Air Travel News
Briefs: PreCheck expands at ORD; more airlines move at LAS
In airport news this week, more passengers at Chicago O’Hare can now take advantage of TSA’s PreCheck option; five domestic airlines move into Las Vegas McCarran’s new terminal; United goes cashless at airport clubs; Baltimore-Washington offers free Internet; and a new Star Alliance lounge is coming at LAX.
• The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck trusted traveler program, available to participating members of major carriers’ frequent flyer programs who go through a background check, has been expanded at Chicago O’Hare. Previously offered at ORD for participating United and US Airways customers, the expedited screening option is now offered for participating members of the Delta and US Airways frequent flyer programs. The program is also available to members of U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s Global Entry plan.
• Five domestic airlines have moved their operations at Las Vegas McCarran from Terminal 1 into the airport’s recently opened Terminal 3. The relocated airlines include Alaska, JetBlue, Virgin America, Frontier and Sun Country. The initial tenants of Terminal 3 were LAS’s 25 international carriers, who moved in when the facility opened in late June. On August 22, United and Hawaiian Airlines will shift their check-in service and baggage claim from T1 to T3, but flights will still leave from Concourse D, which is linked to T3 by an underground tram. Other domestic carriers will stay in T1.
• United Airlines’ United Club airport lounges have a new policy regarding cash payment for premium liquor and wines: It’s no longer accepted. Most of the drinks and services in the clubs are free for members, but any payments now have to be made with a major credit card.
• Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has implemented a free Wi-Fi option for passengers. Users are entitled to a free 45-minute online session provided they watch an ad before they start browsing. If they need more time, they can just log on for a new session – with another mandatory ad. The airport still offers an ad-free paid Wi-Fi option as well.
• Los Angeles International’s five-year-old Star Alliance Lounge and member Air New Zealand’s Loru Lounge in Terminal 2 will be replaced in May 2013 by a new Star Alliance facility as part of the $1.7 billion redevelopment of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Air New Zealand, which will relocate to the Bradley Terminal in early 2014, is handling design and management of the new lounge. The new facility will “incorporate defined spaces to suit passenger needs, ranging from social gatherings around the bar to quiet time in the library,” a spokesman said. Eight Star members will fly out of the Bradley Terminal, including Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa, Singapore, Swiss, Thai, and Turkish Airlines.