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New Yorkers are quick to complain about the poor state of LaGuardia and Newark airports, but take a walk through Chicago O’Hare’s international terminal and you’ll quickly see who’s got it worse. T5, or the international terminal of Chicago O’Hare, is designed for a generation past. Hallways are narrow, leaving little room for passengers to walk around the terminal and there’s little space for queuing, let alone enough room for decent lounges or airport stores. In short, it’s suffocating.
That’s why it’s welcome news to hear that the City of Chicago is planning to expand T5. Announced by Mayor Emmanuel on Friday, the plan is to expand the international terminal by 25 percent, adding nine new gates, while additions to Terminal 2, now home to a mishmash of smaller airlines, are also under consideration.
According to the Sun-Times, planning should be wrapped up in 2017, which means that construction may last well into the next decade — but hey, at least change is afoot.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
We appear to be taxiing to our gate at O’Hare via Schaumburg. This airport is absurdly huge.
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United Is Fined $2.25 Million Over ‘Chairman’s Flight’ for Political Operative: United Airlines will not be charged in connection with a special flight the airline operated from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina to appease a senior New Jersey political appointee, but the carrier will pay a $2.25 million penalty as part of a deal with the government, New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney announced Thursday. Read more at Skift
Delta Air Lines Will Slow Growth to Ensure Business Travelers Pay Higher Fares: Delta Air Lines will curb its domestic growth starting in late August as it seeks to increase revenue and ensure business travelers booking at the last minute pay more for tickets. Read more at Skift
Airlines Are Auctioning Seats Rather Than Upgrading Loyal Passengers: As airlines profits increase, carriers have stopped giving away so many first class, business class, and premium economy seats, preferring to sell them, sometimes at discounted rates. Read more at Skift
FAA Bans Turkish Airlines From Flying to the United States
No airlines may fly from Turkey to the United States due to a Federal Aviation Administration order, U.S. government officials said Saturday. “All airline carriers, regardless of country of registry, are prohibited from flying into the United States from Turkey either directly or via third country,” the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said. Read more at Skift
International Terminal at Chicago O’Hare Airport to Be Expanded for First Time: The City of Chicago is planning a multi-billion-dollar effort to expand the city’s O’Hare International Airport that includes more gates, larger terminals and upgraded amenities. Read more at Skift
London Mayor Urges Britain’s New PM to Build a Second Gatwick Runway: London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked Britain’s new prime minister to approve adding a runway at Gatwick Airport in the southeast of England and bypass expansion plans for Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airline hub. Read more at Skift
Mexico’s Airport Operators Are Cashing in on Country’s Air Travel Boom: Mexican airport operators are posting some of the country’s best stock returns as air travel surges to a record, bolstered by cheap fuel, a domestic consumption boom and currency shifts that entice dollar-wielding foreign tourists. Read more at Skift
Two Hospitality Brands, Two Different Virtual Reality Marketing Strategies: While it’s still debatable whether virtual reality is having a wider impact on travelers — primarily because few seem to have access to high-quality VR equipment — that’s not stopping hospitality brands from using it to market to consumers. Read more at Skift
Tesla Hopes Existing Tech Improves its Semi-Autonomous Driving: Many have speculated that Tesla could have prevented the Autopilot-related Florida crash if its cars had lidar (visible light detection and ranging) to better understand the world around them, not just cameras and radar. However, Tesla might have a way to improve its semi-autonomous driving without grafting on new equipment. Read more at Engadget
Loyalty Programs See Opportunities in Blockchain Technology: One approach to cryptocurrencies that could find solid footing in the travel industry is that of turning loyalty program collateral into, say, units driven by blockchain technology and then allowing travelers to spend those units across a broad network of program partners. Read more at Skift
A Billionaire Buddhist Priest and His Disciple Want to Fix Tokyo’s Hotel Shortage: The Buddhist approach to doing business is yielding results in Japan again. Read more at Skift
Onefinestay CEO Interview: ‘The Full-Service Hotel Is Dead:’ Earlier this month, Skift caught up with onefinestay co-founder and CEO Greg Marsh in New York City, where Marsh was on his way to a speaking engagement at the Revenue Strategy Summit in Washington, D.C. Read more at Skift
5 Big Takeaways for Hoteliers From This Year’s J.D. Power Hotel Guest Satisfaction Rankings: This year’s annual J.D. Power rankings for North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction are out and even though guest satisfaction with hotels in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico has reached a record high in 2016, it’s doubtful that we’ll see the same results next year. Read more at Skift
Though the official video isn’t live yet, based on the feedback from the community, Lola Åkerström’s concluding keynote at TBEX Europe last week was one to remember. See the Periscope preview of it here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin