Southwest Airlines

Hard hat tour of Southwest’s Houston Hobby terminal

Houston Hobby Airport - hat keychains

In October, 2015, Houston’s Hobby Airport will celebrate the opening of its international terminal, featuring a new concourse with 5 gates (but space for up to 12), a Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility, a new parking garage with more than 3000 spaces and assorted roadway modifications and improvements.

The $156 million project is a joint effort between HOU and Southwest Airlines, currently the airport’s largest carrier, which will initially operate four of the five gates in the new terminal with plans to add flights to and from several cities in Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize. Southwest currently serves Aruba from HOU.

Here are some pictures from a recent hard hat tour of the terminal:

Houston Hobby - shovelHouston Hobby - stiltsP1010371 (2)

houston Hobby Airport - Southwest Terminal - escalator

Souvenir Sunday: bags made of Southwest Airlines seats

Southwest Airlines duffle

When Southwest Airlines did a cabin design that included, among other things, 80,000 lighter seats, they were left with 43 acres of leftover leather.

That leather ended up in Portland, Oregon with Looptworks, a company that takes high-quality excess material and upcycles it into limited edition, high-quality goods.

In this case, Looptworks has taken the leather from those old Southwest Airlines seats and turned it into a line of fashionable and functional bags that include a convertible tote ($150), a duffle ($225) and a backpack ($250). In addition to keeping the leather out of the garbage, the company partnered with a non-profit to employ disabled adults to deconstruct and clean the repurposed material.

Southwest LUV SEAT

The duffle and the tote are available on a 4 week turnaround time and Looptwork is about to launch the backpack and a toiletry bag.

Travel Tidbits: FAA vs. Southwest +Air New Zealand at LAX

southwest

After failing to come to a settlement, the Federal Aviation Administration has filed a $12 million suit again Southwest Airlines over allegations that repairs made to 44 airplanes by a contractor did not meet safety standards.

 

Air New Zealand Hobbit plane2

Starting December 3, 2014, AIR New Zealand will switch terminals at Los Angeles International Airport from T2 to the lovely Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). That, of course, means ANZ passengers will be able to enjoy all the new art and amenities in the revitalized terminal. But it also means that qualified ANZ passengers will able to use the swanky Star Alliance lounge in that terminal, which is operated in partnership with Air New Zealand.

LAX TBIT STAR ALLIANCE LOUNGE OUTDOOR TERRACE - BASKAS

Dallas Love Field gets a re-boot

Here are some snaps from Dallas Love Field, where celebrations were underway and finishing touches to the terminal were on display in celebration of the lifting of the Wright Amendment on Monday, October 13. The ruling, created in 1979 to foster growth at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, had imposed flight restrictions on long-haul flights from Love Field.

 

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Big day for Dallas Love Field

Love FIELD - SIGN

It’s a big day for Dallas Love Field.

The Wright Amendment – which since 1980 has imposed restrictions on air service and operations at Love Field – lifts today, October 13, 2014.

To mark the day, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly will be taking boarding passes and sending off the airline’s first non-restricted flight of the day: Flight #1013 to Denver.

Southwest, which currently operates 16 of Love Field’s 20 gates, begins nonstop flights today from Love Field to Denver, Chicago, Baltimore/Washington, Washington, D.C. (Reagan National), Orlando, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles (LAX). On November 2, eight additional nonstop flights will start to New York (LaGuardia), Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Orange County, and San Diego, Nashville, and Atlanta.

DallasDowntownExpress_Crop-1_edited

Virgin America, which is launching service at Love Field today from two gates, is kicking off the day with a very short “Downtown Express” flight that will travel from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Dallas Love field with Sir Richard Branson on board and an inflight performance by Grammy award-winning country star Kacey Musgraves.

I’m going along for the ride and will share details from the day here.