United Airlines and Los Angeles World Airports will pay nearly $600 million to refresh Terminals 7 and 8 at Los Angeles International Airport.
United will pay a relatively small price of the total amount of $573 million. The airport operator owns the space, so it pays for most upgrades, with United paying it rent. United mostly pays for elements considered proprietary to the airline.
The airline held a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday. It expects the renovations will be finished by December 2017.
Here's how United describes the renovation:
- A streamlined check-in experience with more self-service kiosks, enhanced navigation and way-finding, and a new Global Reception facility
- An expanded, 12-lane security checkpoint enabling improved wait and processing times
- A brand-new United Club℠ above the concourse level, featuring an outdoor terrace
- Enhanced gate areas with additional seating capacity, power outlets and work stations
- A redesigned baggage claim, with carrousels relocated for enhanced navigation and faster baggage collection
Like with every project at LAX, I suspect cost estimates will continue to climb. When I first wrote about the proposed project in September 2013, Los Angeles World Airports estimated the project would cost $413 million. But plans change, construction costs increases and unforeseen problems arise.
What do you get for that price? Let's take a look at some renderings United recently released.