In recent airport news, Delta’s SkyTeam alliance opens a new lounge at Vancouver; American debuts another new Flagship Lounge; Kansas City voters approve a big airport construction project; Los Angeles’ Bradley Terminal gets automated TSA lanes; and Atlanta and Denver get popular new upgraded burger joints.
The SkyTeam global alliance –Delta, Air France-KLM and partners – has opened its first dedicated lounge in North America, at Vancouver International. The 5,600-square-foot facility is in the international terminal close to Gate 53 by the duty-free area. It offers a hot and cold buffet service with locally-sourced cuisine; a made-to-order noodle bar; showers; beverages including local wines and beers; and seating for 126 with a work area and a separate TV room. It’s the seventh SkyTeam lounge worldwide; others are at Dubai, London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Sydney, Istanbul and Beijing. It’s open to Elite Plus, first class and business class customers.
American Airlines has cut the ribbon on its latest Flagship Lounge, this one at Miami International. Located near Gate D30 in Concourse D, it’s open to first class and business class customers on long-haul international flights, as well as qualifying AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members; AAdvantage ConciergeKey members; and Oneworld Emeralds and Sapphires. The Miami lounge has showers, upgraded food offerings, plenty of outlets for charging personal devices, lounge-style seating and quiet areas. Other new Flagship Lounges opened earlier this year at New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare, and another is due before year’s end at Los Angeles International. (See leaked images)
Kansas City International’s unusually designed three terminals will be replaced by a single large structure following a referendum this month in which voters approved the city’s plan to spend $1 billion on a major airport reconstruction project. The city’s plan calls for the existing 45-year-old, three-terminal structure to be replaced with an H-shaped building that has two passenger concourses and 35 aircraft gates. The new design will allow for an increased number of retail concessions, more bathrooms, and more efficient security screening, and will give the airport separate levels for arriving and departing passengers, along with close-in parking. No timetable was given for construction of the new terminal.
Los Angeles International already had those new TSA automated screening lanes in Terminals 7, 2 and 4, and now it has opened five of them in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with nine more coming there in the months ahead. The new lanes allow up to five persons to load their personal items into security bins simultaneously, and the belts automatically pull the bins into the x-ray device and return them back to the starting point. Items that need additional inspection are shunted off to a separate belt to keep the flow going, and bins are 25 percent larger than before. By the time all the new lanes are operating in the TBIT next spring, LAX officials said, the number of passengers that can be screened in an hour will increase by almost 1,000, to 3,220.
But do those lanes really work? If you are wondering, don’t miss this post (and comments): Are automated security checkpoints better?
As airports keep upgrading their food and beverage options, more of them are turning to burger joints that are a cut or two above the traditional fast-food franchises. The latest examples are Atlanta International and Denver International. At ATL, celebrity chef Bobby Flay has been tapped to bring a new Bobby’s Burger Palace to Concourse B, with its opening expected early in 2018. Flay already has 17 of the high-end burger restaurants around the U.S., but the ATL location will be his first in an airport. DEN, meanwhile, has turned to Denver-based Smashburger for two new locations. A 2,300-square-foot Smashburger just opened in the airport’s C Concourse, open daily until 10 p.m. It also serves breakfast, and will soon open a full bar with local craft beers. Next spring, a second and larger Smashburger will open in DEN’s B Concourse.
Reassessing your card strategy? See our “Credit Card Deals” tab to shop around! It helps us help you!