In airports news, Boston Logan finally gets Lyft and UberX; Dallas/Ft. Worth finishes a big overhaul of Terminal A; Chicago Midway will revamp passenger concessions and security; new retail and dining options come to United’s Houston Bush Intercontinental hub; and Long Beach blocks international flights. And in case you missed our big update on the goings on at Los Angeles LAX, see this.
Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport said work is now finished on its renovation of DFW’s 26-gate Terminal A. The work involved expansion of three security checkpoints, the addition of more kiosks for passenger self-check-in, and the addition of 50 percent more space for passenger concessions, “located largely near checkpoints and Skylink stations,” the airport said. New restaurants include Salt Lick Barbecue, the Dallas Cowboys Club, Lorena Garcia Tapas y Cocina and Ling & Louie’s Asian Fusion. New retail stores include Brookstone, Tumi, an iStore and Teavana. A new Terminal A parking garage features an electronic parking guidance system: “Overhead LED beacons spotlight open parking spaces and the system alerts customers to available parking on other levels of the upgraded facility,” the airport said.
Finally! Starting today (Feb 1) UberX and Lyft have been given the all clear to pick up and drop off passengers at Boston Logan Airport. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve descended into a crowded mess at BOS ground transportation with a bunch of travelers staring into their phones saying, “wait, you mean I can’t get my Uber or Lyft at Boston Airport? This is crazy!” Logan was one of the last large airports in the country that didn’t allow the ride sharing services.
Big changes are in the works for Chicago’s Midway Airport, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper said the planned $248 million project will increase the number of security checkpoint lanes from 17 to 27, and will widen the pedestrian bridge over Cicero Avenue from 60 feet to 300 feet, creating a new security hall with 20,000 square feet of new concession space. Total concession space at MDW will grow from the current 26,000 square feet to almost 70,000, with many outlets focused on offering “Taste of Chicago” cuisine. The project would also give the airport 1,400 new premium parking spaces.
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Plenty of new dining options are coming to the United hub at Houston Bush Intercontinental, where the airline is teaming up with concessions specialist OTG (the same firm United used to overhaul Terminal C at Newark) to develop new restaurants in Terminals C-South and E, in addition to five new eateries opening early this year in C-North that were previously announced. C-South and E will get eight new restaurants, “all inspired by local Houston chefs and flavors,” OTG said. And matching the concession overhaul at United’s Newark hub, the Houston project also involves the installation of 8,000 iPads “seamlessly integrated into the customer experience” at restaurants and gate lounges in all three terminals, the company noted. Terminal C-South will get a restaurant specializing in meatballs; a taqueria; and a ranch-to-table burger spot. Terminal E is adding a southern barbeque outlet; an Italian restaurant; a sushi and ramen bar; a steaks-burgers-and-seafood eatery; and a craft brewery with bar food.
The Long Beach, California City Council has rejected an application from JetBlue Airways to build a modest-sized (15,000 square feet) Customs and Border Protection facility at the city’s airport. The decision effectively kills JetBlue’s plans to add international flights from Long Beach, its west coast focus city. JetBlue had anticipated operating six to eight international flights a day; the city has set a ceiling of 50 flights a day at the airport, limited to operations between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
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