Yesterday, Virgin America and American Airlines showed off their new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Aiport (SFO) to select guests. It was a preview for what passengers should expect when the terminal opens to all passengers starting on April 14th.
The $388 million 640,000 square foot terminal makes a wonderful new home for both airlines and is energy efficient to boot. At the time of opening, the terminal will be LEED Gold-certified and will be the only gold-certified terminal in the US. LEED, which stands for “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design,” is an official green building certification program spearheaded by the US Green Building Council. Locations are given 0-100 points and can either earn, certified, silver, gold or platinum status depending on environmentally friendly they become.
So what makes Terminal 2 so green?
* Use of natural light, which is always good
* Modern ventilation using 20% less energy
* Reclaimed water reuse program
* Water stations to fill your own water bottles
* Serving of local and organic food
* Recycled 90% of construction and demolition materials from the new terminal project
* Preferred parking is given to hybrid cars
* Use of green materials when building
One half of the terminal houses Virgin American with seven gates and on the other half is American Airlines that also houses seven. Then there is also a common gate in between. Of course, the gates are not the best part of the terminal. In the center is a large seating area with unique clear chairs, with table bases that have old images of the airport, which are pretty slick.
On the Virgin America side, they have living-room themed, high-end seating. For those who have laptops, you will find roomy counter space with plenty of outlets. Add that SFO has free Wi-Fi, there is no worry if you arrive to the airport too early. “We’re proud to unveil a new home that similarly reinvents the travel experience for the modern flier – and that also reflects the innovative, forward-looking spirit of our San Francisco home,”said David Cush, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America.
American Airlines has a wonderful San Fransisco-theme Admirals club, which I will be covering in more detail in a future blog.
The only down side to the terminal, is I kind of like Virgin America being housed in the international terminal, because when I fly them, I get to see all the big birds from around the world. However, for the majority of people that fly, they probably are not going to care too much about that. The city, the airport and both airlines are very proud of this new terminal — and rightfully so. Next time you are going to be at SFO, give yourself a little extra time and check out the new Terminal 2.