At a great food airport, it’s back to future

The people have spoken: At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport — known as one of the best food airports in the world — an old favorite is coming back by popular demand.

Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said the most frequent restaurant request of travelers in the past two years is being fulfilled. Great, right?

Depends on how you feel about McDonald’s. The purveyor of fine comfort food is coming back to the Lindbergh Terminal (now called Terminal 1) by the end of the month.

McDonald’s had been prominently situated on Concourse G until its contract with Delta Air Lines expired. Hamiel said the airport has been working to find a new spot ever since, settling on an 1,800-square-foot space on Concourse D in the same neighborhood as Ike’s Food & Cocktails, French Meadow Bakery and Starbucks.

The Terminal 1 McDonald’s is expected to be open 24 hours a day.

Another Surdyk’s

If you’re ambivalent about the return of Ronald McDonald, maybe this will light you up: Surdyk’s Flights Wine Market & Bar — which has some good food, too — has a new sibling in the Humphrey Terminal (Terminal 2).

Earlier this month, I was teased by what looked to be a fully stocked, but not-yet-open, oasis in the generally bereft Terminal 2. Even the wine-bottle chandeliers were in place. No joy, though.

Now the new Surdyk’s Flights is open to serve passengers on Southwest, Sun Country, Spirit, AirTran and Icelandair.

The new Surdyk’s will open earlier than its Lindbergh sister with a more robust breakfast menu to accommodate Terminal 2’s more common early flights.

About Southwest

I don’t fly it a lot. But every time I do I remember why so many travelers are avid fans.

Southwest’s unique boarding procedure is so logical it almost glitters. Its add-on fee schedule makes sense. And the airline’s gate and cabin crews are pleasant enough, sometimes even entertaining. The whole vibe is “we’re all in this together, let’s let a little humanity into the process.”

During a late-night weather delay in Chicago on the homeward leg, the airline kept passengers informed, which in turn kept the passengers from harassing anyone in a uniform for information — a common consequence of such silence.

There’s a lot for other major airlines to learn about good, solid basic service from Southwest.

What does Southwest needs to learn? Just one tip: The mobile app needs digital boarding pass technology more than it needs a interface to sign up for your frequent-flier program. Finding a computer and printer for use on the road is a pain.

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Lisa Schwarz

About Lisa Schwarz

By day, I'm a St. Cloud Times editor guiding coverage of politics, government, public safety and business beats. By night, I'm leading the cubicle jailbreak as the Times Traveler. Follow me on Twitter at and on Facebook at
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