Better Airports, Happier Passengers?

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Airport customs (Photo: PhotoDisc)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 7, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, airport, Amsterdam, Atlanta, baggage, Beijing, Chicago, Christine Sarkis, frequent flyer, Indianapolis, London, New York City, Seattle, Singapore, Washington, D.C..

Do airport improvements make better passenger experiences? Airports around the world are banking on it. Here's a roundup of some of the new developments from 2008:

New Terminals

Indianapolis International: The new Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal replaces the old terminal at Indianapolis' airport. The new terminal includes two concourses, a ticketing hall, and baggage claim, plus more than 40 shops and restaurants.

London Heathrow: Heathrow's new Terminal 5 opened in March. The terminal was designed to handle 35 million passengers per year, and includes its own Harrods department store.

JFK Airport: The new JetBlue terminal at New York's JFK airport opened in October. The new terminal has 26 gates, 40 ticket counters, a 20-lane security checkpoint, 22 food outlets, and 25 retail stores.


Beijing Capital Airport: Beijing Capital's T3 terminal opened in spring 2008. The new terminal has three concourses, plus new check-in desks and baggage claim for domestic and international flights.

Singapore Changi: Changi Airport opened Terminal 3 in January 2008, and by doing so increased the airport's annual capacity by 22 million passengers. The terminal has more than 100 shops and 30 food concessions.

New Runways

Washington Dulles: Opened in November, the new runway makes room for 100,000 more take-offs and landings each year.

Seattle-Tacoma: Opened in November, the new runway was designed to decrease delays in low-visibility conditions.

Chicago O'Hare: The extension of an existing runway at O'Hare was opened in late September.

More New Amenities

Amsterdam Schiphol: Schiphol Airport recently opened a baby care lounge with private spaces to feed and bathe babies.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson: Lockers are back at Atlanta's airport. New TSA-approved lockers are also available at airports in [[Minneapolis-St._Paul_International_Airport_-_MSP | Minneapolis]], [[Las_Vegas_McCarran_Airport_-_LAS | Las Vegas]], and [[Portland_International_Airport_-_PDX | Portland]], Oregon; and will be available at [[Honolulu_International_Airport_-_HNL | Honolulu]] International starting in spring.

Want to share the latest updates to an airport you've been in lately? Post them below!

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