March 17th, 2005 -
Smooth akeoff for Terminal A
Thursday, March 17, 2005
By Keith Reed
The Boston (MA) Globe
Delta Air Lines landed in its new terminal at Logan International Airport yesterday with little turbulence.
By 9 a.m., hundreds of passengers had checked in, cleared security, and boarded dozens of flights on the terminal's opening day, and few expressed any complaints. Travelers interviewed at the $400 million facility gushed about its gleaming, expansive space, the new stores and restaurants, and about how quickly they got past the security checkpoints.
If only the mailboxes were easier to find.
''We can't find a mailbox, and we can't find anyone who knows where a mailbox is," said Paul Girouard of Boston, who sat holding a letter he had hoped to mail before boarding his flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Girouard, whose flight departed from the terminal's satellite building, had actually passed mailboxes in the main building's lobby. An airport spokeswoman offered to mail it for him.
Delta, Logan's number two airline, tore down the old Terminal A, formerly home to defunct Eastern Airlines, three years ago. The new facility is comprised of a main building, which handles Delta Shuttle and regional flights, and a satellite for bigger jets and long-haul flights. A 602-foot underground tunnel with a moving sidewalk connect the two.
All Delta, Song, and Delta Shuttle flights now use Terminal A, which houses 14 restaurants and 19 stores. It is the first all-new terminal at the airport since 1975.
JetBlue Airways plans to begin renovating Delta's old Terminal C gates next week as it gears up for a major expansion at Logan. JetBlue will take over five gates by May, and an additional gate every six months until it reaches 11 by 2008.
In all, Logan has five terminals.
There were only minor glitches yesterday at Terminal A, which houses $12 million worth of new security technology and equipment. An automatic door at the exit from the terminal's secure area wasn't working, so an airport worker was stationed there to open it manually.
And some restaurants, including Lucky's Lounge, Wendy's, and Panda Express in the main terminal and Summer Shack and Summer Shack Express won't open for a few days.
Christine Brown, a Quincy woman flying on the Delta Shuttle to New York, said she thought it took longer to get through the security line than in Terminal B, where the shuttle flights departed until yesterday. The new terminal has one central security checkpoint, with eight lines for all passengers, as opposed to one dedicated line that shuttle passengers used to have in the old terminal. Still, Brown said her wait was shorter than 10 minutes.
Another shuttle passenger, Bill Slade of Boxford, said he made it through security faster than usual because he used a line for first-class passengers
-- even though he had a coach seat.
Richard W. Cordell, Delta's senior vice president for airport customer service, said the carrier is increasingly allowing shuttle passengers to use the first-class line. ''The shuttle travelers show up at the last minute for their flights, so they need to get through security pretty quickly," he said.
Business at the terminal's stores and eateries was brisk.
In the first five hours, fragrance retailer L'Occitane en Provence racked up about 20 sales, said manager Joanna Graziano.
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