San Jose airport debuts new terminal


The high-tech terminal offers some convenient upgrades for passengers.

Terminal B at Mineta San Jose International Airport got a final inspection Tuesday. State of the art check-in begins Wednesday morning.

"I like the new terminal. I like the design. I think it's going to work out real wonderful, make traveling much smoother than it was," says frequent flier Ronald Skora.

The $1.3 billion makeover at the airport has been under construction for the last three years. The first thing people will notice is an easy approach.

"I'm surprised it was as smooth coming into the building and parking as it was," says Sudan Ford.

The new facility has an open design and features unique art like an e-cloud. Southwest passengers have been using a portion of the concourse for almost a year.

"Seats are more comfortable, and the fact that you have free WiFi is always a bonus," says Southwest passenger Bruce Henderson.

While there is a lot to praise, airport information volunteer Joyce Baker hears the most frequent complaint and in fact, it is one of her pet peeves. There are no people movers.

"I wish they would have left the moving sidewalk in because for older people it's a long walk," she says.

The city did downscale its original vision for the airport which would have run $4.5 billion.

"It was not related to the current recession. It was just being realistic about what we could afford and what we needed," says airport spokesman David Vossbrink.

Ushering in the new terminal means Terminal C faces demolition. After serving San Jose since 1965, the last departure out of Terminal C leaves was scheduled to leave Tuesday night at 10:30. It marks an end to the now familiar walks across the tarmac to get onto and off of planes.

"It's just like wearing an old pair of shoes. They feel good," says passenger Delisa Moore.

In the case of airports, most people seem ready to welcome the new and improved version.

Passenger Thiro Lim says, "It's definitely the representation of Silicon Valley."

One final fact, one-fourth of the waiting chairs have a place to plug in for power.

For more information on the airport and its new terminal, visit

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