Three Millionth Cookie Handed Out at Fort Wayne International Airport: A Sign of Travel Returning

Fort Wayne, Ind. – A more than 20-year tradition at the Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) will be celebrating a milestone. On Friday, June 26 the Fort Wayne International Airport and their volunteer Hospitality Hosts gave out their three millionth cookie to Holly Jones, a passenger arriving on a flight from Tampa/St. Petersburg.

Holly Jones arrived the Tampa/St. Petersburg flight and was randomly selected as the recipient of the three millionth cookie. She walked directly into a celebration and won a variety of prizes including FWA swag, roundtrip airfare for two on Allegiant, and a supply of cookies from Ellison Bakery.


As one of the friendliest airports, the cookie tradition at FWA serves to welcome passengers home, and welcome guests with their first experience of Fort Wayne’s signature hospitality. FWA’s delicious history dates back more than twenty years when the volunteer Hospitality Host program began in 1999 at the airport. One of the various duties of the Hospitality Hosts is to welcome arriving passengers with an individually wrapped, locally made cookie from Ellison Bakery.

“Welcoming passengers to Fort Wayne is our way of making each passenger feel welcome to our city with the “Hoosier Hospitality” and attention to customer service that FWA is known for,” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director of Airports. “We appreciate the continued partnership with Ellison Bakery as we celebrate this milestone.”

The Fort Wayne International Airport will also launch new cookies. Arriving passengers will now receive packages with miniature cookies with new flavors. New flavors include Birthday Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookie, which will rotate frequently for arriving passengers. The provider of the cookies, Ellison Bakery, is a locally made bakery that started as a one-man operation in a family garage in Fort Wayne.

While the FWA Hospitality Host program has been put on pause indefinitely due to COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution for the dedicated Hosts, passengers can still expect to receive the cookies they know and love when they arrive at the airport. A cookie kiosk is located right at the security exit and passengers may help themselves to a special “welcome to Fort Wayne” treat.


“The three millionth cookie is a tremendous milestone. Our Airport’s Hospitality Host cookie program is known all over the nation. The volunteers are a wonderful example of our famous Hoosier Hospitality when they welcome people to Fort Wayne with a warm smile and a cookie.” says Dan O’Connell, President/CEO of Visit Fort Wayne, the official convention and visitors bureau of Fort Wayne/ Allen County.

As the Fort Wayne community works together to safely reopen, the return of air travel will help shepherd the return of our tourism industry as locals start to travel, and as we welcome visitors to our destination. Tourism attractions have reopened with 50% capacity on June 14 and will open fully on July 4. Fort Wayne is seeing a return of visitors seeking outdoor adventures in the heart of the downtown along Fort Wayne’s three rivers, our nationally ranked attractions, and our celebrated food scene and public art.



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Visit Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to expand Fort Wayne's economy by attracting convention and leisure visitors. Each year, millions of dollars from visitor spending generate increased commerce, sustained jobs and enhancement of Fort Wayne's image.

Media Contact:

Jessa Campbell
Marketing and Communications Manager
Visit Fort Wayne
(260) 424-3700