For frequent flyers who hate peanuts and don’t buy their toiletries in containers of four ounces or less, there's hope yet: Later this month, a 13-foot-wide machine will be installed in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal A, near Gate 29. It's offered by a company called Shop24, and it will offer goods you might find at a convenience store. In short: Imagine Apu living in a Kwik E Mart machine.
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Pop in your coins, dollar bills or credit card and punch the numbers. The story says the machine will spit out 200 different products, from “phone cards, diapers, coloring books, and blood pressure monitors” to meal and snack kits by Dallas-based Oakfield Farms. One snack kit contains a “boutique mix of hummus, lemon-pepper tuna, organic chips and crackers, a cheese bar, and dried fruit.” Another gets you “hard salami, peppercorn cheese spread, organic apple sauce, kettle potato chips, chocolate cookies, and hearty wheat crackers.” Yum. The machine is designed to have “a variety of products not normally vended, both consumable and non-consumable.”
Owned by a New Zealand company, Shop24 has been popular in Europe for a while and has been installed in a couple of places in the United States. This will be the first one in an American airport. Supposedly the machine will offer items at a lower cost than the rip-off airport shops.
It’s fun to look at the top 50 items sold in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Coca-Cola is high on everyone’s list. The Belgians and Dutch like Snickers, but the candy bar doesn’t make the top 50 in France, where they prefer smoked salmon and crudités. (I would get the smoked salmon and the Snickers.)
What will make the DFW top 50? Prediction: Coke, Red Bull and Tylenol PM. After getting stoked on caffeine, it’s hard to catch some shut-eye in those uncomfortable chairs when your plane gets delayed for hours. --Glenna Whitley