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Airport Check-in: St. Louis eyes sponsors; JFK adds eateries

New York JFK's Terminal 4 has several new restaurants, including Seafood Bar.
Enlarge image Enlarge By SSP America
New York JFK's Terminal 4 has several new restaurants, including Seafood Bar.
By Roger Yu, USA TODAY
Lambert-St. Louis International has hired consultants to consider new marketing plans, including possibly selling the naming rights to concourses, parking garages and other parts of the airport. Spokesman Jeff Lea says that the airport's priority is to gain revenue from other "smaller projects," such as events sponsorship. "(Naming rights) is at the end of the list. It's something they may look into," he says. "It's not a high-priority goal."
Last year, Detroit Metro put naming rights for its North Terminal up for sale. "However, very difficult current economic conditions make this quite a challenge," airport spokesman Michael Conway says.

New York JFK's Terminal 4 has several new restaurants, including Seafood Bar, Upper Crust and Zpizza. SSP America, which operates Terminal 4's food concessions, says the first airport location of the steakhouse Palm Bar & Grille will open at the international terminal later this year.

Dallas Love Field's terminal will shrink by about 25% once it undergoes its planned renovation, says Corgan Associates, which was named as the program's chief architecture firm last week. A large amount of unused and outdated space will be replaced with "efficient" facilities, including a consolidated central concourse with 20 gates that will replace the current configuration of three concourses. In keeping with other airports that are pursuing more non-aviation revenue, Love Field's space for concessions will more than double.

Corgan has a long history with Love Field, having designed in 1956 what was then the primary airport for Dallas.
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A discussion to extend Los Angeles' metro system to Los Angeles International is resuming thanks to a recent real estate acquisition by the airport. A Los Angeles City Council committee recently asked airport officials to study the feasibility of bringing the city metro's Green Line directly to LAX by building a stop adjacent to a terminal. The line currently ends about 2 miles from the airport, forcing passengers to finish the trip via shuttle bus. But LAX bought an adjacent 20-acre parking lot earlier this month, which could be used for a new Green Line station.

The 2-mile extension will cost about $200 million and would likely be funded by the half-cent county sales tax recently approved by Los Angeles County voters, according to The Daily Breeze.

The discussion to extend the Green Line has been ongoing for more than a decade. Many LAX travelers prefer to use non-stop buses, LAX FlyAway, that drop them off at various locations in the city.

Atlanta Hartsfield plans to introduce free wireless Internet access next year, but will keep fee-based Wi-Fi for those who prefer it. The airport has approved extending agreements with three Wi-Fi providers that offer fee-based service. But more travelers now expect free Wi-Fi in public places, so the airport will offer an option subsidized by advertising.

Air France says its first Airbus A380 will start flying a daily Paris de Gaulle to New York JFK route in November. In Air France's configuration of the double-decker, the world's largest commercial jet will carry up to 538 passengers.

American Airlines has installed a new "pet relief" area at Terminal 8 in New York John F. Kennedy. Located at the departure level, it's an area for passengers to have their pets "relieve themselves before packing them away," the airline says in a statement. The 30-feet-by-50-feet enclosure contains a patch of natural grass and a requisite red fire hydrant.

Every Monday, we report on the latest news in airports across the USA. See something noteworthy in your travels? E-mail your suggestions to ryu@usatoday.com.
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