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San Diego Airport Reveals Some Finishing Touches On Big-Budget Makeover


San Diego Airport Reveals Some Finishing Touches On Big Budget Makeover

San Diego International Airport is putting the finishing touches on a major makeover — the largest project in Lindbergh Field's 80-year history.

Aired 8/1/13 on KPBS News.

San Diego International Airport is putting the finishing touches on a major makeover — the largest project in Lindbergh Field's 80-year history.

— With the snip of a giant pair of golden scissors San Diego International AIrport opened its first ever spa at Lindbergh Field. Passengers can now get a massage or a mani-pedi to ease the tension of travel.

Thella Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said the spa was a very popular request.

"We spent a lot of time doing surveys, talking to our customers about what they wanted and things like," she said. "The spa experience is one of the things we kept hearing about."

Bowen said the airport has had the same concession stands for 25 years and that it was time for some sprucing up.

During the next few months, passengers at terminal two will have access to a Sharper Image store full of gadgets, a store for music accessories and headphones and a taste of Old Town San Diego featuring a market with plenty of tourist items to take home.

"There will be 87 stores in the airport once all the program is completed," Bowens said.

That includes a new food court featuring the San Diego-based company Jack in the Box, as well as Panda Express and California Pizza Kitchen. The airport also added 10 new gates to reduce passenger waits and enhanced curbside check-in.

With nearly 17 million passengers each year and growing, Lindbergh Field is finally starting to look more like an international airport.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 1, 2013 at 9:23 a.m. ― 3 years ago

Oh yay, a SPA !

THAT should make up for the fact they are not adding any more runway space.

Don't get me wrong, I love a first class airport experience as much as anyone else.

I've flown internationally and frolicked in business and first class lounges in world capitals, sipping champagne whilst awaiting a jet to whisk me off to an exotic locale.

But the FIRST priority should be the RUNWAY SPACE and the second should be all the bells and whistles.

We really are applying lipstick to the proverbial porcine here.

Filner's scandal will pass, by the pouring in of billions of dollars into a doomed airport that the FAA projects will need more runway space for in coming decades will make our city look stupid for the rest of our lifetimes.

Our city planners responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves, but instead they will be all smiles as they media-whore at the ribbon citing ceremony to take credit for the billions of dollars they are wasting.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 1, 2013 at 11:29 a.m. ― 3 years ago

Thella Bowens needs to go.

Her terrible mismanagement of the airport has burned up billions in useless and unnecessary things like a spa. SAN is NOT a hub, it's a destination. People don't sit and wait for connecting flights, they get their bags and go.

We need more capacity not frilly useless services. Honestly, we should look at Miramar again. SAN worked in 1963. It does not work in 2013.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 1, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. ― 3 years ago

CA_Def, agree 100%

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 1, 2013 at 2 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Agree about Miramar, Bowens is really powerless - it's the city that completely showed a lack of leadership when they put out the "Miarmar Vote".

They should have just done it, what city votes for their airport location?

Special interests will have a problem with any locations and mount a PR campaign against it.

Smart urban planning by experts dictate where an airport goes, not special interests like the defense sector.

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Avatar for user 'InformedCommentor'

InformedCommentor | August 1, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. ― 3 years ago

OK, so which one of you self-proclaimed experts on airport planning and management is going to tell the US Marine Corps to pack up and leave Miramar? I do believe the Federal Government and its Defense Department has a little more to say about where they are going to position their assets than a city urban planner, smart or otherwise. And BTW, the city actually has nothing to do with the airport's placement. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, as its name implies, is a County agency established by a CA state mandate. If Peking and CA_Def actually started looking at facts instead of displaying their ignorance, they might understand this. In this case, ignorance is not even bliss.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 1, 2013 at 2:59 p.m. ― 3 years ago


If you had read my post, I said urban planners should dictate where a new airport should be located.

The City and Feds use experts (i.e. urban planners, aviation experts, etc.) to decide what actions to take.

Your sacred-cow view of Miramar is droll and tiresome.

Military bases get relocated as urban landscapes change, that's just the way it is.

The military has no entitlement to this land, and once Lindbergh Field starts getting backed-up because there is nowhere to expand runway space, all the people who think it's such a "cute and convenient" airport will do a 180 and start putting immense pressure on Miramar to be relocated.

I'm not saying this will be next year, or even 10 year from now. Most likely 20-30 years from now.

BUT, the planning, political wrangling, environmental planning, construction, etc., etc., for something as big as a new airport takes about 20 years to complete, so it's something that should be in the works now.

But keep your head in the sand and go get a massage at the spa while you wait for your next plane since you apparently think that's more important than actually relocating our airport somewhere where more runway space can be added.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 2, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. ― 3 years ago


I would say the exact opposite as civilian needs should always trump military needs. The people of San Diego, city planners, and the RAA should have final approval over where military assets go (or don't go). If we need a new airport, and Miramar looks to be the best option (which it does), the Marines should leave.

The military is here to serve civilians, not the other way around.

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