Air Travel News
Briefs: PreCheck comes to IAH; MIA gets a new arrivals area
In airport news this week, Houston Bush Intercontinental is the latest facility to offer the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck trusted traveler option; Miami International cuts the ribbon on a huge new international arrivals facility; and Virgin Atlantic adds a business lounge at Newark Liberty International.
• In addition to last week’s opening of a TSA PreCheck option at Los Angeles International’s Terminal 7, the agency has also added PreCheck facilities at Houston Bush Intercontinental’s Terminal C South. Both of the new PreCheck services are intended for participating members of United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program. TSA already offered PreCheck at LAX for American and Delta participants. Program members who are cleared to participate in PreCheck may qualify for an expedited security screening process that allows them to pass through without removing their shoes or taking laptops or liquids out of their carry-ons. For details on PreCheck for Mileage Plus members, go to www.united.com/tsaprescreening.
• July 31 is the scheduled opening date for a new international arrivals area in the middle of Miami International’s North Concourse. Located next to the Concourse D skytrain, it is intended for travelers on American and other airlines in Concourses D, E and F, and is twice the size of the existing Concourse E facility, airport officials said. The new facility features 72 passport control lanes that can handle 2,000 passengers per hour. It also offers six lanes for arriving members of Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry trusted traveler program. Officials said MIA is now “the top U.S. airport for international flights,” with 1,300 of them per week serving 85 destinations.
• Virgin Atlantic Airways said it plans an October 2012 opening for a new Clubhouse at Newark Liberty International Airport. The new business class lounge will be located behind the Terminal B security checkpoint, close to the gates. “The lounge will live and breathe lower Manhattan – think Soho boutiques, TriBeCa lofts and Meatpacking District chic,” the company said. “Upper Class passengers will be invited to indulge in a personalized food service featuring locally-sourced produce to deliver pure culinary joy.” Virgin has two flights a day from EWR to London Heathrow.