(Topic ID: 245214)

What happened to airport pinball machines?


By Dooskie

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 38 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Dooskie
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    AA5FDCFC-50CA-4DF0-9139-C7D187C84727 (resized).jpeg
    A678712B-36CB-4978-89A2-13F3A7559D87 (resized).jpeg

    #1 4 months ago

    I haven't done a lot of traveling the past few years, but recently acquired a second golf course. So now with having a course in Maine and a course in Washington state, I'm making cross-country flights every couple of weeks (yeah, I know, I could have tried to pick two courses that were a little further apart).

    Over the past month, I've been to airports in Bangor, Philadelphia, Newark, Dallas and Seattle. With layovers, I've always had enough time to search out the airport arcade in hopes of playing a couple of games of pinball. So either I'm really blind (which I might be), or there doesn't seem to be any airport arcades or airport pinball machines to be found. When did this happen? Several years ago, when I was traveling a lot, there were always machines set up in Minneapolis, Detroit, etc. I was both surprised and disappointed this has changed.

    Are they all gone, or am I just missing them?

    #2 4 months ago

    It seems to me that operating games in an airport now would be a big pain in the ass. (Operators stop me if I am wrong here) Bringing tools in and out of airport has to be nauseating with all the security. I cant imagine moving games in and out, parking, getting the special security clearances for sterile areas ect... but I am sure it all hinges on the all mighty dollar.

    #3 4 months ago

    I am going to try & look for the two that have been posted here on Pinside @ Orlando Intl. when I travel in two weeks

    #4 4 months ago

    The space in an airport is premium and pinball does not generate enough revenue to justify the cost.

    #5 4 months ago

    Stern just posted about an airport that had a large arcade. Can't remember which airport, check their Facebook

    #6 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinballplusMN:

    The space in an airport is premium and pinball does not generate enough revenue to justify the cost.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m naive as a pinball diehard, but I could see pinball generating much more revenue than half the things I see in airports. Besides the fact that you walk through lots of empty corridors with enough space for a pin, even with the space that’s used, I see no one getting their shoes shined or using the overpriced electronics vending machine... and do they really need the 43rd Hudson news, or could they live with just 42 in each airport?

    #7 4 months ago

    I just Flew through San Francisco this morning returning from a trip to Melbourne. I caught a glimpse of this in a display of 30s 40s 50s and 60s electronica items. It’s not on for play but it is fun to look at!

    A678712B-36CB-4978-89A2-13F3A7559D87 (resized).jpeg
    #8 4 months ago

    TF Green airport in RI has 3-4 new Sterno pros in their arcade

    #9 4 months ago

    I have very fond memories of killing lots of time at the airport on pinball. But like a lot of things this will only live on as memories.

    I think smart phones have as much to do with this as anything else.

    #10 4 months ago

    Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids did have some, no idea if they still do.

    #11 4 months ago

    Also prior to 911 access to airports was much different. Back in the day you could see your visitors to thier plane and wait the whole time with them. More quarters inserted.

    Now I have to drop my mom at the curb whereas I used to see her off.

    #12 4 months ago

    I will be at Tampa airport tomorrow if anyone knows of games there.

    #13 4 months ago

    I criss-cross the country quite a bit checking up on my golf courses too. I have never seen a pinball machine in an airport though - ever.

    One of the above statements is false.

    #14 4 months ago

    I expect to find the arcade out in the main terminal, but the Boise Idaho airport had TWD near the Delta gates, the last time I was there. Looks like TAF, TSPP, and GB now.

    #15 4 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    I have very fond memories of killing lots of time at the airport on pinball. But like a lot of things this will only live on as memories.
    I think smart phones have as much to do with this is anything else.

    Right. Nobody is gonna stop playing with their phone to kill time by messing around with some broken pinball machine to kill time.

    #16 4 months ago

    Cell phones......peeps are too busy playing 'candy crush' for free to worry about feeding quarters to a pin....

    #17 4 months ago

    I fly at least once a month for work doing the trade show circuit and can't remember seeing pins at any of the airports I frequent.
    Some of them have small "arcade" sections, but that usually means they have some kind of crane machine, a couple of linked sit down driving games and a Galaga/Ms.Pac-Man reunion.
    I would love to be able to play pinball while waiting for a flight, especially if I have a long layover.
    I suspect its probably more profitable for an OP to put a pin in a bar than an airport.

    I wonder if the post 911 era has anything to do with it?
    All the security protocols that have been put in place in the last 15 years it may have something do with it.

    #18 4 months ago

    Boise's airport still has pins as confirmed above.

    #19 4 months ago

    Both Edmonton and Calgary airports have pins in them. Although usually beat up/barely playing.

    Agree with everyone else with cell phone comments.

    #20 4 months ago

    You never see pins at truck stops anymore either ... If you dont have a beard and drink craft beer good luck finding one.

    #21 4 months ago

    Here in Las Vegas about 8 years ago they were taking the smoking lounges out of the airport and it became known that the Department of Avaition was looking for proposals to fill the space. Being young, and full of piss and vinegar, the LVPCC considered putting pinballs in these spaces.

    We decided not to for several reasons. First was the hassle of getting in and out of the airport as a vendor. Having an I.D. badge, waiting in line to have your truck searched or eyeballed and then marching with tools to remote terminals.

    But the main problem we had was with the poor quality of current production NEW equipment. It is one thing to replace brand new coils because a substandard lug snapped in half in an arcade setting where we are already there with tools and parts waiting. It is vastly more expensive to send a human and a truck at 65 cents a mile and 15 dollars an hour because corners were cut athe factory to save PENNIES in bill of material. (Even if volunteers are not paid, their time has a value and must be factored into any consideration.)

    Another large problem is the lack of flexibility of the United States current coin payment system. A quarter just does not buy enough of anything these days to make many new pinball ventures pencil out. Putting in mulitple coins to get to a realistic price for your product is bothersome to the customer and time consuming for the operator. WE NEED A DOLLAR COIN THAT WORKS...SOON! Sure, we could go to bill validators on the doors or swipe card systems but these are both much more expensive to install and prone to failure.

    Also a huge problem is an unrealistic reveune split of 50/50. This might have worked long ago when equipment was, even adjusting for inflation, much cheaper. Black Knight cost 2345. Black Knight Sword of Rage is 6000. Do the math.....

    I have many fond memories of playing pinball at the Airport in Michigan as a twisted youth. I know for a fact that people waiting for a plane would LOVE to waste time and money on flippers. They are a classic captive audiance. Until the economics improve, it does not seem likely.

    #22 4 months ago

    I remember when Indianapolis International had a gameroom w/6 or more pins back in the mid '70s when it was known as Weir Cook Municipal. My dad's office was just minutes from there and on the rare Saturday when he had to go in for an hour or two I'd tag along, we'd eat lunch at the airport and I'd play a few pins afterwards.

    Haven't been inside I/I in 30+ years now; wouldn't be surprised if none of that exists there anymore.

    Those were the days . . .

    #23 4 months ago

    Pinball in an airport is just one of those ideas that just never...wait for it... took off.

    #24 4 months ago

    Boise has guardians of the galaxy pro, taf and tspp (outside security). Usually in great condition. I look forward to getting to my flights a bit early...

    #25 4 months ago

    I remember around 1970 people would go to MSP for the pins.

    Those areas are now inside the secure area. I'm sure that helped their demise. Only people flying can play, and near impossible to rotate games or service them.

    LTG : (

    #26 4 months ago

    I guess pinball just isn't on their radar.

    #27 4 months ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    Pinball in an airport is just one of those ideas that just never...wait for it... took off.

    I see what you did there!

    #28 4 months ago

    The airport in Bismarck , North Dakota has TWD in a small game room inside the secure area. It's not in good shape and apparently no one is interested in maintaining it. Though I'm sure someone is there to empty the coin box weekly.

    #29 4 months ago

    Here’s one...... oh nm....

    AA5FDCFC-50CA-4DF0-9139-C7D187C84727 (resized).jpeg
    #30 4 months ago
    Quoted from N101AA:

    The airport in Bismarck , North Dakota has TWD in a small game room inside the secure area. It's not in good shape and apparently no one is interested in maintaining it. Though I'm sure someone is there to empty the coin box weekly.

    It's been awhile since I've been through security at the bis airport. Last time they had 3 pins, all in poor shape. Weak/broken flippers. Dmd's didn't work in two, and filthy, etc. Tried playing a game on each but walked away disappointed.

    #31 4 months ago

    When I was very young they smoked on planes.

    No big deal. Turns out. It was sort of a big deal...

    #32 4 months ago

    Smoking was allowed on planes when I flew for work. In the USA, into the early 1990's and international flights about the mid-90's.

    #33 4 months ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    We decided not to for several reasons. First was the hassle of getting in and out of the airport as a vendor. Having an I.D. badge, waiting in line to have your truck searched or eyeballed and then marching with tools to remote terminals.

    I rest my case.....

    #34 4 months ago

    I can't remember what airport I was in, but it was a few months ago, and they had some newer Sterns. I played Iron Maiden and it was awesome. Was it in Baltimore?

    I also only had like 15 minutes to spare so I can see how it could be a bad location as you needed to be flying to play, and you probably only had time for a game or two.

    #35 4 months ago

    Airports used to be a fun place. On 9-11 that changed permanently in America. (And probably in many other places.)

    We used to be able to see off our guests, and frequent the establishments there.

    I remember as a child, going to the observation level at Detroit metro. It was a treat for a poor ass kid like me. A real Treat.

    All Closed now, no observation deck anymore if I am correct.

    Sadly, And then we hear how bad security is despite our inconveniences. Missed checks.

    Vigilance. No fun in the airport! It was fun once. I can see why there are no pins there. In lax or John Wayne or ontario or any others here in OC.

    Long beach airport also no pins.

    #36 4 months ago

    The Akron-Canton airport had a POTC for years in the back terminal. I always would get there early to play on it. Last time I was there it was no longer . It was actually well maintained and played great.

    #37 4 months ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    I remember as a child, going to the observation level at Detroit metro. It was a treat for a poor ass kid like me. A real Treat.
    All Closed now, no observation deck anymore if I am correct.

    The L. C. Smith (not Lenc-Smith) terminal that had the observation deck has been closed for about ten years now. Even when opened since the mid '80's, the deck was changed to school group tour use only.

    #38 3 months ago
    Quoted from pinzrfun:

    I criss-cross the country quite a bit checking up on my golf courses too. I have never seen a pinball machine in an airport though - ever.
    One of the above statements is false.

    so tell me about your golf courses that you check up on. I own one in Maine, the other I am leasing in Washington state.
    https://www.facebook.com/hiddenmeadows/?ref=bookmarks
    https://www.facebook.com/golfvillagegreens/

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 8.99
    Lighting - Other
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    $ 75.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    DBC Pinball
    $ 109.99
    $ 119.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 5.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Doc's Pinball Shop
    $ 5,799.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    $ 269.00
    Cabinet - Other
    PinGraffix Pinside Shop
    $ 30.40
    $ 39.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 430.00
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    MI Pinball Refinery
    From: $ 6,499.00
    Pinball Machine
    Great American Pinball
    $ 14.50
    Electronics
    PinballElectronics.com
    $ 22.00
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 209.99
    Lighting - Led
    PinballBulbs
    $ 125.99
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Little Shop Of Games
    $ 369.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 90.00
    Lighting - Led
    Geeteoh Electronics
    $ 44.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lermods
    $ 88.00
    From: $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 35.00
    Electronics
    Yorktown Parts and Equip
    $ 89.00
    Cabinet Parts
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    From: $ 149.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Sparky Pinball

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside