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Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Undergo $2 Billion Upgrade

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Terminal B Transformation

Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is about to receive a major facelift, thanks to a $2 billion investment by United Airlines and the Houston Airport System. The centerpiece of this renovation will be the complete transformation of Terminal B, which will feature 40 new gates divided into two concourses: North and South.

North Concourse Highlights

The North concourse will span approximately 765,000 square feet across three levels, providing space for 22 gates dedicated to narrow-body aircraft serving domestic and short-haul international flights. This concourse will also house United's largest United Club, offering travelers impressive views of the airfield.

Expanded Ticketing and Departures Lobby

United plans to enlarge the pre-security ticketing and departures lobby, introduce digital signage, and increase curbside frontage to enhance roadway capacity. A security checkpoint will also be added on the third floor for convenience.

Upgrades to Terminal B South

Terminal B South, currently serving as the regional operations hub for United's 50-seat jet operations, will be upgraded to support larger, two-cabin regional jets by converting 30 gates. This will eliminate the inconvenience of stairs and excessive walking for regional flight passengers.

Improved Passenger Experience

The new terminal will feature a sensory room, a multimedia park, and special areas for passengers with disabilities to relax between security screenings and boarding. Additionally, there will be two concessions hubs offering a range of food and retail options. Baggage claim and arrivals areas will be expanded, and an advanced baggage handling system with state-of-the-art tracking technology will support increased capacity.

United's Reinforced Role

United Airlines sees this investment as reinforcing its role as Houston's preferred carrier. Phil Griffith, United's vice president of IAH, expressed excitement about the improved customer service for the 14,000 employees working at the hub.

Celebration Event

United will celebrate the announcement on November 30 with a media event hosted by CEO Scott Kirby. The event will provide a sneak peek into the Terminal B project and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the upgraded baggage handling system.

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United's United Next Strategy

These enhancements are part of United's United Next strategy—a comprehensive plan to improve passenger experiences, featuring new and retrofitted aircraft, seatback screens for all passengers, expanded and improved terminals, redesigned lounges, and more.

No estimated completion date has been published for the public rollout of these upgrades, and it remains unclear how the construction will impact the current operation of the airport.