In airport news, Atlanta officials have reportedly selected a brand for their new airport hotel; Boingo boosts Wi-Fi speeds at a number of U.S. airports; a new passenger lounge is coming to Oakland Airport; Chicago airports now offered reserved parking spaces; and Tampa adds a huge number of charging outlets for travelers.
The new hotel planned for construction near Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s domestic terminal is expected to be an InterContinental, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 300-room high-end hotel is envisioned to be part of a $600 million “Airport City” project that will include commercial space, retail outlets and a travel plaza, and perhaps even residential space. The newspaper reported that renowned Atlanta architect John Portman will design the hotel, which will have meeting rooms, a restaurant, lobby bar and grill and other amenities. It is expected to be built within three years.
Boingo, the leading airport Wi-Fi provider, said that its paid subscribers can now select from options that will give them speeds of up to 20 Mbps at seven major airports, with more coming soon. The highest-speed airports include Baltimore/Washington, Boston Logan, Chicago Midway, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia and Newark. The company said all travelers can now get free Wi-Fi, and “power users” can select from a number of paid options, including speeds of 20 Mbps, bursting to 50 Mbps. “All Boingo subscribers, including those enrolled in the American Express Preferred Plan, will automatically receive the highest tier of speed when they log in,” Boingo said.
Oakland International Airport said that the U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based MAG will develop a new passenger lounge at OAK that should open in June 2016. The 2,600 square foot Escape Lounge will be open to all passengers for a per-use fee, offering free food and beverages, Wi-Fi, and other amenities. Earlier this month, MAG opened its first U.S. airport Escape Lounge at Minneapolis-St. Paul International.
Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports this month introduced a new option of reserved parking spaces close to the passenger terminals. The reservation fee is $10 per space, per day (plus parking charges, taxes and fees). All spaces are inside the garages, and are guaranteed even when the facility is full. Parking spaces can be booked at https://ord.clickandpark.com/ for O’Hare or at https://mdw.clickandpark.com/ for Midway.
Tampa International Airport next year will make life easier for power-hungry business travelers and their devices. The airport is planning to install thousands of power outlets and USB ports for passengers — 4,683 of them, to be exact. Some will be at 299 new work stations the airport will install; the rest will be on towers wedged between seat rows at gate areas. Currently the airport only offers 237 outlets at work stations scattered around the terminal.
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