BOSTON — Members of the press as well as airport employees, United Airlines management, and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick attended a press conference and ribbon cutting Monday to commemorate United’s new Terminal B concourse at Boston Logan Airport.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), along with United, spent $170 million on the new terminal, which combines both pre-merger segments into one ten-gate facility with state-of-the-art amenities, according to the airline. The terminal will officially open Tuesday night, although United brought in a factory-fresh 737-900/ER for the press event.
New Amenities, Comfort
The new terminal includes many new technologies aimed at improved customer experience. Each of the ten gates has a new self-service boarding kiosk, while check-in areas have self-tagging bag machines. United also installed special connectivity outlets with USB charging capability under each chair at gate waiting areas, as well as boards that scan your boarding pass and tell you where to go to make a connection. The airline hopes to streamline service and use improved technology so that customer service representatives could focus on passengers instead of tasks that are easily automated, such as scanning boarding passes.
On the upper level, the new United Club has 180 feet of windows, which offer what Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology, and strategy, called “unmatched” views of the airfield and harbor. The club also has an aviation theme.
Previously, United operated in two terminals at Logan; Terminal A housed pre-merger Continental destinations such as Newark, Houston, and Cleveland, while Terminal C catered to pre-merger United, housing gates for Dulles, O’Hare, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver.
Foland remarked that United operations were split for over three years, and called the combination “a great benefit” that will streamline customer-friendly operations for decades to come.
Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn called the concourse a “great example of bold design.” Glynn explained that the building connects current American Airlines gates with U.S. Airways gates after security, adding to the airport as a whole by improving United service and making connections seamless for the new American.
Officials estimate that approximately 40 percent of all Logan passengers will use Terminal B, relieving congestion in Terminal C, which houses jetBlue. The location optimization is part of Massport’s passenger-friendly infrastructure initiative, which includes a new $100 million investment in Terminal E to prepare the airport for growing international services – including new flights to Dubai, Turkey, China, and Japan.
Governor Deval Patrick, a former United Airlines Board Member himself, remarked that Boston’s doors “face the world.” The governor has taken special interest in Logan’s growth – 40% of all international services at Logan were launched during his time in office. Patrick cited over eleven new nonstops in the past eight years as well as a record number of travellers in each of the past three years as a testament to his administration’s infrastructure commitment.
The new terminal comes on the heels of a $489 quarter loss by United. The airline recently re-opened their Terminal 3 in San Francisco, and revamped lounges at London Heathrow.