Wednesday, December 5, 2012

IAH Terminal D modernization

As spotted on the Houston Business Journal:

Bush Intercontinental Terminal D modernization is underway. Molly Ryan, Houston Business Journal

More and more international airlines are calling on Houston, Simmons said, including Turkish Airlines, which plans to begin Houston-Istanbul flights in 2013, and Lufthansa, which launched a daily service to Frankfurt on its A380 passenger jet — the largest in the world — in August.
With this additional activity, Terminal D will need more concessions, lounges and gates, which are allocated for in the modernization plan, Simmons said.
An interesting tidbit: The Houston airport’s concessions fall far below the offerings in airports in areas such as Dubai and Singapore, Simmons said, and international customers are demanding a more, let’s say, high-class experience.
"High-class experience?"

Oh boy.  By that I'm assuming IAH is going for the Luis Vuitton brand of "faux luxury" that is all the rage in airports these days.  What this means is that we'll see a bistro or three, probably bearing the name of some semi-well known TV chef, serving basically the same ingredients as the other food outlets only with more sophisticated spices and a ton of sea salt.  There will also be very expensive shopping outlets bearing name brands you know and love, possibly even a spa.

What there won't be is a good duty free.  I'm not sure why this is but American airports don't seem to 'get' proper duty free and I'm unsure why that is.  In Europe, when you walk through a duty free store there's the typical array of liquor, tobacco products and perfume, but there are also several items of local origin.  In Spain they had Spanish wines, cheeses and cured meats. Of course, as Americans we were prohibited from purchasing Spanish chorizo to bring back home (boo!) but we did get some wine and cheese.  In London we found stuffed animals and British knick-knacks which helped us finish up our souvenir shopping, and at not terrible prices as well.

In America?  Nope.  I add this to restroom facilities as things we don't quite understand how to do right in American airports.  Shame.

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