of airports, Wichita Airport Authority
around here usually means a trip to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. But for one lucky couple it meant a trip to St. Louis, aboard Southwest Airlines, and a two-night stay at hotel just beyond the outfield.
Donald and Katrena Hess were winners of the Pack Your Bags contest sponsored by Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport and local radio station Q92.
The Hess family, including young Clara, made the trip on June 30 to watch the Kansas City Royals play the St. Louis Cardinals. They were given a warm welcome at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport by Brian Kinsey, the airport's assistant director for marketing and development.
"It was a neat experience and Clara's first flight," Katrena Hess said.
Hess said it was a treat to visit the city.
"The hotel near the ballpark was awesome — what an experience just walking across the street to the stadium and seeing the game," she said.
The game wasn't bad, either.
"The seats at the game were great," she said "The food and the opportunity to experience the game and atmosphere in the Bank of America suite was so cool."
Southwest's direct flight between Wichita and St. Louis made the trip a snap. "Coming back to Wichita from St. Louis was a breeze," Hess said. "We love the new Eisenhower Airport and the parking garage."
Topping it off, the Royals won the series. "What an unforgettable trip and experience," Hess said.
To book Southwest flights to St. Louis or anywhere that Southwest flies, book only at southwest.com.
Coming back to Wichita from St.Louis was a breeze.
So, quick, what to do in St. Louis? You probably guessed that the Arch is interesting. There's also Six Flags, and the St. Louis Zoo. And don't forget a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. But those are easy, touristy, on the beaten path. Here's a look at a few places that locals enjoy.
What was once the Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World's Fair remains today one of the nation's leading art museums. Collections include works from virtually every culture and time period, including pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries.
St. Louis' restaurant, shopping and arts & entertainment district is designated "One of the 10 Great Streets in America" by the American Planning Association. You should plan on checking it out.
Once home to the 1904 World's Fair, Forest Park today attracts 12 million visitors a year with world-class attractions and scenic walking and biking trails. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. You can't miss it.
Explore 79 acres of lush gardens, landscape architecture, greenhouses and conservatories at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the oldest of its kind in the United States. Wander through collections of plants, fountains and statuary. Then visit the Climatron for a real rainforest experience.
is a seasoned traveler and a free spirited one, ready for adventure to wherever, whenever.
"I call myself the queen of the four-day trip," Ellen, 25, says. "I know how to take off Friday through Monday and make the most of it."
She's been to all but three of the 50 states, traveled Europe and other distant lands and minor landmarks that appear on the map but not the travel poster.
"There are a lot of destinations that are well known," she says. "I go to places that aren't."
So it is that on a lark last August Ellen booked a flight to Portland, Ore. "I just thought, well, I've never been there before," she says.
Ellen has no friends or family there and only knew the city from its quirky portrayal on the TV series "Portlandia" and had heard that the locals make good coffee and craft beer.
That was enough to go on. She's a fan of all three.
She grabbed a friend, packed a bag, Googled things to do and landed in Portland with only the loosest of plans.
It is that spirit of adventure (and her endearing misadventures) that made Ellen a winner in the Eisenhower "What a Trip" Facebook contest. It asked entrants to share
a highlight from a recent trip where things went incredibly right, or incredibly wrong.
But Ellen says that sort of thinking is nonsense when it comes to enjoying the journey.
"When I'm traveling nothing bad happens," she says. "It's all in how you deal with it. Even the words "misadventure' or "ordeal' are not words that I would use, not how I would look at it. That is all part of the trip, part of the experience. You have to roll with it and make the most of it."
When I'm traveling nothing bad happens. It's all in how you deal with it.
Checked in to the Airbnb, hosted by a kind couple who invited to them to use the kitchen at any time and to help themselves to the fresh eggs from the hens in the backyard. They did.
Missed the first leg of a brewery bike tour on a sort of bicycle built for 10 that makes frequent stops at local breweries. Determined to miss no more, she and her friend ran 12 blocks downhill "sandals flapping, purses flying, looking ridiculous" to catch the bicycle, out of breath but laughing. "We were running, like really running," she recalls, "for beer."
Found themselves deposited by the bus at the edge of rainy and desolate Cannon Beach on a dreary day. The umbrella collapsed in the wind. "The sand was biting into our legs," she said. "Forty-mile-an-hour winds, you
couldn't even stand on the beach." The bus wouldn't be back for six hours. What to do? They found an open tavern that happened to be frequented by Coast Guard personnel. Charmed by their circumstances and that they had traveled so far ("They couldn't believe we were from Kansas"), the Coast Guard piled the travelers into their SUV and gave them a private, sightseeing drive on the beach. Then delivered them to the other side of town, over the hill, that was packed with people, cafes, shops and "everything we needed to occupy the rest of our day." The sun even peeked out.
They also found time for brunch in the city, dinner on the boat wharf, walking the river, hiking to a waterfall, a bridge tour and more.
"We definitely had beer and coffee every day at different shops," Ellen said. "That was a goal. It was one of the best weekends. We packed it full."
For sharing her story and winning the contest, Ellen scores a weekend getaway for two to Phoenix, one of Southwest Airlines' new nonstop destinations from Wichita.
She's been to Arizona, but hasn't seen it all.
"The first thing I thought when I heard Phoenix is, "I wonder how far away that is from the Grand Canyon?'"
Close enough, Ellen. We suspect you'll find a way to get there.
Think of a mountain town. Forests, lofty landscapes, nice climate, crunchy locals with a healthy glow. Add a lush river valley, mist, waterfalls, boats bobbing in the wharf.
Now paint in a charming city of brick buildings, bungalows, old bridges and new breweries. A walkable place with sidewalks cafes, storefront bookstores, museums, landmarks and world-class coffee houses. The kind of place where a go-getter could spend an entire weekend sightseeing and still not see everything. The kind of place where a more leisurely day could be built around brunch and a bike ride. The kind of place that seems like a nice place to visit.
Can you picture it? That's Portland. Imagine yourself there this fall.
Sept. 15-18, 2016
From food trucks to farm-to-table dining, Portland has quietly become a culinary capital. Foodies find delights any day of the week, anytime of the year. But over one weekend the international culinary festival, Feast Portland, lets you sample what the city has to offer and experience cuisine from culinary stars from around the world. In addition to events at restaurants all over town, you'll find happenings at Director Park, Pioneer Courthouse Square and the Portland Art Museum.
Portland is known as the "City of Roses," a nickname picked up in 1905 when it planted 20 miles of roses along its streets in preparation of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. Today, the city remains a place to stop and smell the flowers. Portland has the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. It's open every day. And it's free.
Once a fishing site for Indian tribes and a stopover for explorers Lewis and Clark, Cathedral Park remains a real beauty spot. Photographers flock to the park in fall to frame autumn leaves juxtaposed with the gothic spires of the St. Johns Bridge.
Waterfall, wildflowers and wide river vistas. The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most scenic views in all of the West. You don't even need a car to see the sights. You can book a bus or bike tour.
Southwest through Phoenix
United through Denver
Alaska Airlines through Seattle *
American Airlines is adding mainline service between Wichita and Dallas-Fort Worth — think large commercial jets with more room, more comfort, more seats.
The airline will operate two daily round-trip flights aboard an MD-80 Aug. 23-30 and three daily round-trip flights between Aug. 31 – Oct. 5. After Oct. 5, American Airlines will offer one daily round trip flight on mainline aircraft between ICT and DFW. American will also use a mix of regional jets in addition to the MD-80s for a total of six daily flights (depending on day of week).
The MD-80s have 140 total seats — 124
coach and 16 first class — and are equipped with inflight Wi-Fi and power outlets in select rows.
Aug. 23 - Oct. 5
After Oct. 5
*No operations Tues/Sat
The future seems to be constantly arriving at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. Beginning this month, travelers can receive proximity-based messages — special promotions, tips and deals — through their phones while traveling through the terminal, or parking their car in the garage. Most travelers make purchases while traveling through airports. The app will alert them to specials as well as important airport information, and their purchases earn them rewards.
Wichita Eisenhower National Airport will be the first designated "Smart Airport" to offer such a service in the central United States.
The service is through the Thanks Again app. Thanks Again is an airport loyalty program
that offers points and rewards for travelers. The app helps members find participating merchants and specials at airports across the globe. While walking through the terminal, Thanks Again members will receive notifications of special promotions and other messages directly on their smartphones, via Bluetooth.
The points can be redeemed for travel rewards, such as airline miles and hotel points. The Thanks Again rewards catalog now includes a TSA PreCheck voucher, Uber credits and 2-percent cashback options through a reloadable prepaid card. Better yet, there is no cost to sign up.
In Wichita, participating merchants include all airport parking facilities, Uber, all airport concessions, DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport and Subway at Yingling.
Sign up before Dec. 31, 2016, and earn 100 Thanks Again bonus points just for enrolling. Download the Thanks Again app and begin earning rewards today! The app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
|Editor||Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority|
|Creative Agency||Greteman Group|
|Creative Director||Sonia Greteman|
|Art Director||Meghan Smith|
|Contributing Writer||Barry Owens|
|Photography||Phil Ripperger, Katrena Hess, Explore St. Louis,Dean Hochman, Meg Rutherford, Ellen Von Hoene, Travel Portland, Angel Schatz, Dina Avila, Nashco, Visit Dallas, American Airlines|
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 email@example.com. 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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