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American Airlines New Customs and Immigration Facility at JFK

JFK AirportAmerican Airlines recently relocated its international service at JFK International Airport in New York to Concourse B of the new terminal, which is located near the newly opened U.S. Customs and Immigrations facility. According to the press release, “This sets the stage for improving the travel experience for passengers arriving into and departing from JFK.” Super!

With the move, American increased its number of gates in the new facility from 18 to 28, with 15 able to handle arriving international flights. So look for new routes serving this area in the future. When all of the $1.3 billion terminal is complete in
early 2008, the facility will have 36 gates, with 19 capable of handling international arrivals. That almost doubles the international capacity of American. These efforts are part of “Phase II” of the construction of American’s state-of-the-art terminal, the newest and largest airline terminal at JFK, which is hoped to serve the needs of millions of domestic and international travelers for decades to come.

American currently flies from JFK to 38 destinations, 23 of which are international, with 92 flights a day. According to the same press release, “American is the only U.S. airline to fly nonstop from New York to London’s Heathrow Airport and Tokyo.” That’s a pretty shady statement, to tell you the truth. Continental flies to both destinations from its Newark hub. I guess American is basing its statement on the fact that Newark is actually in New Jersey. It is considered a New York airport, though as it is only about 30 minutes from Manhattan (traffic permitting).

The new Customs facility has 32 Immigration positions and 10 Customs positions capable of processing 1,600 travelers per hour, compared to just 1,200 per hour previously. That is one heck of an improvement, provided all stations are filled (which in my experience in Customs they rarely are).