Years ago, it used to be the only things you could buy in an airport vending machine were candy, soda and cigarettes. Well, the cigarette vending machines went the way of the dodo decades ago. Drinks, candy and snack vending machines are still alive and well, of course, but depending on the airport, they’re oftentimes now in the company of several other vending machines that contain items that, unless you were in Japan, you normally wouldn’t think would be sold that way. Like these…
If travelers at Boston Logan International Airport find the Automatic Apparel vending machine, they can buy last minute “I forgot to bring” stuff such as T-shirts, socks, ballet flats, underwear and toiletries.
Vending machines that sell Flat Out ballet flats are available at Atlanta Int’l airport, for when ladies are having a shoe emergency and need fashionable, durable and rollable flat shoes.
The Japanese brand Uniqlo is a casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. They’ve been enjoying more and more of a presence in the U.S., and have vending machines in close to a dozen cities in the U.S., including in some airports (Oakland and Houston included), with items that rotate seasonally, from shirts to vests to (yes, really) winter coats.
Austin-Bergstrom has a Briggo Coffee “Coffee Haus” that’s 100% robotic. We tried it during our visit last summer – here’s what we thought of it.
Healthy food options at airports are limited, and even more so if you’re on the go. Farmer’s Fridge has vending machines at O’Hare Int’l Airport that include fresh options for breakfasts, salads, bowls, sandwiches, snacks, proteins and drinks. The vending machines are replenished nightly.
Benefits Cosmetics has vending machines in 28 airport locations. Shaped like a pink bus, it sells mascara, facial powder, pore cream, etc.
You’ve been hearing about it for years and maybe you’re even a customer of theirs. Anyway, Dollar Shave Club has a vending machine at LaGuardia Airport.
You know who else has a vending machine at LGA? CVS. Whether you need toothpaste, Ibuprofen, something to help you sleep, or a whole lot more, this vending machine may be able to help (by the way, McCarran International Airport has a pharmacy vending machine, too – it’s not CVS, but it sells similar kinds of stuff)
If you’re having a nail emergency or just want a color change, Essie vending machines, located at McCarran International, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oakland and JFK Int’l Airports has your back – they sell 48 different shades of nail polish.
Actress Jessica Alba owns The Honest Company and has teamed up with Zoom Systems to provide airports with a vending machine that offer baby products. You can find diapers, wipes and rash cream at their locations at Dallas/Ft. Worth, JFK, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Hartsfield-Jackson and George Bush Houston International Airports.
Max-Well vending machines, which can be found at Raleigh-Durham and JFK, offer things to make you feel better: relaxation and stress relief products, remedies for headaches, sinus, cold and flu, and even compression socks (not only can they potentially prevent something deadly while flying, they can also stop the dreaded Disney Rash!).
As if the infomercials weren’t enough, Proactiv face care products can be bought from vending machines in airports all around the country. Their website doesn’t tell you where they are though, so I guess you’ll just have to be surprised.
Best Buy – it’s not just a big box store anymore. They have airport vending machines that sell Beats By Dr. Dre headphones, iPod Touches, and cell phone chargers.
Fuel Rods are lipstick-sized batteries for your cell phone and once the charge has been spent, you can trade it in at a Fuel Rod kiosk, or recharge it yourself. They first became popular at Disney parks, but now can be found at about 35 airports, as well as other public places, as well. Although they sound super convenient, I’d suggest you read this before considering buying one.
Skyroam WiFi hotspots are for sale in vending machines at San Francisco International, George Bush Intercontinental, McCarran International and Hartsfield-Jackson airports. You have a choice of 3G and LTE.
Straight Talk prepaid cell phones are available at several U.S. airports, including Oakland International. They have a list of locations on their website, but it’s from 2013. Not sure how accurate it is.
Not surprisingly, all of the large airports in Japan have lots and LOTS of vending machines that sell sim cards. All different brands, all different amounts.
Some airports have stuff for sale in vending machines that, well, I don’t know what category you’d put them in 😉
Established in 2014, SouveNEAR is a vending machine company that seeks out and showcases local artists who capture the vision of their cities. So whether you see a Souvenear vending machine in Kansas City International, Newark Liberty, Oakland International or Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, you’ll be able to find city-specific stuff made by a local artist.
And finally, the one I think is genius. 3FLOZ has vending machines in eleven airports across the country and they sell 3.4-and-smaller containers of aromatherapy, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary