On The Runway: United Airlines New Uniforms Revealed

pagedooley/flickr

Yesterday, United Airlines revealed new uniforms. United crew walked the runway as part of their 25th anniversary celebration at Newark-Liberty’s Terminal C. The new United style rolls out on June 25.

“We are pleased to celebrate United’s long history at our Newark hub – a premier global gateway and a powerful economic engine,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “We continue to make investments in our terminal facilities, our services and our people to ensure United’s Terminal C remains a great place for our customers and co-workers.”

Yesterday, travelers arriving and departing at Newark Liberty joined United employees in an anniversary celebration where customers had opportunities to earn prizes, travel discounts and bonus MileagePlus miles. The airline also had a temporary exhibit all about how air travel has evolved since 1988.

US Airports Spend Billions On International Expansion

airportsThe American airports of tomorrow are being built today as ongoing projects take shape to handle an increasing number of fliers. Around the country, projects are being considered, underway or nearing completion as travelers from around the world make their way to the United States.

As reported by Aviation Pros, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s nearly $350 million comprehensive modernization project at Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal B is nearing completion with the final phase slated to start in May.

“When people from across the globe arrive at Newark, they should find an airport welcome second to none,” says Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “The Port Authority is fulfilling our commitment to making Newark Liberty Airport one of the world’s best.”

Improvements to the international arrivals area include consolidating lost baggage offices, relocating the ground transportation desk to a more convenient location and improving travelers’ aid and concession spaces. Additionally, there will be upgrades to the public address, signage, escalator, alarm and fire protection as well as the heating and air-conditioning systems.

Work is also underway on a $1.2 billion enhancement and expansion of Delta’s facilities at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport reports Travel Daily news. That expansion brings a new Delta Sky Club in Terminal C, due to open this summer, and the Delta Sky Club in Terminal D will undergo an expansion.Delta will also increase service at LaGuardia by 60 percent, adding 4 million seats into New York, with 100 new flights and 26 more new destinations coming on line by summer 2012. As reported by Forbes, when its full schedule is implemented by this summer, Delta will run more than 260 daily flights to over 60 cities, more than any other carrier.

“All together, with our expansion projects at JFK and LaGuardia, Delta is investing nearly $1.4 billion in our New York airport facilities,” said Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson. “No other airline is approaching that level of commitment to New York in the next 12 months.”

It’s big money and not just on the East Coast. Los Angeles International Airport marked a milestone in its modernization program late last month, dedicating the renovation of Terminal 6, a new home for Alaska Airlines. The $238-million project includes a variety of improvements to bag checking, ticketing, security screening, waiting areas at gates and more.

These new facilities might not be waiting for long to handle increased traffic and pay back those investments.

In Texas, two studies were done to evaluate the economic impact on the city from Southwest’s international flights. They found the potential for an additional 1.5 million passengers to, from and through Houston per year. The increase would create more than 10,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $1.6 billion.

Think US airports have high ambitions? Dubai International is already the world’s fourth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, but wants more too.

Flying High: Dubai's Airport Ambitions



[Flickr photo via mastermaq]

Wine flights taking off in Newark Liberty’s Terminal C

I tend to be a little anal-retentive when it comes to getting to the airport on-time for a flight. As such, I end up arriving a good 2+ hours before take-off. The upside is that, in all of my travels, I have only missed two flights because of my tardiness. The downside is that I’ve had to kill a tremendous amount of time in airports. Despite the fact that they are made for waiting, airport terminals are pretty much the epitome of lame. Most are devoid of decent food options and full of stores that sell schlock and overpriced bags of mixed nuts. But in recent years, some terminals have started to…get this…cater to travelers! And Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C is now one of those terminals.

Terminal C is home to Continental Airlines and some of the best food and drinks you will find in an airport. For anyone who has ever forced down some scolding hot Sbarro’s pizza or hockey puck-like fast food burgers while waiting for a flight, Terminal C’s offerings are a sight for sore stomachs.

There’s the Heineken Lounge, Sam Adams bar and Guinness Irish Pub, which provide travelers with a chance to make flying a tad more bearable without having to sit in a drab airport bar. And Vino Volo offers customers wine flights of selections from around the world. And if you find a wine that you like, you can purchase bottles to take away or have shipped to you.

I never understood why waiting for a flight had to be so torturous. Not everyone can afford to have access to lounges, but that doesn’t mean that the main terminal should look like a mall food court. There’s a happy medium and Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C seems to have found that and even exceeded it a bit. Now my only concern is getting distracted at one of the bars and missing my flight!