Travelers aren’t the only ones who have noticed the latest construction developments at GSP. The Spartanburg Herald-Journal recently ran an article detailing construction updates as Phase 1 continues to move toward completion and Phase 2 nears.
As you may know, Phase 1 includes the completion of the new Rental Car Customer Center, renovation of the baggage area, Concourses A&B expansion and construction in the North Wing. However, the ongoing installation of the glass façade is, the most significant sign of progress for those driving onto the GSP campus.
Phase 2 will be the most extensive segment of the WINGSPAN project, and involves an array of improvements that will require the terminal core to temporarily close.
You can read the whole article online, and stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for future updates!
- The Terminal
Who knew that the world’s first airport was in a deserted cow pasture in middle-of-nowhere-Ohio? We sure didn’t! The folks at CNN traveled out to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio and checked out Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the piece of land that is considered to have been the location of the very first airport.
Huffman Prairie is where the Wright brothers would experiment with their planes and try out different aviation tactics. The barren land is also home to many aviation firsts including the first permanent flying school and location of the first cargo flight. Huffman Prairie was also where the Wright brothers performed the first controlled turn, first circle and first figure eight.
There are some skeptics, however, over whether or not Huffman Prairie is considered to be the world’s first airport. College Park Airport in Washington, D.C., Kitty Hawk in North Carolina and Pearson Field in Washington state are also considered to hold the title of “first airport.” Whatever the case may be, there is no denying that Huffman Prairie is one of the most historical places in aviation history, being home to many aviation firsts.
Happy flying everyone!
- The Terminal
The south end of the terminal is changing fast! A third baggage claim carousel has been installed, and work has begun on the tile flooring. A new feature that the new tile floor adds is natural way finding that allows travelers to navigate from one area of the airport to another.
Meanwhile, framework for the south end concessions, including Dunkin Donuts, continues to move forward. Our concessionaire will continue to upfit the raw space to fit their specific needs (whether those needs mean icing fresh donuts or selling the latest bestsellers).
We can’t wait to see what the south end will look like once completed! Stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates on all the exciting developments at your hometown airport.
For the second year in a row Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned best in the world. What makes this airport so special? Well, for starters it has a swimming pool, on-site movie theater, and beautiful gardens and trails for travelers to stretch their legs after a long journey. Those are just some of the highlights. After looking at a few pictures of Changi, it is easy to understand why the airport won best in the world. Check it out http://www.businessinsider.com/singapore-changi-airport-photos-2014-2?op=1. The airport looks like a resort!
Following behind Changi is Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Munich Airport in Germany, Hong Kong International Airport, and Amsterdam Schipol Airport. The airports were ranked by a survey conducted by Skytrax that polled 12.85 million passengers across 110 nationalities at 395 airports worldwide.
Follow this link for a full list of this year’s top 10 http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/travel/worlds-best-airports-skytrax/index.html
Hopefully your next journey from GSP will be to one of these amazing airports!
The first truck of glass panels has arrived and installation of one of the most visually exciting portions of construction has begun!
Trucks will be delivering glass today, Wednesday and Thursday. The timing of installation depends on the unloading sequence of each truck. With such heavy cargo to unload, each truck is loaded and unloaded in a particular order, and then staged in a lot before each crate is taken to the site where the glass will be installed.
The crates each weigh no more than 2,000 pounds and have five or six “lites” of glass, depending on the size and configuration. There will be three kinds of glass installed: spandrel glass, fritted glass and vision glass. The spandrel glass is the most opaque and will be used for the top three feet of the façade. The six-foot section below the spandrel glass is fritted, so it is more transparent but still cuts the amount of light that comes through to insulate the building. The bottom six feet of glass will be vision glass, which is the most transparent. Using multiple glass lites as part of the design eliminates the use of some electrical lights during daylight hours
An individual lite of the glass weighs about five pounds per square foot, so installation is no quick feat. In fact, construction crews at GSP will be using a crane with a series of powerful suction cups to move and place these heavy six foot-high by five foot-wide lites of glass. The glass is then maneuvered and placed on rubber setting blocks, which takes the weight of the glass. Once the weight of the glass is transferred to the setting blocks, the suction cups are released and installation continues!
The first crew places the glass, and is followed by a second crew responsible for caulking and sealing the glass. This sequence is orchestrated carefully for the caulking team to follow three to seven days behind the first crew to allow for a seamless installation.
We estimate that approximately 20+ individual lites can be installed a day, so it should take crews roughly until the end of April to complete the installation. The process will start at the North Wing and move all the way to the south end of the terminal.
Of course the temporary wall will still be in place until all the glass is installed and sealed. Visitors will, however, see the front of the terminal transform quickly these next few weeks.
For those of you who will not be able to watch the daily progress, you won’t have to miss out – there will be a time lapse video to show the full transformation once installation is complete!
Looking for a good deal on a flight can be exhausting. You spend countless hours googling “best time to book a flight” or “cheapest time to buy a plane ticket” only to find that the thousands of travel blogs and websites you skim through give you one hundred different answers. Some say to do it three months in advance while others say six. The answer, it turns out, largely depends on your destination.
Airfare shopping engine CheapAir spent more than a year analyzing over 4 million airline trips by tracking ticket prices from 320 days before takeoff, all the way up until the day before.
The numbers are in and the data showed the best time to book a domestic flight is 54 days before takeoff. If you don’t hit exactly 54 days, try to aim between 104 and 29 days before your flight. Each trip is unique, so you should still shop around, but that 54-day timeframe is a good guideline to use. Don’t wait too long though – this study further disproves the myth that waiting until the last minute can pay off. The data showed that booking two weeks or less before your trip just means spending way more than you need to!
Here are some magic numbers if you want to fly out of the country:
Europe: 151 days before
Asia: 129 days before
Caribbean: 101 days before
Mexico: 89 days before
Latin America: 80 days before
We wish you luck on booking your next vacation!
GSP strives to make the passenger experience a pleasant one. In fact, airports across the country are doing their best to offer amenities and services that are more customer-friendly. This could include everything from Straight Talk Wireless and Benefit Cosmetics kiosks, to express spa services and self-serve shops called “gate huggers,” plus so much more. USA Today Travel wanted you to know more about some of these great amenities, and guess who was included in the article?
Many of you know there is already a Best Buy Express kiosk in Concourse A, but that is not the only new innovation to land here. Recently, GSP became the first U.S. airport to install a new amenity called HappyorNot. These machines make it easy for passengers to give immediate feedback on the service they’ve received at checkpoints, games, and other spots by simply pressing one of the four smiley face-based buttons.
The HappyorNot at GSP is currently in the baggage claim area to gauge how passengers feel about the new baggage claim carousels, but keep an eye out for additional kiosk locations coming soon. So the next time you come through, let us know what you think!
Check out the full article on the newest airport innovations in USA Today.
How would you like complimentary champagne, your own chauffeur and a private suite? And no, we’re not talking about a vacation package that you can buy on one of those travel deal websites. We’re talking about the luxurious first class features that may be available on your next flight overseas!
Lufthansa, Emirates, Qantas, and many other airlines are contributing to the trend that allows first class flyers to travel in such luxury that they won’t even feel like they are flying. This means better food and drinks, more leg room and, on some flights, a bed for mid-flight napping.
Some more over-the-top features include:
- Showers for freshening up
- Humidifiers for better air quality
- A personal suite complete with 23-inch flat-screen TVs, leather seats and a 78-inch bed
- Toiletries from SK-II, one of the most expensive beauty brands in the world
Sign us up for that!
Travelers flying out of GSP will be pleased to know that the Daily Parking Lot beside Parking Garage B on the north end of the terminal has reopened! And, the entrance now includes an additional ticket dispenser at the entrance to improve traffic flow into the parking area. The temporary closing of this lot allowed contractors to work quickly and with fewer restrictions during this construction phase.
A new entrance and sidewalk is also under construction to lead travelers from the Daily Parking Lot and Garage B to the North Wing scheduled for completion in May. Once complete, the North Wing will temporarily house airline ticket counters and offices. The North Wing is also the first phase build-out of the future second baggage claim area and will eventually house the airport’s administrative offices.
All of these improvements are being made as part of the overall WINGSPAN program and will provide travelers with more convenient access to the parking lot, terminal and the North Wing.
Grenades, cane swords, ninja stars and a pot filled with human skull fragments are just a few of the many bizarre items that were confiscated from some of the 638,705,790 passengers across the country in 2013. TSA recently wrote a blog post reporting all of the bizarre items the officers discovered on passengers as well as in their carry-ons and checked baggage. Firearms were the most popular item confiscated by TSA officers; 1,813 guns were intercepted at a total of 205 airports. That is a lot of guns!
Along with guns, many passengers thought of clever ways to disguise other weapons to prevent detection. A dagger concealed within a brush, a lipstick knife, a razor concealed in a cell phone and many more ingenious disguised weapons were all discovered. One passenger even tried to smuggle two guns on his flight by wrapping them in newspaper and placing them in a box of detergent.
It seems to us that TSA is doing a fantastic job of detecting the most disguised and dangerous items on individuals. Next time you see a TSA officer at GSP, or any airport, be sure to thank him or her for all of their hard work to ensure our safety!
Check out more items not mentioned on the TSA Blog
- The Terminal