In airport news, two airports in the western U.S. are the latest to offer an expedited arrivals option for international passengers; Salt Lake City international changes course on the availability of smoking rooms; Paris CDG has a new place where weary travelers can lay their heads; and Berlin’s new Brandenburg International faces more delays.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Mobile Passport Control app is now available for international travelers re-entering the country through Mineta San Jose International and through Denver International. The free app, available through the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, eliminates the need for filling out a paper customs declaration form and speeds up processing of incoming travelers. Persons who download the app simply need to create a personal profile with their passport data, fill in the “New Trip” section when they arrive in the U.S., submit their CBP declaration form via the app to get an electronic bar-coded receipt, and then show their passport and smartphone with the receipt to a CBP officer.
If you’re a smoker, you might not want to connect through Salt Lake City International in the future. The new city administration there has decided to get rid of all five smoking rooms at SLC by the year’s end. The effort will start with the Concourse D room, which will be gone July 5; the others will be removed over the next six months. This policy marks a change from the previous city administration, which had planned to continue offering smoking rooms as part of the massive terminal redevelopment coming to SLC over the next few years.
At Paris Charles de Gaulle, a July 1 opening is scheduled for the airport’s first in-terminal lodging. That’s when a Yotel will make its debut in Terminal 2E, the home base for Air France and its SkyTeam partners. Yotel already operates airport locations at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol. Yotel accommodations are in small “cabins” with luxury bedding, ensuite bathrooms with showers, and a “techno wall” with flat-screen TV, mood lighting and multiple power ports. The CDG airside facility will also have a communal Club Lounge with free hot beverages, work spaces ad a TV zone. The whole place provides super-fast Wi-Fi as well. Bookings are available at www.yotel.com.
Remember back in 2011 when Germany was planning to cut the ribbon on a big new international airport serving its capital city of Berlin? After five years of construction, that 2011 opening never happened. The airport, plagued with all kinds of structural, design and technological problems, was then rescheduled to open in 2012, then in early 2013, then in late 2013, and most recently in 2017. But now the city’s mayor has told local officials that at this point, it’s looking like 2018 is a more likely possibility. What happened to that legendary German efficiency? Volkswagen emission controls, anyone?
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