American Airlines (AA) yesterday (15 May) moved its international services at New York's Kennedy Airport into Concourse B of its dedicated terminal complex, near the brand new US Customs and Immigrations facility. AA passengers arriving into and departing from JFK should now find the experience much more to their liking.
With the opening of the concourse, American has increased its number of gates from 18 to 28, with 15 able to handle arriving international flights. When the $1.3bn (”657m) terminal is complete in early 2008, the facility will have 36 gates, with 19 capable of handling international arrivals.
The latest efforts are part of Phase II of the construction of American's state of the art terminal, the newest and largest airline terminal at JFK, which is designed to serve the needs of millions of domestic and international travellers for decades.
"The new 82,000sq ft Customs and Immigrations facility has 32 Immigration positions and 10 Customs positions capable of processing 1,600 travellers per hour, compared to just 1,200 per hour previously. That is just one of the ways customers will realize the benefits of American's new terminal," said American executive vice-president marketing, Dan Garton.
"This terminal represents one of the biggest, boldest and most expensive projects in American Airlines' history, and it underscores our commitment to JFK and New York and our determination to preserve New York's status as one of the world's premier domestic and international gateways. It also reaffirms our commitment to provide our customers with the best possible travel experience."
The bright and airy facility will significantly improve passenger flow through increased usage of moving walkways, broader corridors, and larger passenger hold rooms. American serves about 8.5m customers at JFK Airport annually.
In June, American will unveil in Concourse B, a 11,200sq ft Admirals Club and a 7,000sq ft Flagship Lounge for international first class passengers, as well as other eligible first class passengers on certain domestic transcontinental flights.
Phase I of American's new terminal, which opened in August 2005, features a dramatic, 57,000sq ft ticketing lobby with a 65ft ceiling. A recently completed 397ft long mural by New York artist and architect Matteo Pericoli, adorns the east wall of the terminal and depicts a spectacular global skyline with famous buildings from New York and more than 70 other cities. That lobby is linked to Concourse C by a 250ft underground tunnel served by escalators and moving walkways.