Air Travel News
Briefs: MIA gets a mass transit link; new DL lounge opens at LGA
In airport news, travelers using Miami International have a new way to get to or from downtown; Delta debuts a Sky Club at LaGuardia; the New York-New Jersey Port Authority is introducing a new kind of information dispenser at its three airports; Seattle plans to move some airlines around next year; and Porter Airlines opens a customer lounge at Newark.
• The Miami area’s Metrorail system has opened a new station at Miami International Airport. The station is the terminus of a new 2.4-mile extension of the transit system, which runs parallel to State Road 112. At the MIA Station, passengers can transfer directly onto the airport’s people-mover cars, which take them into the terminals. Miami-Dade Transit said that as part of the extension, travelers can now put their cars into overnight or long-term (up to 30 days) parking for $4 a day at three other Metrorail stations: the Okeechobee Station, Earlington Heights Station, and South Miami Station. For details on the new Metrorail airport link, go to www.miamidade.gov/transit.
• Delta Air Lines has cut the ribbon on a new Sky Club in New York LaGuardia’s Terminal C, part of an expansion plan to accommodate more passengers as the airline increases its schedules at the airport. The Terminal C club is 7,600 square feet with a full-service bar, satellite TV and a work zone with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, desktop computers, wireless printers and charging stations. Delta is building a bridge connecting Terminals C and D that should be finished by year’s end, and will open an expanded Terminal D Sky Club next spring.
• If you’ve passed through New York-area airports recently, you might have seen The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s latest effort to provide information services through a unique device. The Port Authority is conducting a six-month test of avatars — i.e., human holograms, in this case an avatar named Ava. She is programmed to answer some of the most frequent questions that travelers have, like where to find the taxi stand. To start her up, you just have to walk up and start speaking to her. You’ll find the avatars in LaGuardia’s Central Terminal Building, JFK’s Terminal 5, and Newark’s Terminal B.
• The Seattle Times reports that some airlines will be relocating their passenger facilities at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport next year. Starting next spring, the newspaper said, the moves will be necessary to accommodate Alaska Airlines, which will be taking over the entire North Satellite N gate area. The paper said United’s ticket counter will thus be moving from the far north end of the airport to the far south end, near the international area. Instead of using gates in the North Satellite, United’s flights will operate from Concourse A in the main terminal. So will those of SkyWest and Air Canada Jazz, which are also currently using N gates. The newspaper said American and JetBlue will move from Concourse A to Concourse D, while Virgin America and Frontier will shift from A to B, and Hawaiian will move from A to the South Satellite S gates.
• Porter Airlines, the Canadian carrier that offers frequent (up to 13 flights a day) service between Newark Liberty International Airport and Toronto’s close-in Billy Bishop City Airport, has opened a new passenger lounge at Newark. The facility is located next to Porter’s main gate in Terminal B. Open to all Porter customers, it has comfortable seats, WiFi, cold beverages, snacks and specialty coffees.