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Hard hat tour: United's new Boarding Area E -San Francisco International Airport

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San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines will soon welcome travelers into the beautiful newly renovated Boarding Area E of Terminal 3. The first phase of Terminal 3's two project renovation, Boarding Area E will definitely wow passengers in its debut on 28 January 2014.

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I was honored to participate in a "hard hat tour" of Boarding Area E. Construction was still in progress, but the shared visions of various team members gave us a glimpse into what looks to be a magnificent home for United!

Passengers flying on United to/from SFO, the "Gateway to the Pacific", will enjoy better travel days - the first and last impression of travel. Flight crews working the flights out of these 10 gates will appreciate happy and relaxed passengers boarding their flights!

In Boarding Area E, there's space for everyone -space for kids to play, moms to nurse, business travelers to work, the weary to rest or change clothes and freshen up, the hungry to eat, and shoppers to shop.

The commissioned art works by local artists are not only mesmerizing, they are interactive, and quite honestly, look to be entertaining for all ages.

Natural lighting, circadian adaptive lighting, delightful entertainment, comfy chairs, and a spacious environment help to make Boarding Area E a pleasant and healthier part of the travel experience for all ages. Imagine being relaxed, well fed, refreshed, immersed and entertained by the art and culture with all electronic devices charged when it's time to board the United Airlines flight.

SFO and United Airlines' Boarding Area E makes it easy for travelers to take care of practical needs such as:

  • changing clothes (5-star restrooms with private dressing room)
  • breast-feeding young children (private nursing area with comfortable loungers)
  • entertaining active children (interactive art and play area)
  • charging electronic devices (375 power outlets)
  • working (nine state-of-the-art work stations, free Wifi)
  • eating (dining and concessions from local vendors)
  • de-stressing (Yoga room)
  • closing eyes for a much needed rest or socializing (diverse selection of seating)

Even the chairs are comforting, luxurious, and diverse including my favorite- the iconic Fritz Hansen "egg chairs" and swivel lounge chairs. Natural lighting and lighting that aligns with circadian rhythms assist travelers in feeling their best, especially when adjusting to time zones.

Boarding Area E has been designed and built to highlight service, hospitality, and comfort for travelers, starting with airport security. The airport security area is being designed to alleviate stress by informing passengers in real time regarding Wait Time at security check points. Being informed eliminates unnecessary tension associated with the unknown - long lines don't always mean long times.

Travelers will know the instant they enter Boarding Area E that their wait time in the boarding area will be enjoyable. In one sweeping glance, the raised platform "Flight Deck" entrance instantly allows the traveler to feel comfortable with the homey, yet modern and open layout. It also offers an interactive "infotainment" area passengers will enjoy and explore.

Looking for the gate location? Interactive, "wayfinding" displays allow passengers to download relevant flight information directly to their smartphones, keeping them informed and relaxed.

Walking forward, the center sections feature local culture and art as well as a taste of local dining and retail shopping in a wide open area, enabling travelers to keep an eye on their gate while relaxing in a casual yet modern and comfortable setting.

Local art, local culture, local dining, and local retail.

Not only is all of this innovative, local, and modern, it is designed and built to achieve top notch LEED Gold certification!

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has received many awards on a local, national, and even global level. Already a world class airport, SFO just keeps getting better with the amazing new Boarding Area E of Terminal 3.

Congratulations to SFO and United Airlines as well as the entire team of hardworking individuals and professional firms that brought this all together!

Bay Area residents are able to get a sneak peek preview of Boarding Area E before it opens at a Community Open House on Saturday, 25 January 2014.

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