Years ago, TV commercials for insurance giant Aetna featured the slogan, “Aetna, I’m glad I met ya!” This holiday season, some U.S. service members may feel the same way thanks to gift bags from Aetna’s local branch in Moon.
Each year the Moon branch selects a recipient for its holiday donation, according to Aetna Senior Analyst Lisa Cubellis, who helped coordinate the contribution.
“We recognize that our military gives so much to our country and we wanted to give a gift back,” Cubellis said. “We can see the runways from our office, so the airport felt like a good fit.”
The gift bags contain travel-size toiletries, which come in handy for the traveling soldier.
The airport’s Military Lounge, which was recently relocated to a new and improved space in Concourse C of the Airside Terminal, is available to all active, retired and former members of the U.S. military and their families. More than 10,000 travelers use the lounge throughout the year.
Along with amenities that include TVs, a quiet lounge area, and baggage storage, the Military Lounge offers free snacks and refreshments for its visitors and gift certificates to airport concessions, which are provided through donations from Hudson’s News and Gifts sponsors and the Allegheny County Airport Authority Charitable Foundation.
The space is staffed by volunteer Airport Ambassadors, who help to greet travelers and offer assistance. Ellie Masters, an Airport Ambassador who has volunteered for over 14 years, said service members appreciate the gift bags and other services.
“There’s not a person who comes in here that doesn’t thank us,” Masters said.
Lisa Kerttula, a frequent business flier and retired member of the U.S. Navy, visits the space a few times per month, along with several other airport military lounges. Kerttula especially enjoys PIT’s Military Lounge for its quiet location and great view of the airfield.
“It’s peaceful and it’s away from the busyness of the airport,” Kerttula said. “It’s nice to be recognized even when you are no longer active duty.”
And for Omar Johnson, an active duty combat medic for the U.S. Army, the lounge provides the chance to relax in a quiet space before flying.
“Some airports don’t offer that option,” Johnson said. “I like the fact that there are places for the military to go that are isolated.”
Pittsburgh International’s Military Lounge is located just past Gate C54 in the airport’s Airside Terminal.