Sometimes Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) and other airports around the country will point to a major promotion – such as lower fares to certain destinations – that really entice people to fly in and out of that airport.
At other times, those perks can be minor. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Jan. 8, PTIA publicized a very minor perk for using the airport: the fact that you can get, free of charge, PTIA trading cards.
Who knows? One day in the future a PTIA trading card may bring in close to the $3.12 million that a 1909 Honus Wagner card once did. OK, probably not, but travelers can still have fun – say, by trying to collect a card from every airport in the country, etc. Also, the card designs may change every year, so a collector might want to acquire and show off a card for every year for certain airports.
The prices for PTIA cards aren’t astronomically high yet. One older PTIA listed card on eBay, for instance, has a seller’s asking price of $1.99 but currently has no bids.
PTIA’s January newsletter makes note of the very little known practice of airport trading cards and states, “Did you know that airports have collectible trading cards? PTI Airport is a participant in the North American Airports Collectors Series (NAACS). The NAACS is a trading card program for airports that are members of the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), which includes airports in the United States and Canada.”
The newsletter goes on to note that the trading card program has expanded to about 80 participating airports, and the members of the program range from very small airports to very large ones.
The front of the card is often a picture of the airport or some key feature of it and, on the back, there will be information and stats about the airport.
According to PTIA marketing officials, the idea started “due to aviation fans and collectors’ requests for airport memorabilia.”
Who knew the airport industry had such big fans?
Or even “fans” at all for that matter.
PTIA designs its own cards and, according to PTIA officials, the great thing about the program is that the cards don’t cost much to make but travelers seem to really enjoy collecting them.
In 2019, PTI’s trading card was updated with a rendering and information about the new FAA Air Traffic Control Tower now being constructed at the airport. According to the airport’s newsletter, “This subject was chosen because the new tower is a symbol of the growth and prosperity of our airport, and big things to come for PTI in the 2020s.”
Some High Point and Winston-Salem-based card collectors may not like the fact that the new and older versions of the card have “GSO” plastered across the front in big letters.
You don’t even need to take a flight to get one. A PTI trading card can be picked up free of charge at any information booth at the airport.