This airport now lets warm-weather travelers check their winter coats
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Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is no stranger to offering innovative amenities for passengers.
MKE airport is home to Renaissance Books, selling used and rare books; plenty of shops selling Wisconsin cheeses and cheese curds; the Miller Brewhouse, with taps that allow you to pour your own beers; and the impressive Mitchell Gallery of Flight, an aviation museum celebrating Wisconsin’s flight heritage, which is currently under renovation. And because Milwaukee is the home of Harley-Davidson, MKE offers free parking for motorcycles (by baggage claim).
Now, just as the spring break rush is about to begin, MKE has rolled out a smart new amenity for travelers: a winter coat check. Located inside the recently opened Summerfest Marketplace in the airport’s pre-security concession mall, the coat check will store winter coats for travelers heading to warm weather destinations.
The Summerfest Marketplace opens at 3:45 a.m. to accommodate travelers heading to early flights and should be open until the last flights of the night arrive. Coat storage costs $2 a day, with a maximum charge of $10. MKE officials say there’s room to store as many coats as people want to leave behind. And, as you can see from this MKE Facebook post, coats are kept safe inside a locked closet.
Leaving your winter coat at the airport makes a lot of sense. It solves the problem of trying to stuff your winter coat into your luggage. It frees up space in the overhead bins on the airplanes. And it keeps you from looking silly when you get off the plane in, say, Cancun or Montego Bay in your T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and a big puffy coat.
While MKE may be the only U.S. airport currently offering this makes-so-much-sense service, they are not the first airport to do so. As part of its baggage storage services, Frankfurt Airport offers winter coat storage service from October through April for just €0.50 a day in Terminal 1, Concourse B. Korean Air offers a coat storage service at both Incheon International Airport (Terminal 2) and Gimhae (Busan) International Airport from December through February. Storage is complimentary for five days, with a charge of about $2 a day after that.
And for a short while back in 2014, there was high-tech coat check service in the JetBlue terminal at JFK. The service, which charged $2 a day and $10 for a week of coat storage, was advertised as a big improvement on “old-fashioned” coat check systems.
Here’s hoping a simpler version of that comes back and we have coat check service at more airports.
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