AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s south terminal hosted an open house in its brand new south terminal Saturday, which is set to open next week.
Allegiant Air will move its operations from the Barbara Jordan terminal — the airport’s main terminal — to the south terminal Thursday, April 13.
When travelers head inside, they’re thrown back to the dawn of the jet age.
Jeff Pearse, the CEO of Lone Star Airport Holdings, which obtained a 30-year lease to operate the south terminal, says it will have many features from the 1950’s and 1960’s, when jet travel began. The most noticeable: passengers will board aircraft by walking onto the airport apron, instead of through a jetway.
“We leveraged that as part of our design asthetic and experience for this terminal,” Pearse said. “We’ve introduced mid-century modern furniture and fixtures. We’ve also incorporated colors and textures that are indicative of the hill country of Texas. We wanted to give passengers a really unique experience.”
The terminal will also feature food trucks, an Austin staple, which will be parked outside on a patio.
“It is going to be really unique to have the ability to go and sit outside and enjoy a snack or a drink while you’re waiting for a flight,” Pearse said. “There aren’t too many airports in Texas or around the country, for that matter, where you can do that.”
Aviation enthusiast Aidan Watson got a look at the new terminal Saturday.
“It’s so small,” Watson said. “I like the modern architecture. I think it’s going to be a lot more calming for some people than a big airport like that. … I think it’ll be nice for people. They can enjoy airplanes as they go by.”
Pearse says it will not take long for passengers to notice the difference between the south terminal and crowded airports.
“The terminal is small. You’re not going to be surrounded by hundreds of people. … I think passenger stress levels will be much lower here. The size and the fact that it’s not large, you’ll be able to move through this terminal quickly and easily.”
As Allegiant moves all of its operations Thursday, travelers will be able to fly to eight destinations from the new terminal. That number will grow to ten destinations by this summer.
Pearse says plans are in the works to move other carriers to the south terminal.
If travelers accidentally end up at the Barbara Jordan terminal, free shuttle buses running every 15 to 20 minutes, can take them to the south terminal. Parking is also available at the new terminal for $8/day. Once travelers park, Pearse says you can walk or ride a shuttle bus to the terminal.
To get to the terminal, travelers should take U.S. 183 or State Highway 130 south to Burleson Road, on the south side of the airport and follow signs.