In airport news this week, Los Angeles brings the Star Alliance together; Oakland adds passport kiosks, Dallas/Ft. Worth makes improvements to Terminal B, Atlanta revises plans for its on-site airport hotel, and Charlotte begins construction of a new concourse.
The Star Alliance reports that it has finished moving its overseas carrier members into the same section of Los Angeles International’s Tom Bradley Terminal, where it also now offers more check-in options. The new Star Alliance area is Aisle C at the north end of the terminal, which is now home to the check-in counters for Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, EVA, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, Singapore, SWISS and Turkish Airlines. When Scandinavian Airlines begins LAX service this month, it will also be located there. The group has installed 24 kiosks that can print boarding passes and luggage tags for all the member airlines, and bag-drop counters are available for those who tag their own luggage. The airport plans to open a new North Security Checkpoint later this month at the end of Aisle C. Star Alliance members not in the Bradley Terminal include United (Terminals 7 and 8), COPA (Terminal 6) and Air Canada and Avianca (Terminal 2).
Oakland International is the latest airport to install new self-service Automated Passport Control kiosks for returning overseas travelers. No pre-registration or fee is required to use the eight kiosks, where travelers can input the requested entry data and then receive a receipt to present to a Customs and Border Protection agent as they exit. “Use of the self-service kiosks will expedite the border clearance process, resulting in shorter waits for travelers, fewer missed connections, and cost and space savings for OAK,” an airport official said.
Officials at Dallas/Ft. Worth International say the airport has finished work on a major overhaul of part of its B Terminal, covering the section from Gates B4 through B11 as well as baggage claim areas and a security checkpoint. The project also provided two new passenger entries with elevator access, including a covered walkway from the parking garage to the terminal. New passenger concessions in the renovated Terminal B section include an Ice Box Café, Hudson News, Dunkin’ Donuts, InMotion, Texas Marketplace and Red Mango. A pre-security Sierra News store has been added near the B4/B5 baggage claim area, and new charging tables have been installed in the affected gate areas. The next phase of the work will cover the area around Gates B18-B23.
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International has released new drawings of the on-site hotel to be built at the airport, and the property looks quite different from the original renderings that came out a few months ago. The new hotel is still expected to be designed by the firm of renowned Atlanta architect John Portman, but its new look is more “modern” and “geometric,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. InterContinental Hotels is expected to operate the property, which is now being projected at 440 rooms instead of 300. It’s part of a larger “Airport City” project that will include commercial space, retail outlets and a travel plaza.
Construction started this week on a new concourse at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, to be located on the site of former rental car buildings north of the existing Concourse A. The new $200- million, nine-gate concourse – which will serve airlines other than American – will be linked to Concourse A by moving walkways. It’s due to open in 2018, officials said, noting that more space is urgently needed since the airport’s passenger numbers in creased by 60 percent over the past decade.
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