United Airlines adding five flights, new club at O’Hare
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 10, 2012 1:08PM
A United Airlines jet at O'Hare.
Updated: August 12, 2012 6:24AM
United Airlines is adding five new round-trip flights from O’Hare Airport — and investing $40 million in service improvements at O’Hare — strengthening its role as anchor tenant and bolstering Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s argument for a fourth runway.
“These critical investments will make O’Hare a more modern, competitive airport for our residents,” Emanuel said in a prepared statement.
United plans to spend $13 million to install new passenger loading bridges in Terminal 2 that will allow passengers to board regional aircraft directly from the terminal instead of walking onto the tarmac and boarding stairways to United Express flights.
Construction of the loading bridges began in May, and some gates will be completed by mid-July. All 10 gates are expected to be ready by mid-2013.
An additional $10 million will be spent building a new, 12,500-square-foot United Club at Terminal 2 that will be triple the size of the existing club.
United plans to spend $2 million on a medical clinic for United employees that will allow O’Hare workers to get specific medical attention as well as routine check-ups and emergency care. The clinic is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
And United and TSA are investing in operational and security upgrades to the inline baggage system at Concourse B in Terminal 1. The pricetag is $19.5 million, with all but $2 million coming from the TSA.
“We applaud the new and enhanced amenities and services that United Airlines is adding to O’Hare for both its passengers and its employees,” Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino said in the news release.
The physical upgrades were announced hours after United unveiled plans to add five new round-trip flights from O’Hare.
United is O’Hare’s anchor tenant, with 600 nonstop daily flights to more than 150 worldwide destinations. That dominant role was solidified by the airline’s recent merger with Continental Airlines.
United is adding five new destinations:
† Monterrey, Mexico, with daily service beginning Dec. 19.
† Nassau, Bahamas, every Saturday during peak season beginning Feb. 9.
† Thunder Bay, Canada, with daily service beginning Feb. 14.
† Jackson, Miss., with daily service beginning Nov. 4.
† Anchorage, Alaska, with daily peak winter service Dec. 19 to Jan. 2 added to the existing daily summer service.
The Mexico and Bahamas flights are subject to government approval.