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business travel
By Joe Brancatelli

Just days before it was due to open on October 1, JetBlue Airways pushed back the opening of its new terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport. The three-week delay was apparently due to issues with the terminal’s 55,000-square-foot retail plaza. It will encompass 22 dining locations and 25 retail shops. A much-anticipated feature is the ability to order meals from special computer terminals at the departure gates and have food delivered to you. A new parking facility and JFK’s AirTrain service is accessible from covered walkways. However, a connection to JFK’s iconic Terminal 5, which once housed TWA, won’t be ready until the airport authorities renovate Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece. … United Airlines is pulling out of Palmdale, a Los Angeles-area airport that has been trying to build passenger service. United launched service from Palmdale in June 2007, and received financial considerations for using the airport for 18 months. It will depart on December 6, as soon as the financial support ends. No other airline currently operates from Palmdale. … A shop dedicated to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver has opened at Vancouver Airport in British Columbia, Canada.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Big Six dribble out new overseas service: As they continue to cut flights domestically, the Big Six airlines are pinning their fading hopes for profit on new international service. Continental Airlines, for example, says it will launch seasonal flights between its Houston hub and Rio de Janeiro on December 17. It has also scheduled a March 26 launch for its Newark-Shanghai nonstops. The daily service will operate with Boeing 777-300s. Meanwhile, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are targeting Brazil and the Caribbean. Over at American, there’ll be five weekly flights between Chicago and Montego Bay, Jamaica, beginning January 31. And effective November 2, it will add flights from its Miami hub to three Brazilian cities: Belo Horizonte; Salvador de Bahia and Recife. Delta adds weekly flights from New York/Kennedy to Bonaire on December 20. A day earlier, it launches flights from its Atlanta hub and Manaus and Recife. The Recife flight will then continue on to Fortaleza. … Watch for American Airlines to use two-class Boeing 757s on some trans-Atlantic routes. The airline is currently reconfiguring 18 of them with the carrier’s newish business-class chairs. There’ll be 16 seats in business class and 166 seats in coach. … Turkish Airlines is resuming its Istanbul-Baghdad route after an 18-year hiatus. The flights, which ended during the 1991 Gulf War, will operate three times a week. Service restarts on October 26.

SECURITY WATCH

Southwest adds priority security lanes at seven airports: The lanes, available to the airline’s Business Select and A-List customers, are opening in Baltimore-Washington, Dallas/Love, Phoenix Sky Harbor, John Wayne/Orange County, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The so-called FlyBy lanes are due to expand to several more airports next month. … Clear, the security line-cut program, has opened at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. That is the 20th airport in the country with a line-cut program operated by Clear or one of its competitors. Clear, which once promised substantial security-screening bypass as part of its benefits, is also raising its price to $199 a year on October 15.It currently charges $128.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers.

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