Airport Check-in: Plans for pet hotel; terminal honors veterans

DALLAS: Pet hotel plans move forward

Dallas/Fort Worth plans to open a pet hotel. To be situated on the airport's north side, it will cater primarily to passengers looking to drop off pets on their way out of town.

The facility will be a 24/7 operation with webcams allowing pet owners to check up on their pets online. It will provide boarding and grooming services, and feature a wading pool and a pet retail store. The airport will pick a vendor by the end of the year and begin construction next spring.

INDIANAPOLIS: Terminal honors veterans

The opening of Indianapolis International's new passenger terminal will be delayed by two weeks to honor veterans.

The $1.1 billion terminal, which is named after Indiana World War I pilot Col. H. Weir Cook, was scheduled to open on Oct. 28. But airport officials pushed the opening to Veterans Day, Nov. 11, because it would be "more meaningful," the airport said in a statement.

Airport officials also believe opening the new terminal after the presidential election will generate better news coverage, spokesman Dave Dawson says. The project was ahead of schedule and could have opened on the original date, he says.

LOS ANGELES: Qantas sees gate shortage for A380 flights

Qantas says it may consider moving its Airbus A380 flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco if LAX doesn't build more large gates that can conveniently handle the superjumbo jet.

The airport has eight large gates that can do the job, but only two are attached to the terminal. Passengers arriving in remote gates will be bused to the terminal, a prospect that isn't sitting well with the Australian carrier.

On Oct. 20, Qantas begins its Melbourne-Los Angeles service using the A380. Its Sydney-Los Angeles service will soon follow. "By 2010, there will be a shortage of gates attached to terminals," says Wally Mariani of Qantas. "We're not prepared to use remote gates for regular schedule service."

LAX spokesman Paul Haney says the airport plans to have eight more attached gates by 2012. But Qantas is concerned that construction might be delayed, and that it would be forced to use remote gates, Mariani says.

Qantas currently doesn't have any plans to add more A380 service to Los Angeles. But the airport estimates it will have 10 A380 flights by 2012, which would require Qantas to compete with other carriers for the attached gates.

LAS VEGAS: Ante raised for parking

Parking fees at Las Vegas McCarran International will increase an average of 27% starting Sept. 9. Long-term parking will increase to $14 per day from $12; economy parking goes to $8 from $6; valet parking will increase to $21 from $16.

ROCKFORD, ILL.: Losses ground charter service

Chicago-Rockford, which had entered the airline charter business earlier this year, is ending its unusual venture after less than six months.

In an effort to lure new service, the airport had partnered with charter carrier Southern Skyways in April, an arrangement in which the two parties agreed to split profits and costs of operating two routes. Southern Skyways took over flights to Denver that United ended in early June, and had planned on introducing service to Detroit.

Unable to generate a profit, the airline will end service to Denver on Aug. 18. The Detroit service never got off the ground.

ATLANTA: Concessions trend high-end

Atlanta Hartsfield has announced a new lineup of retail stores that will begin operating later this year. Last year, the airport announced plans to overhaul its concessions to offer more high-end stores. Construction will begin in September, and 40 new shops will open by the end of the year. In all, about 70 new stores are planned, including Bulgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sean John and Calvin Klein. Technology gadget shops, bookstores and cafes will also be part of the lineup.