-- Construction update
Los Angeles International has unveiled a design for part of the Tom Bradley International Terminal and a new midfield concourse that will be linked to it with a sky bridge.
The airport will add six gates at the Bradley Terminal by the end of 2012, all capable of handling new large jets such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787. The project will double the terminal's size to 2 million square feet, including new shops and lounges. The new midfield concourse will contain 10 to 16 gates that will replace the remote airfield gates that are now used for international flights. Once it's built, passengers will no longer need to board buses to reach the terminal.
Created by Fentress Architects, the design will incorporate a Pacific Ocean theme, with rooftops resembling waves. New archways — similar to LAX's iconic Theme Building — will run along the skyway bridge. Construction is expected to cost $5 billion to $7 billion and is part of a broader airport modernization plan that has been ongoing for years.
New at airports
• Look for new laptop-charging stations at Houston Bush, Miami and Washington Dulles. Sponsored by Samsung Mobile, the stations provide free outlets for charging laptops and other electronic devices. Miami has 40 stations in its seven concourses. Washington Dulles has 35 stations. At Houston Bush, four stations are located in Terminals A and D, with 40 more to be installed by the end of the year.
• Travel booking site Orbitz estimates that Las Vegas McCarran will be the busiest airport during Thanksgiving. Orbitz's top 10 list, based on online bookings, also includes, in order: New York LaGuardia, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, Newark, Miami, Denver and Seattle-Tacoma.
• Pittsburgh International has opened a new military and family courtesy center, a room to pass the time while they wait for rides and flights. Located near Gate A4, it provides workstations, television and light snacks.
• To market its laptop privacy filter screens, 3M will host an "airport haven" at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday, where travelers can receive free Wi-Fi, massages, snacks and beverages. It'll be at the Executive Conference Center on the third floor of the Atrium, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3M has also created a website, airporthavens.com, where travelers can find a list of "best places to find some privacy — from deserted airport gates to serene chapels and meditation rooms — at airports across the country," it says.
• New York LaGuardia will open a new welcome center this week at the Central Terminal, where travelers can get information about ground transportation, local hotels and tourist sites. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey says it will open about 20 more centers throughout the terminals at its airports by 2012.
• About 500 employees of Newark Liberty will undergo behavioral training aimed at helping them keep their cool during the busy holiday travel season. The course, conducted through role-playing and lectures, emphasizes customer service through adaptability, optimism, engagement and being proactive. Workers at New York JFK went through the same training earlier this year.
• The Transportation Security Administration has named Miami International as its Airport of the Year, citing the quality of the airport's security operations. On average, more than 90% of MIA's passengers wait less than 10 minutes to clear security, the TSA said. About 34 million passengers passed through MIA in 2007.
Every Monday, we report on the latest news in airports across the USA. See something noteworthy in your travels? E-mail your suggestions to email@example.com.