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New United concourse at Boston Logan offers customers modern, streamlined airport experience

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

United Airlines and Massport yesterday unveiled a new 10-gate concourse in Boston Logan International Airport's Terminal B that lets customers travel more quickly and efficiently while enjoying state-of-the-art amenities.

Scheduled to open April 30, the Terminal B concourse brings United's Boston operations together under one roof, offering greater convenience and consistency to the airline's customers.

The new space features several of the latest self-service technologies that will streamline the airport experience for seasoned travelers and enable United employees to spend more time with customers who need extra assistance. These modern features include self-tagging baggage kiosks, automated self-boarding gates and a new customer service center that allows passengers to resolve routine travel issues more easily.

United and Massport invested more than $170 million to build the 97,000-square-foot Terminal B concourse, which includes a new ticketing lobby, improved security screening checkpoints and a spacious United Club lounge for the airline's premium customers. Travelers will also enjoy the concourse's contemporary design and conveniences, highlighted by accessible in-seat power and a variety of comfortable seating choices.

"From our intuitive self-tagging kiosks to our efficient self-boarding gates, the new Terminal B concourse offers more of the products and services our customers value," said Jeff Foland, executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy at United. "We're grateful to Massport for their partnership in constructing this impressive facility, and for helping deliver a more flyer-friendly experience to our customers."

"The opening of United Airlines' new concourse at Terminal B is an investment in the future of Logan Airport," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "With increased customer service and convenience, United's presence in Terminal B will continue to make Boston a top destination for domestic and international travel. I thank United Airlines and Massport for their leadership and partnership."

"This magnificent building is an investment in customer service and convenience," said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. "It brings United into one terminal, instead of two, it connects both sides of Terminal B, it has interactive technology to improve the airport experience, and it has new, locally based concessions such as Berkshire Farms."

United Club Lounge

The new United Club at Logan Airport - the fourth lounge to feature the airline's new design concept - provides a getaway where customers can relax or maximize productivity. Located atop the Terminal B concourse, the 8,000-square-foot lounge features spectacular views of the airfield and Boston Harbor. The club has an aviation theme with contemporary furnishings, complimentary Wi-Fi, abundant power outlets and a wide range of beverage and snack choices.

United in Boston

United has served the Boston community for decades, providing customers up to 50 daily departures to each of the airline's domestic hubs and access to United's leading global route network. The airline will operate its first flights out of the new Terminal B concourse on April 30.

Beginning May 19, United will launch service with the newest addition to the United Express fleet, the Embraer 175 aircraft, on the Boston-Chicago route. The Embraer 175 offers more personal space for customers, with wider seats and aisles than other regional aircraft.

Helsinki Airport provides non-stop scheduled flights to 20 long-haul destinations

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Helsinki Airport's solid position as a significant air traffic hub in Europe will further strengthen as Finnair will commence direct route flights to Phuket and Krabi in November and December.

This means that the number of regularly operated intercontinental destinations will be as high as 20. Of these, 15 are in Asia, 4 are in North America, and 1 is in the Middle East. The total number of direct scheduled and charter connections to global destinations is 130.

"The number of frequent, regular scheduled connections is an important indicator when assessing the international significance of an airport," says Joni Sundelin, business director at Finavia.

According to Sundelin, once-a-week charter flights are a vital part of traffic. However, route flights, operated several times per week and on a daily basis, without making a stop, build the foundation for the long-term development of the airport as well as to the well-functioning and reliable connections of Finns to destinations all around the world.

At the moment, approximately 60 airlines operate at Helsinki Airport. The seven largest operators are the scheduled airlines Finnair, Flybe, Norwegian, SAS, Lufthansa and KLM, and the holiday flight airline TUI Group. Every day, about 500 aeroplanes depart from or arrive at the airport.

"Last year, we passed the milestone of 15 million passengers. This means that Helsinki Airport is currently wrestling in the league of medium-sized international airports when measured both in the number of destinations and passengers," says Ville Haapasaari, airport director at Finavia.

Haapasaari's estimate is that the number of passengers in about five or six years could be almost 20 million. The majority of the growth comes from transfer travel. Last year, more than 25% were transfer passengers.

"Helsinki Airport is Finland's hub for international traffic." 84% of the airport's passengers fly abroad. This is also indicated in the passenger profile, as 45% of passengers are foreigners. This change has taken place in ten years", says Haapasaari.

The competition between airports over passengers, and especially over the Asian traffic, is becoming increasingly intense. Finavia has launched an extensive development scheme of about one billion euros with the goal of retaining Finland's good flight connections and improve the competitiveness of Helsinki Airport.

The first phase of the development scheme, i.e. increasing the check-in and security control capacity of Helsinki Airport, will be completed before the summer holiday season. Improvement work at network airports, worth about €35 million, will also be in progress in the spring and summer.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport deploys automated passport control kiosks

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

The Broward County Aviation Department has installed ten automated passport control kiosks for use in Terminal 4 in partnership with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The intent is to expedite the processing of inbound travelers who hold United States and Canadian passports.

The kiosks will capture and validate travel document and customs declaration data, photograph the face of the passenger processing the entry passport, and print a receipt to present to a CBP Officer.

The automated kiosks are expected to enhance the travelers experience and increase the efficiency of processing international travelers.

Currently, automated passport control kiosks are in use at international airports in New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), and Miami (MIA) in the United States, as well as in Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) in Canada.

Cost of equipment, startup support, software maintenance, and training for 10 Automated Passport Control Kiosks is $460,000.

FLL’s international traffic has tripled in the last ten years and it is now 16% of total traffic compared to 7% in 2003.

Year-to-date international traffic for January is up 20% over the same period last year. For February 2014 our passenger count is up 16.2% over the same period last year.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the preferred domestic airport in South Florida, ranks 21st in the US in terms of total passenger traffic. With over 600 flights a day, FLL offers non-stop service to 100 U.S. cities and international destinations to Canada, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin American, and Europe. In 2013, FLL served 19.5 million domestic and 3.5 million international travelers.

Strategically located in the heart of the South Florida region, FLL is one of the economic engines that drive Broward County and provides 134,638 jobs and generates $10.6 billion annually for the local economy.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.

Delta becomes only U.S. carrier with full flat-bed business class seats, direct-aisle access on all widebody overseas flights

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Delta Becomes Only U.S. Carrier with Full Flat-Bed Seats Featuring Direct-Aisle Access on All Widebody Overseas Flights
Full flat-bed seating to be expanded to Delta's 757-200 transcontinental fleet starting spring 2014


ATLANTA, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has completed the installation of full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access in BusinessElite across its entire international widebody fleet, making it the only U.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats and the convenience of direct-aisle access on all widebody overseas flights.
Delta Air Lines and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 370 destinations on six continents. For more information visit news.delta.com.

The completed interior fleet modifications include all Delta Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 767-300ER/400ER, 747-400 and 777-200ER/LR aircraft, which represents Delta's largest interior fleet modification investment in more than a decade. With these modifications complete, Delta also is the only U.S. domestic carrier to offer personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

"We're investing in giving our customers the wide range of options they want on long flights -- from being fully connected via in-flight Wi-Fi to being fully disconnected and enjoying a great movie or comfortable sleep," said Tim Mapes, senior vice president – Marketing. "Delta has set a new standard for our customers by adding full flat-bed seats with direct-aisle access, improved meals and amenities, and quality in-flight entertainment options."

Beginning July 1, 2014, Delta also will operate three updated Boeing 757 aircraft with full flat-bed seats on the transcontinental route between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport. These will be the first 757 aircraft in service to feature Delta's previously announced upgrades including full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite on transcon flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. All transcon flights on these routes will feature full flat-bed seats by summer 2015.

Delta has invested billions of dollars in the customer experience including, updating interiors with more baggage space and access to power throughout 225 domestic narrowbody aircraft through 2016, a new Terminal 4 at New York-JFK and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal in Atlanta. Delta has also spent more than $100 million to expand, renovate and consolidate terminals C and D at New York-LaGuardia Airport, opened a Sky Deck at Delta Sky Clubs in New York-JFK and Atlanta in 2013. Additionally, customers have seen Delta's investment in its more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system, power recharging stations at dozens of airports, continued updates to the Fly Delta app including features such as integrated baggage tracking and mobile check-in.

Lufthansa presents Premium Economy Class

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Premium Economy Class A340 Cabin View 1 565px

The ITB 2014 in Berlin is the scene of a world premiere on its opening day: Lufthansa’s new Premium Economy Class is being presented to industry experts today. The new travel class can be booked from May onwards and will be available from November 2014, initially on the Boeing 747-8. The new seats will gradually be fitted on the entire long-haul fleet within twelve months.

"Our Premium Economy Class will create a completely new travel experience that combines affordability with greater comfort. The seats offer up to 50 per cent more room than Economy Class and will position us in a premium segment within the international competitive environment," said Jens Bischof, CCO & Member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board in charge of Sales, Product and Marketing, during a press conference at the Lufthansa stand in hall 25.

The new product will enable Lufthansa to meet the requirements of many business and private passengers who travel with other airlines in a similar travel class or who fly Economy Class due to travel specifications. Following the introduction of its new full-flat Business Class, Lufthansa created a much wider gap between Economy and Business Class. As a result, there is now room for its new Premium Economy Class, which offers considerably more space and comfort as well as many additional product features, but is closer to Economy Class than Business Class in terms of its average prices. The move also means that Lufthansa is introducing a completely new travel class for the first time in 35 years.

"The design and features of the new seat in particular are based on extensive passenger surveys and workshops with sales partners – a process that has been successfully used at Lufthansa. Following the upgrade of our First and Business Class, the installation of 3,600 seats on all 106 of our long-haul aircraft in just one year will mean another step towards becoming a five-star airline,” continued Bischof. "We expect to see more than 1.5 million passengers per year in our new Premium Economy Class."

50 per cent more room and “German engineering”

The new seats were designed in partnership with the company müller/romca Industrial Design in Kiel and produced by the seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz near Lake Constance. Depending on the aircraft type, they are up to 3 centimetres wider and provide greater privacy as well as approximately 10 centimetres more room at the side thanks to each seat having its own wide armrest and a centre console between the seats. The back rest can be reclined further and the seat pitch is a significantly more spacious 38 inches, or 97 centimetres. As a result, passengers have around one-and-a-half times as much room as Economy Class.

The head rests can be set to the exact height desired and folded at the sides for added comfort and support. Height-adjustable foot rests from the second row back and – for technical reasons – leg supports with an integrated foot rest in the first row provide extra comfort. Practical features around the seats such as a bottle holder, electrical socket and lots of storage space for passengers’ belongings also help to ensure a relaxed and pleasant journey.

Additional services for Premium Economy passengers

With a baggage allowance of two items weighing up to 23 kilogrammes each, passengers can take twice as much free luggage with them compared with Economy Class. For an extra EUR 25, passengers can also enjoy the comfort of the Lufthansa Business Lounges before their departure. Lounges were previously only open to status customers and are otherwise unavailable on a paying basis. Check-in and boarding procedures as well as hand luggage regulations are the same as in Economy Class.

An enhanced service awaits Premium Economy passengers on board: They are greeted with a welcome drink and will find their own water bottle as well as a high-quality amenity kit with practical travel accessories at their seat. Meals are presented on menus commensurate with the new travel class and served on porcelain tableware.

Passengers can navigate the extensive in-flight entertainment programme using their own touchscreen monitor on the seat in front of them. This can also be done using a remote control, which serves as a controller for video games as well. The screens are 11 to 12 inches (28 to 30 centimetres), which makes them at least 2 inches bigger than the screens in Economy Class, depending on the aircraft type. A wide selection of magazines and newspapers completes the range of entertainment on offer.
Up to 52 seats, depending on aircraft type, and attractive pricing

Lufthansa Premium Economy Class is located within the cabin as a clearly identifiable separate compartment between Business and Economy Class. It has a high-quality design and contains between 21 and 52 seats, depending on the aircraft type. Installation of the new travel class, which is to be carried out on a gradual basis, sub-fleet by sub-fleet, will start this autumn and finish in summer 2015. The first sub-fleet to be fitted with the new seats will be the Boeing 747-8.

Ticket prices in the new Premium Economy Class will be closer to Economy Class than Business Class – a return flight across the North Atlantic or to Asia will cost an additional EUR 600 on average.  

5 STAR: Premium Economy Class an important part of the service campaign

The introduction of Premium Economy Class will complement the many improvements that Lufthansa plans to make in all classes on board and on the ground by 2015. By this point in time, the entire long-haul fleet will have the new First and Business Class – which will involve the installation of 7,000 new seats on the Company’s aircraft. Apart from the interior of the cabins, services on board and on the ground are also being enhanced. The goal is to demonstrate to an even greater degree the qualities of being a dedicated host with a keen understanding of service and hospitality.

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