Less than four months after construction workers broke ground on Delta’s new $1.2 billion state-of-the-art Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy Airport, some gates are beginning to look like the state-of-the-future.
In partnership with OTG Management, Delta Air Lines has installed 200 iPads that can be used to order food from the new premiere restaurants that can be found at Terminal 2, gates 21 and 22 and Terminal 3, gate 15 in one and two-seat booths. There is no specific time limit for how long a passenger can use the complimentary Wi-Fi on the tablet and those using the computers do not have to be customers of Croque Madame or Bar Brace, the new restaurants featuring the menus of chefs Andrew Carmellini and Jason Denton, respectively. So far, the gates – which feature power and USB outlets at almost every seat – have been a hit with travelers.
“People took to the [upgrades] like ducks to water,” said Heather Faulkner, director of public relations. “What’s really stunned me is that we have more seating this way than we did with the old configuration. It looks better. It’s more convenient. The passengers like it and we have more capacity.”
Passengers who use the special ordering app on the secured iPads have a server bring the food, cocktail or WorldBean coffee – which offers seasonal blends from select micro-roasters – to their table, all while waiting for their next destination.
According to Delta officials, more than $70 million has been invested in the JFK hub over recent years with much of that money being spent on creating the ultimate passenger experience. Over the coming years, plans to demolish Terminal 3 at JFK (the former Pan-Am Worldport) to create space for aircraft parking will give Delta the opportunity to operate exclusively out of Terminals 2 and 4 and possibly expand the new furnishings throughout their gates.
“[Delta is] not only a tenant but also the landlord at JFK,” said Jeffery Coons, manager of the ground and shuttle customer experience planning and development. “That gives us a great deal of creative freedom. We are trying to think differently.”
Delta also offers frequent fliers an opportunity to relax while waiting for a flight at the newly refurbished Sky Clubs, which include complimentary snacks and beverages, new art featuring aerial photography of the region, satellite television, desktop computers and much more. Like the newly designed gates, OTG offers a menu with plenty of options.
“Delta Sky Clubs are an important part of our premium customer experience and we are committed to further improving the travel experience for those customers,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president of marketing. “From aircraft, to airports, to technology at your fingertips, Delta is investing significantly to ensure our customers have an excellent experience with Delta.”
The redevelopment of Delta’s Terminal 4 is expected to be completed in 2013 while creating 10,000 new jobs in the borough.