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Fly from the US to Europe with a layover in the Middle East? How about a long-haul from Europe to Australia with a lunch of Arabic mezze in Qatar? This is the (near) future envisioned by the brand new, superlative city that is Hamad International Airport-DOH in Doha, Qatar.
The numbers behind the $16 billion(!!) project are appropriately gigantic; DOH can handle 8,700 passengers per hour, and has the space and infrastructure to see 50 million passengers annually through 65 gates once all phases are finished. 60% of the land the airport is built on was reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf, and in all that space passengers will find 22,000 sq m of retail, 15,000 sq m of dining, and a gobsmacking 80,000 sq m dedicated to the 16 lounges within the airport.
A simple layover may not be enough to fully enjoy all of Hamad International Airport, so we’ve done the legwork to name the highlights:
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Fun fact: There are over 26,000 Instagams tagged #PDXcarpet.
Not-so-fun fact: The cult-favorite carpet inspiring such photo documentation is making its final departure this month, as Portland International Airport in Oregon lays down a fresh rug with an updated design.
The APEX blog discovered that the new look, due to be installed mid-January, doesn't stray far from the original scheme of the beloved original design. That original, installed in the 1980s, was an "abstract representation of the airport’s runways and aircraft"; the newer design expands upon this, to evoke “organic and man-made shapes found within the surrounding areas of PDX, including airplane wings, runways, leaves, trails, and waterways.”
So what will happen to the 13 acres of graphic funkiness that is the famous PDX carpet? The NY Times hints that actual squares of the rug will be given away:
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Earlier this year, LAX, the airport everyone loves to hate, unveiled their newest and flashest digs at Tom Bradley International Terminal and we thought it was pretty cool. Now it's Terminal 1 and 2's turn to revamp, and all with the help of Westfield.
After signing the $300 million check to refresh the tired space that's known as home to Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic (amongst others), airport officials now plan to create a unique experience divided up into three separate "districts." The terminal will be a far departure from the standard hallways you see now, as it introduces a "Commercial Hub" that connects to a Dining Terrace featuring plenty of lounge-style seating allowing travelers to end up in "The Strand," an open, flowing dining and shopping district with a grand, flowing staircase leading to a mezzanine with café that overlooks the common-area below.
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You might not be able to fly into Berlin's new Brandenburg Airport terminal anytime soon, but if you want, you can take a bus ride down what will some day be its runway.
For those who haven't been following this story, the idea of the tour is a little humorous. This airport project, afterall, started all the way back in 2006 and has been an absolute nightmare for Berlin, with constant delays that have seen construction drag on for almost a decade. And it's not just about simple work delays. Political issues, including bribes, have come up, as well as an ever-curious case of the hiring a fake engineer.
We told you to expect some frustrations and disruptions at LAX over the next few years as it remodels, but the good news is that we're already starting to see the benefits of the modernization in the form of new restaurants, shops, lounges, aesthetics, and other conveniences, such as new checkpoints, baggage screening, and gate designs.
We've seen firsthand how nice the Tom Bradley International Terminal turned out to be, and if you'd like to know what's going on and what to look for next time you fly through, LAX has designed a website to keep you in the loop.
Summer is synonymous with vacation, but apparently the warmer weather also brings plenty of airport construction. We’ve already mentioned that both Newark and San Francisco will have their share of delays thanks to upgrade ands and improvements, and it looks like the construction crews are on the move once again—this time they’re headed over to Los Angeles and LAX.
The airport is in the middle of billions and billions of renovations, and airport officials recently admitted that traveling to or through the airport over the next few years might just be a pain. Even getting to the airport is going to take a little extra time and patience, as crews will be repaving and resurfacing the roads in and around the property.
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We hope you’ve already starting planning your summer vacation, and that the mad search for affordable and attractive airfare has already been initiated. If you’re planning to visit San Francisco and the Bay Area this summer you’ve probably started to check out options to and from the city’s main airport—SFO. However, just be aware that you might want to check out some of the other airports in and around the area as well.
Obviously the more options there are the better chance of a deal, but what we’re most concerned about are potential delays over at San Francisco International Airport. Constriction work is arriving sooner than later, and the airport will be forced to close down two of its four runways between May 17 and the middle of September. Add in some of the area’s well-known weather—fog—and you’re all set for an extended delay arriving or departing the city.
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Since it won't be any time soon that travelers will walk the halls of Berlin's new airport (ah hem national embarrassment ah hem), it's time to throw full focus on the nearly complete Terminal 2 at London-Heathrow Airport.
Formally named "The Queen's Terminal," the $2.5 billion GBP ($3.9 billion USD) structure is nearly set to open, but it needs your help.
Heathrow is looking for hundreds and thousands of volunteers willing to play passenger and put the terminal through the paces before the official opening. This is called a "proving period," and we can say from firsthand experience (as a volunteer during T5 at JFK's proving period that it's generally great fun running around a fresh-built airport.
While we love to see that money is being invested in airports to make the flying experience more comfortable, sometimes we grow a little concerned that terminal upgrades are tilted too far towards the luxury traveler. In this rant, our contributor wonders when budget travelers will catch a break.
When I landed in Philly this weekend and picked up a copy of the Inquirer, the front-page story was all about the big upgrades taking place at Terminal F. The headline read: "Need an iPad? Or a Shower? A Haircut? Fine Dining? A redesigned Terminal F provides travelers with amenities they can't fit in their carry-ons." It continued:
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Yes, that statement still sounds a little weird for us too.
Last week, construction crews started moving dirt to make way for Houston Hobby's newest expansion: the airport's first international terminal, which will benefit Southwest as it plans to cross borders for the first time in the 43-year history of the airline.
The $156 million project plans to add a completely separate building to house Southwest's international operations. When all is said and done, the airline will be pulling up to one of 5 gates the airport will offer with immigration facilities. Along with new gates, the existing ticketing and security areas will see a facelift to make way for increased passenger traffic.
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Any frequent traveler from Newark Airport has seen the cute little prop planes of Porter Airlines on their frequent and friendly routes to Toronto’s more convenient airport—the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. It looks like flights to and from the airport might be even more fun in the near future, as the city is hard at work constructing a tunnel to whisk passengers from the airport to the city center.
Our bad for not mentioning this earlier, but we just found out about the plans for the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport pedestrian tunnel. The plan is to connect the airport on the Toronto Islands with the mainland, and the project just hit a pretty big milestone. Last week, workers finished off the hardest part of the construction, as they finally broke through—and saw the light—from one end of the tunnel to the other.
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Watch out, Delta; the Sky Club Sky Decks may be the hot spots at JFK and ATL right now, but there's another airport deck coming soon and it's from competing airlines.
The lounge is being designed by architectural firm Gensler (also behind other airport projects like JetBlue's T4 at JFK), so you can pretty much guarantee it's going to be worth the wait until an opening later this year. Even better is the fact that the lounge's design will be inspired by a "contemporary interpretation of modernist L.A. architecture of the 1950s and 1960s." Talk about being on-trend; there's a "nouveau retro" movement right now focusing on exactly thatwest coast mid-century style.