The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is a lot like most other airports. I mean, it’s got planes. And restaurants. And places to shop. But it’s got one thing going on right now that I don’t think you can see or do at any other airport in the country.
You can take a selfie with an alligator.
Airports in San Francisco, LAX, Miami, San Jose and other places have therapy animals to help passengers de-stress. But none of them – NONE OF THEM! – have alligators!
On Friday afternoons, the Audubon Nature Institute is currently bringing live alligators to the baggage claim area (Bag Belt 6) so people can take selfies with them and, if they want, to (carefully and gently) touch them, all in the name of enhancing the passenger experience. The program is called MSY Gator Selfies.
The gators are all babies – usually 1 to 3 years old and about as many feet long. They’re used to being handled and get frequent breaks.
Through the new partnership, the Audubon Nature Institute aims to offer travelers “an up-close, hands-on experience with one of the most recognizable inhabitants of Louisiana’s wetlands,” said Katie Smith, spokeswoman for the Institute.
The gators and their handlers are there from 1:30pm to 3pm, and besides the selfie and petting opportunity, the Institute’s educational team hosts a display table that has artifacts and other items to tell the story of animals (nutria, raccoons, opossums, etc.) that live alongside alligators in Louisiana’s wetlands. So it’s informative and entertaining. a.k.a. Infotainment 😉
There’s no end date for this program at this time, and when the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport opens in 2019, the program will transfer there.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary