Today’s offering of The Fives is a special double feature. With the opening of Terminal 1 set for just 10 days from now, I thought it would be a great time to take a look at several places in the building and see just how much they’ve changed over the course of the modernization project. Hope you enjoy this look at Terminal 1, then and now!
Terminal 1 Curbside:
Oh how the curbside has changed! For years, Terminal 1 was defined by the blue exterior, gaining the nickname “the blue box.” Today, the blue is gone, replaced by a sleek silver exterior. Also, note how the windows have changed. In the old photo, you can see small, square windows that allowed a limited amount of light into the building. In the new photo, look above the canopy to see the translucent panels that let a lot of indirect sunlight into the building.
Speaking of canopies, the short, low canopy in the older photo has been replaced by two large canopies that reach out over the roadway and provides protection from the elements for arriving and departing passengers.
This older photo of the ticketing lobby was taken on one of the first days of demolition as workers were removing the carpet from this section of the building. Millions of passengers checked-in for flights in this space over the decades.
Today, Southwest’s logo provides some vibrant color in the new ticketing lobby as work is underway to add the final check-in monitors. Notice the amount of natural light, new carpeting and woodwork on the wall above the ticket counters.
One of the most dramatic transformations in the terminal is the security checkpoint. In the past, passengers queued up for flights on the lower level before heading upstairs for screening. Note the low ceilings in this space. The old checkpoint was narrower and required a zig-zag pattern for the screening equipment, as evidenced by the footprints of machinery on the floor.
Now, the checkpoint has been greatly expanded, allowing queuing and screening on one level. Here, workers are in the process of positioning the queue stanchions. Walls have been removed and ceiling heights greatly increased, allowing you to see into the ticketing lobby. The new checkpoint will have four screening lanes located side by side.
The biggest change for the Terminal 1 concourse (besides all of the great new shops and restaurants) is the amount of natural light. Before the project, small picture windows allowed a glimpse outdoors. Today, floor to ceiling windows allow a tremendous amount of natural light, as well as panoramic views of the airfield.
We’ve also raised the ceilings and installed the same seating units that are popular in Terminal 2. These seats have standard and USB power outlets under each tabletop. You can also see that stores, like Flight Stop, are closer to the gate areas.
These two photos of the bag claim lobby were taken from the exact same spot. One of the things that jumps out at me immediately is how much brighter and more inviting the space is today. You can’t miss Highwire Travelers, which is suspended above the space. Also, notice the slope of the ceiling and the warmth that the wood wall treatment brings.
If you look closely, you can see the glass wall above the bag claim lobby. Looking between the two photos, you can see how much the security checkpoint was expanded on the north end. Also, look beside Bag Claim 1 in the newer photo. That’s where passengers now exit security.
Are you excited about the opening of Terminal 1? Share your thoughts on social media and tag #rdut1!