Airport News and Specials
 
Airport Welcomes New Police Chief
The History of The Christmas Tree
How to Book the Best Coach Seats Without Paying Extra
Get a Charge Before Your Flight
Cell Phone Waiting Area
Tips for Traveling with Foods
Airport Briefs
Low-Fare Specials
 Airport Welcomes New Police Chief    
VPS is honored to welcome Police Chief Andrew Johnson to our team. Chief Johnson has over 20 years of law enforcement and public safety experience. He has worked as a Supervisor over Special Operations, Sergeant, Police Investigator, and Patrol Officer for Gulf Breeze, Florida. His supervisor duties also consisted of overseeing the department's Marine Unit, High Liability Training, Firearms Training and Emergency Response Team.
 
In his previous position with the State of Florida, he served as a Law Enforcement Specialist/Consultant under a Florida Department of Transportation state and federal grant facilitated by the Florida Public Safety Institute. He was responsible for the 13 counties and 75+ law enforcement agencies of the Florida panhandle. This position required him to plan, coordinate and implement multimillion dollar grant projects, campaigns and operations.       
 
Chief Johnson is a graduate of Troy State University, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Leadership Academy and is pursuing a Masters Degree at Columbia Southern University.
 
He has been married to his wife, Cheri, for 18 years and they have a son, Trent, who is a freshman at Gulf Breeze High School.  
The History of The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree, like the one we have here at VPS, has been a part of Christmas celebration that dates back as far as the 16th century. The modern version of the Christmas tree likely originated in the Renaissance and early modern Germany, though there are several versions of the true source of the tradition. Typically, the Christmas tree is one of many varieties of evergreen. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity..."

 

By the mid-18th century the Christmas tree had spread throughout most of Germany and was popping up in Canada and the United States, but it wasn't until 1800 when George, III's queen, German-born Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, introduced the Christmas tree to Britain at a party she hosted. In 1982, Pope John Paul, II introduced the Christmas tree to the Vatican and by 2005, Pope Benedict XVI was referring to it as a part of the normal Christmas decoration tradition in Catholic homes.

 

FUN FACTS: The most commonly used trees are fir. It takes an average of 6-10 years for a tree to grow to Christmas tree maturity. Americans buy approximately 40 million cut-Christmas trees each year.

How to Book the Best Coach Seats Without Paying Extra   

You go online to make a airline reservation. Once you agree to the fare and go to the next page, it's time to book your seat. Then, what a surprise - the only seats available are in the rear of the plane and are middle seats! You're encouraged to hit another key and buy a premium coach seat for up to $40 more. How did that happen? Are planes really that full?  It turns out the airlines are actually holding back up to 40 percent of available seats when you book online. Luckily, it's easier to get around this than you might expect. The Internet works linearly, but if you have a conversation with an airline representative you have a much better chance at a good place to sit. For the best outcome, call at an off-peak time. - Peter Greenberg, CBS This Morning Report

Get a Charge Before Your Flight 

With the airlines easing up on their restrictions with respect to the use of personal electronic devices, you might want to top off your device with power before your flight.  Under numerous seats at VPS we offer free use of in-seat power stations located throughout the concourse.  Each is equipped with standard outlets as well as USB ports.  So, go ahead and get charged up and enjoy the use of Wi-Fi on us.  That is just some of the "convenience you expect," when traveling from your hometown airport.

Cell Phone Waiting Area
Motorists coming to the Northwest Florida Regional Airport to pick up arriving passengers will soon have a designated place to wait in their vehicles. Once the arriving party reaches the terminal sidewalk with luggage in hand, he or she calls the driver and the waiting motorist can be curbside within minutes to quickly pick up the traveler and be on their way. Cell Phone Lots were introduced after 9/11 because of security concerns over too many vehicles idling near terminals. The lots also help airports reduce emissions as cars don't circle around burning fuel and causing congestion. The airport recognizes that the cell phone waiting area provides an important service and helps to further fulfill the airports' commitment to take care of community's needs. Project completion projected for Spring 2014.  
Tips For Traveling With Foods 

Planning on taking holiday goodies along on your trip? TSA notes that you can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoints, but please be advised that they may be subject to additional screening. However, food items purchased after the security checkpoint have already been pre-screened and can be taken on the plane. For more information about traveling with food and other items during the holidays, visit www.tsa.gov

 Airport Briefs  
We use social media to respond to customer service requests and offer information about travel, TSA news, specials, weather & more.Stay up to date by following us on Twitterand "liking" the VPS Facebook page.   


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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides a helpful list of permitted and prohibited items to assist passengers with packing their carry-on and checked bags.
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