delta2ual
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New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:09 pm

From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
 
blr380
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:32 pm

Not really a new terminal - its an upgrade for Terminal B and has been discussed in length earlier. Nice to see some progress in this congested terminal.
 
ContinentalFan
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:47 pm

Those nasty banjo's can't be gone soon enough/
 
Mikey711MN
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting blr380 (Reply 1):
Not really a new terminal - its an upgrade for Terminal B and has been discussed in length earlier. Nice to see some progress in this congested terminal.

Purely semantics. This is an all new facility that, in form and function, will completely replace the existing facility. But there is little to be "upgraded" with the current banjo pinwheel configuration and its existing facilities, which will be demolished in complementary phases.

That all said, as a frequenter of B, I'm excited for the improvements!

-Mike
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TWA772LR
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:51 pm

Thank God B gets the attention it needs! I can't wait to see it completed and see my home airport bigger and better! 
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ScottB
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:13 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 4):
Thank God B gets the attention it needs! I can't wait to see it completed and see my home airport bigger and better!

Apart from there being a new central waiting room, this actually appears to me to be a downgrade from the existing facilities. Functionally, it seems to be similar to CVG's now-shuttered Concourse C or the B-84 gates. The renderings don't show jetways to the aircraft; this should be a real treat in August or during one of Houston's occasional downpours.

I agree that the banjos can be pretty nasty, but I honestly do not see how this design is a functional improvement.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:36 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 5):
I honestly do not see how this design is a functional improvement.

The south concourse is going to be like the B84 gates, catering to only or mostly CO/UAEX aircraft. The north concourse is going to be like terminal E and will be connected to terminal C via another terminal E-esque prong. There will also be another FIS facility. So overall, it is a huge expansion and will alleviate C and E, especially in the summer. Now if only HAS will start looking at redoing terminal D and a fabled "Terminal F" like on page 413 of 491 on the IAH master plan. I hope they don't stick to the master plan 100 because parallel, straight terminals like ATL and other airports get boring. I love the IAH layout and have grown up with it so I hope it improves instead of changes drastically.
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iahcsr
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:39 am

Quoting ContinentalFan (Reply 2):
Those nasty banjo's can't be gone soon enough

We call them 'Pods' .. Pods 5 and 6 on the north, Pods 7 and 8 on the south. Pod 7 and three gates in Pod 8 are what's being removed now. (Gates B60-62 and B68-75)
FYI Pods 1-4 were part of the original Terminal A before it was rebuilt.
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airlineaddict
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:55 am

With the removal of Pod 7, will we see more Express flights at Terminal A?
 
drerx7
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:05 pm

I just arrived back at IAH yesterday from SFO on UA854 and left out on 1/21 on UA855 and I saw some ERJs operating off of Terminal C North. Also I saw ERJs at D1-D4, that is not unusual though as typically South of the border ERJs arrive there.
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ScottB
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:41 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
The north concourse is going to be like terminal E and will be connected to terminal C via another terminal E-esque prong. There will also be another FIS facility. So overall, it is a huge expansion and will alleviate C and E, especially in the summer.

Except the B-North reconstruction (as it should be) will only be undertaken when demand justifies it -- so it could be five years away or twenty years away. So overall, the passenger experience on the many UAX RJ's used at IAH degrades until some point in the indefinite future.

As an aside, I believe the original FIS at IAH was located in Terminal B, so putting one in Terminal B again is going back to the future...
 
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:59 pm

Why don't people like the banjo's or pods?
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iahcsr
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:10 pm

They are small and get VERY    at peak times. Plus it's a long walk to get from one to another. They were built strictly for O&D traffic, not connections.
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Schweigend
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:38 am

Quoting ContinentalFan (Reply 2):
Those nasty banjo's can't be gone soon enough/

How many airports are there left that have banjos? I remember using them at IAH, DTW, LAX, SFO, FRA, and EWR...it seems to be a common late-1960's design. I liked the long corridors, like something from Moonbase Alpha on SPACE: 1999, connecting the main terminal to the circular pods....

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 11):
Why don't people like the banjo's or pods?

At the end of that corridor, the traveler might reasonably expect something grand and exciting, but instead, the pods are overcrowded, have no vendors except bars that sell hot dogs and nachos, and very little beauty or aesthetics. People sitting on the floor near power outlets. Just plain sad.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
So overall, the passenger experience on the many UAX RJ's used at IAH degrades until some point in the indefinite future.

UA is planning otherwise, according to the article cited by the OP:

Quote:
The $160 million south concourse project will replace the existing south side flight stations with a new 225,000 square-foot facility to accommodate United's regional aircraft. At nearly four times the size of the existing space, the new concourse will provide a better customer experience, as it will feature modern and expanded gate lounge areas, concessions and restroom facilities.

Travelers will access the new concourse from the terminal via a 95-foot-wide bridge with 13,000 square feet of food, beverage and retail concessions – a 500-percent increase in concession space over the current facility. The concourse will feature 28-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering expansive tarmac views from spacious central passenger lounge areas with durable and modern interior finishes.

The upgraded IAH Terminal B south will have better retail and aesthetics than now, but the article does not state how many flights it could handle.

Not all RJ flights require jetways, and I believe most pax don't mind walking ten or fifteen yards from a door on the concourse to the aircraft, on the ground, like they did in olden times. Outdoor boarding at IAH works well in most weather except rain, which is unpleasant for all. Hopefully, they will have a solution for that, like covered walkways right up to the aircraft.
 
sulley
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:53 am

Quoting iahcsr (Reply 12):
They are small and get VERY at peak times. Plus it's a long walk to get from one to another. They were built strictly for O&D traffic, not connections.

Plus on the north side the AC never works and the pods get humid and nasty inside. I bet they're filled with mold... ugh!!!
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ikramerica
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:59 am

Quoting airlineaddict (Reply 8):
With the removal of Pod 7

"Pod seven were jerks."

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SurfandSnow
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:00 am

I am glad to see this. IAH is UA's flagship/largest hub and now all pax will get to enjoy top notch terminal facilities. OK, A is pretty bland but at least it's clean and spacious. Terminal E and the fully renovated C are excellent. Terminal B needed to be brought up to par!
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thomasphoto60
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:23 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 11):
Why don't people like the banjo's or pods?

Back in the 70s and early 80s, they served a purpose and were 'relatively' nice. However in the 'Mega-Hub' era which these terminals were never designed for (no one in the 60s when the airport was under construction could have ever conceptualized the 'Hub') they are now dumps and an embarrassment. I flew through IAH often as a kid back in the 70s (well before I moved to Houston) and have fond memories of these 'pods-banjos', but they simply have outlived their usefulness and sadly must go.

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Schweigend
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:22 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16):
I am glad to see this. IAH is UA's flagship/largest hub and now all pax will get to enjoy top notch terminal facilities. OK, A is pretty bland but at least it's clean and spacious.

You're right, Terminal A has improved markedly since they cut the banjos. Very spacious compared to the rest of IAH. It has less traffic than the other terminals, and, paradoxically, larger seating areas near the gates.

Quoting thomasphoto60 (Reply 17):
I flew through IAH often as a kid back in the 70s (well before I moved to Houston) and have fond memories of these 'pods-banjos'

At least the basic structure of the main terminal building will remain after the banjos are demolished, for those liking to enter a large, cubical, 100-foot high, windowless ticketing hall reminiscent of that time.

 


....

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
So overall, the passenger experience on the many UAX RJ's used at IAH degrades until some point in the indefinite future.

Yep -- I didn't fully reply to your comment earlier -- no way to get around that. The imminent closure of many southside B gates will temporarily force UAX customers to use the northside gates, which are unwelcoming and lacking in amenities, so I agree that the pax experience will suffer until construction is complete.
 
drerx7
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 18):
Yep -- I didn't fully reply to your comment earlier -- no way to get around that. The imminent closure of many southside B gates will temporarily force UAX customers to use the northside gates, which are unwelcoming and lacking in amenities, so I agree that the pax experience will suffer until construction is complete.

I don't know, I have a feeling alot will be hardstand D and run out of Terminal C. When I flew out and in of IAH this past weekend I saw UAx ERJ operating off of North Concourse C.
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:51 am

Quoting drerx7 (Reply 19):
I don't know, I have a feeling alot will be hardstand D and run out of Terminal C. When I flew out and in of IAH this past weekend I saw UAx ERJ operating off of North Concourse C.

The UAX traffic formerly at B60-B75 will have to be covered somehow.

UAX has been using C-21, able to handle a 757, for at least six months now, but that can't continue, as it's a waste of a mainline capable gate. Over on the "D-pad", there must be eight or ten RJ positions, and I could see them being used to cover Terminal B construction overflow, etc. If the shuttle buses from the D-pad to the terminal building are fast, pax may not mind the trouble.

Where will the shuttle buses go? To a shabby D-terminal gate - or better perhaps to the unused C-15 (which probably will remain so, as long as widebodies keep coming to C-14 and C-16). C-15 would be a perfect place for a bus depot, and UAX pax would have a Customer Service Center right nearby, as well as a Brookstones, Brooks Brothers, and a Starbucks!
 
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:41 am

Arent' Rotunda's (as they were called at the old ATL/DAL) the same as banjo's/pods?
I remember leaving from BN's gates at IAH in the late 70's and it didn't seem like more that two or three gates in a banjo was being used at a time.
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thomasphoto60
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:11 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 21):
Arent' Rotunda's (as they were called at the old ATL/DAL) the same as banjo's/pods?
I remember leaving from BN's gates at IAH in the late 70's and it didn't seem like more that two or three gates in a banjo was being used at a time.

Some classic shots from the 70s, amazing they were able to squeeze in widebodies, especially 747s.


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Mikey711MN
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:09 am

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 13):
How many airports are there left that have banjos? I remember using them at IAH, DTW, LAX, SFO, FRA, and EWR...it seems to be a common late-1960's design.

From memory...

DCA A gates
MKE E gates
LAS

I'm sure other a.netters can pick up others I've missed.

Quoting iahcsr (Reply 12):
They are small and get VERY at peak times. Plus it's a long walk to get from one to another.

Exactly!  
Quoting thomasphoto60 (Reply 22):
Some classic shots from the 70s, amazing they were able to squeeze in widebodies, especially 747s.

Definitely interesting shots, particularly as Terminal B is RJ central now! Good find!

-Mike
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ScottB
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:59 pm

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 18):
Yep -- I didn't fully reply to your comment earlier -- no way to get around that. The imminent closure of many southside B gates will temporarily force UAX customers to use the northside gates, which are unwelcoming and lacking in amenities, so I agree that the pax experience will suffer until construction is complete.

That wasn't my point. The point was that, from viewing the renderings, passengers will end up sitting in a big central waiting room and then walk down long, nearly windowless corridors to board aircraft outdoors via stairs. I don't see that as an improvement.

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 13):
Not all RJ flights require jetways, and I believe most pax don't mind walking ten or fifteen yards from a door on the concourse to the aircraft, on the ground, like they did in olden times. Outdoor boarding at IAH works well in most weather except rain, which is unpleasant for all.

Outdoor boarding at IAH ain't so great from about mid-June to mid-September, either -- especially if you're waiting around for a gate-checked bag. Yes, people used to board via stairs "in olden times," but many competitors offer jetway boarding of most or all regional aircraft at their hubs these days. Look at what DL offers at ATL/MEM/DTW/MSP/CVG. It strikes me as being a cheap and nasty alternative to regional facilities like PHL Terminal F, CLT Concourse E, MSP Concourses A/B, DTW Concourse C, etc.

Quoting iahcsr (Reply 7):
We call them 'Pods' .. Pods 5 and 6 on the north, Pods 7 and 8 on the south.

IIRC they were officially called "Flight Stations" back in the day.
 
ikramerica
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:48 pm

Comments on why pods don't work anymore.

Back in the day, aircraft were smaller, and load factors were much lower. Flights were fewer per gate for a day. And there no such thing as a widebody aircraft when conceived (although, the writing was on the wall for such aircraft). And connections to the same airline were not the norm for most domestic travelers (instead, there were multi-stop flights connecting small cities to larger ones, where passengers stayed on board, or got out and walked around, but didn't sit in the gate area and wait). This meant that a gate area need not be as large as it is today to accommodate all the pax who might be on the flight. A round terminal shape allowed maximum space for wings while minimizing the footprint of the building. And it allowed the bar, newsstand, and restroom area to be central and accessible to everyone easily. Shopping was usually reserved for the main terminal building, as there was no security, and there were people waiting there to pick you up as well.

There was also no security, no secure area, no long lines to get into security, no obligation to stay in security. That meant the WHOLE terminal was your waiting area. Further, flights were announced terminal wide ("now boarding xyz flight at gate 6.") Even when security was first introduced it was much faster as you just put your bag down and walked through. Nobody really paid much attention. So you could go through at the last minute and not miss you flight. Things only broke down a bit around the holidays, which is why the holiday travel period is so notorious for being overcrowded, when these days, it's no worse than any Friday or Sunday night, where again all flights are completely full.

The double loaded rectangle design (birds on both sides, gate areas on both sides, corridor down the middle) became a better idea, but as noted, it's not space efficient when it comes to aircraft. It needs more space. A compromise is the rectangle with bulges design, where the noses of aircraft stick into a notch into the building, allowing more passenger waiting space in the same amount of overall footprint.

Rectangles suck for food courts and shops, as they are far from most gates and close to a few, and too spread out. For concession revenue, this sucks.

So you get shopping mall designs, with a massive box, like a giant banjo, with a mall in the middle. Or a hub/spoke design, with a main secure area with food court and shops and a few gates, and then a lot of little spokes/fingers branching off with some gates and restrooms but not much else. Kind of like the old banjo design, but all secure, and rather than having a thin corridor to a banjo, the corridor itself is the gate area and the ends usually only have a small blob, or not even that (they just end).
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:54 pm

Quoting airlineaddict (Reply 8):
With the removal of Pod 7, will we see more Express flights at Terminal A?

Not necessarily. The existing Pod 7 traffic has shifted to the B84 walkout complex.

A has the Colgan operations, but no other Express ops.
 
ual777
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 18):

Yep -- I didn't fully reply to your comment earlier -- no way to get around that. The imminent closure of many southside B gates will temporarily force UAX customers to use the northside gates, which are unwelcoming and lacking in amenities, so I agree that the pax experience will suffer until construction is complete.

Are the northside pods not exactly the same as the south?

Quoting drerx7 (Reply 19):

I don't know, I have a feeling alot will be hardstand D and run out of Terminal C. When I flew out and in of IAH this past weekend I saw UAx ERJ operating off of North Concourse C.

D is for international arrivals. ExpressJet connects more destinations in Mexico from the US than any other airline. Thus all the RJs in D.
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TWA772LR
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
I believe the original FIS at IAH was located in Terminal B

I Have always wanted to know where those facilities are/were and how the passengers got there. Can anyone elaborate?
Beauty is watching a 787 bank to make a short final. Bliss is watching that 787 with a good beer. Nirvana is all of that with a beautiful woman on your side.
 
drerx7
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:54 am

Quoting ual777 (Reply 27):
D is for international arrivals. ExpressJet connects more destinations in Mexico from the US than any other airline. Thus all the RJs in D.

I'm an IAHspotter so thanks for the info but I'm well versed in their typical ops here; my thing is they could just run those ERJs that continue within N.A. that arrive from Mexico from D vs. towing them over to B. Or they could utilize Terminal D more in between the international rush. Also it was not a PMUAex ERJ that was operating out of C north but a PMCO ERJ XR that I saw.

Quoting ual777 (Reply 27):
Are the northside pods not exactly the same as the south?

Yep - and you can see the increased utilization of the apron on the North side of the Terminal B-C complex.
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ual777
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:50 am

Quoting drerx7 (Reply 29):

I'm an IAHspotter so thanks for the info but I'm well versed in their typical ops here; my thing is they could just run those ERJs that continue within N.A. that arrive from Mexico from D vs. towing them over to B. Or they could utilize Terminal D more in between the international rush. Also it was not a PMUAex ERJ that was operating out of C north but a PMCO ERJ XR that I saw.

D is not set up at all for CO departures. In fact, I don't even think CO has a check-in area in D. It would be an absolute mess if they decided to do that. On a side note, many of the XRs are in the UA system running out of ORD and in particular DEN. There is a long-running rumor of ExpressJet opening a DEN base.

Quoting drerx7 (Reply 29):

Yep - and you can see the increased utilization of the apron on the North side of the Terminal B-C complex.

Thought so. I always though both the north and south side were lacking in amenities. The food court needs an on-staff cardiologist to hand out business cards.
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drerx7
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting ual777 (Reply 30):
D is not set up at all for CO departures. In fact, I don't even think CO has a check-in area in D. It would be an absolute mess if they decided to do that. On a side note, many of the XRs are in the UA system running out of ORD and in particular DEN. There is a long-running rumor of ExpressJet opening a DEN base.

Its not a problem at all. D1-D3 use to be C gates before the construction of Mickey Leland. There is a walkway directly from Terminal E across to D that is secure as well. I have flown from D5 (could have been D6) to EWR on CO 762 before - this was a while ago, but it was in the early years of Terminal E ops.

I have flown several XRs out of DEN. In fact, I flew IAH-DEN-BNA on UA/COex in early June; we had to return back to DEN on the XR and make an emergency landing because of a problem with the planes hydraulics. I definitely could see an ops base at DEN.
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CO777DAL
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:18 am

Quoting ual777 (Reply 30):
D is not set up at all for CO departures.

I have flown out of D a few times in the past on COEX to DAL. I always found it odd and doubled checked, but I love it. It was so quite and peaceful unlike the zoo over at B.
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:47 pm

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
ScottB
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:55 pm

Quoting ual777 (Reply 30):
D is not set up at all for CO departures. In fact, I don't even think CO has a check-in area in D. It would be an absolute mess if they decided to do that.

You do realize that (1) most Terminal D gates are closer to the Terminal E check-in area than the Terminal E gates at the ends of the piers and (2) the Terminal D/E TerminaLink stop is also adjacent to Terminal D, right?
 
ual777
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:04 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 34):

You do realize that (1) most Terminal D gates are closer to the Terminal E check-in area than the Terminal E gates at the ends of the piers and (2) the Terminal D/E TerminaLink stop is also adjacent to Terminal D, right?

Yes I do realize that. I also realize that most people will see "D" on their ticket and get confused. Not to mention that the all the crew facilities are in 'B' which will make a nightmare out of getting crews over to D.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
ikramerica
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:25 pm

E should never have been named E. Just more D. If C is one huge thing, so should D.

And it would not be confusing for D check-in for CO to be away from D at E. That's what signs are for. "Continental Terminal D and E check-in to the left". Not too hard to grasp...
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TWA772LR
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:26 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 34):
You do realize that (1) most Terminal D gates are closer to the Terminal E check-in area than the Terminal E gates at the ends of the piers and (2) the Terminal D/E TerminaLink stop is also adjacent to Terminal D, right?

The reason why Terminal E is close to D is because before E was built, only a parking lot was there. E was built there because its the closest spot to the terminals than, say, anywhere else in IAH. Terminalink also is right next to D because the train was on the north side of the airport because it used to only connect Terminals C and B. Then it was expended to D and E when E was built, then eventually A. It is rare that a CO numbered flight goes out of D these days because of E, where as COEX Latin America arrive practically every 1/2 hour. Granted, the occasional CO mainline flight arrives into D when E is congested, but D is no where near the Continental mania it used to be. However, in the near term, I do see some ops out of D while B is being rebuilt. As for the Continental counters being close to D, they are still part of E and the only reason why they are there now is because that is where the only sufficient amount of space was. E is only close to D because of being close to the other terminals as there isn't much room for a terminal elsewhere on the grounds.

Yes, I know CO and UA are one now, but as long as it still says "Continental" on the big hangar at IAH, it is Continental Airlines to me. Sorry, I just grew up with CO and the merger is still growing on me.
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ual777
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RE: New IAH Terminal Groundbreaking!

Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:30 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 36):
for D check-in for CO to be away from D at E. That's what signs are for. "Continental Terminal D and E check-in to the left". Not too hard to grasp...

While I personally agree, you would be suprised at the number of misconnects for that very reason...
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.