-- NEW AT AIRPORTS
•SuperShuttle International, which offers shared van service from airports, will open at Raleigh-Durham International on Jan. 3. It will begin with 15 vans and build up as necessary. SuperShuttle serves 28 airports, carrying more than 8 million passengers a year.
•Indianapolis International Airport now has free Wi-Fi.
•Customers on British Airways' new business-class service from London City Airport to New York John F. Kennedy — to be launched in the fall of 2009 — will be able to clear Customs and Immigration prior to arriving in the USA. The New York-bound flight will briefly stop at Shannon Airport in Ireland for refueling because the runway at London City Airport, located east of London, is too short for the Airbus A318 aircraft that will be used on the route to take off with a full tank of gas. Shannon has U.S. Customs officials who can clear U.S.-bound visitors on-site. The airline estimates passengers will be on the ground for about 45 minutes.
•John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., is the latest airport to feature electronic boarding, a pilot program operated by the Transportation Security Administration. It allows passengers on American Airlines to receive electronic bar-coded boarding passes via e-mail on their cellphones or PDAs. American Airlines recently introduced the service at Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles International.
•Heineken will open a branded lounge at Newark Liberty on Dec. 17. The Dutch beer company already has several bars at airports in Europe and Asia, including Hong Kong and Amsterdam. It will feature private cabanas, Wi-Fi, TVs, movies and other entertainment.
•Delta and Southwest have joined a growing list of airlines adding flights to Washington in mid-January to accommodate surging demand from travelers wishing to attend the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
Southwest will add 26 flights into and out of Washington Dulles and Baltimore-Washington airports from Jan. 17 through Jan. 23. Delta will add 14% more seats from its Atlanta hub to Washington on Jan. 17 and 21% more for Atlanta-bound flights on Jan. 21. Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton says most of the increase in capacity will come from using larger aircraft on scheduled flights, but the airline has also added a few extra flights.
JetBlue, Virgin America, AirTran, Continental and US Airways have also said they will add more seats or flights around the inauguration.
•Foodandwine.com has compiled a list of the 10 best U.S. airports for dining. The new JetBlue Terminal 5, which opened in October with 20 new eateries, helped New York John F. Kennedy land the top spot. The report recommends AeroNuova, an Italian restaurant in the terminal, and wine bar Vino Volo in Terminal 8.
LAX ranks second, with the report lauding mushroom ravioli with grilled asparagus at Encounter Restaurant and La Brea Bakery at Terminals 1, 2 and 7 for its sandwiches.
Other airports on the list, and the recommended fare:
San Francisco (cobb salads and hamburgers at Perry's in Terminal 1); Boston Logan (the new test kitchen at Legal Sea Foods in Terminal B); Miami (Cuban sandwiches at La Carreta in Terminal D); Denver (Fat Tire Amber Ale at Belgium Hub in Concourse B); Washington Dulles (local chain Five Guys' burgers in Terminals A and B); Philadelphia (crab-seasoned fries at Chickie's & Pete's crab house in Terminal A); Dallas/Fort Worth (smoked brisket, ribs, sausage and pinto beans at Cousin's in Terminals D and B); and Charlotte Douglas (local wines at the Yadkin Valley Wine Bar between Terminals D and E).
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.