A Sneak Peek of the New Long Beach Airport Concourse

Long time readers of the blog know that I’ve been waiting to write this post for nearly four years. In less than a week, on December 12, the brand new Long Beach Airport concourse will finally open. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what is truly a great facility. If you live in the area, you can get your own sneak peek at the community open house all day Sunday, December 9. [UPDATE: If you want to go to the open house, you have to RSVP. Call 562-570-2678 to do so.]

New LGB Concourse

It was back in March of 2009 that I did an interview with JetBlue CEO Dave Barger where he ruffled some feathers here in Long Beach. The wide-ranging interview began with a message for the city and the airport.

Municipalities must make good on their commitments. That includes parking, terminals, baggage claim and every other part of the experience. The message I would give is that especially in a recession, you shouldn’t take air service for granted.

Specifically, he was talking about the new concourse that was promised to replace the trailers back at the beginning of the decade but never materialized. The Long Beach and LA news exploded with word that JetBlue might leave, and the city council started pointing fingers with me inexplicably caught in the middle.

Around the same time, Mario Rodriguez took over as airport director and with the city willpower in the right place (finally), he got things moving. The new parking garage went up first, but then the concourse broke ground. After many, many years, it finally opens next week. I was able to go for a sneak peek and I put together this 4m46s video of the walkthrough.

It’s a fantastic facility and with a mere $45 million budgeted price tag (it will likely come in about a million dollars under that), it won’t raise operating costs for the airlines. This should be a model for airports around the country on how to create something great without breaking the bank.

Of course, there is always more to worry about. JetBlue cut back its off-peak flights significantly this winter, so clearly all is not perfect. But the airline is thrilled to have the new facility up and running. (I tried to do a follow-up interview with Dave Barger, but I was told that he won’t have time in the near future.)

In the meantime, let’s enjoy the death of the trailer park. If you live in the area, there will be a community open house where people can walk freely through the new concourse this Sunday, December 9 from 10 to 4 without getting a TSA groping. [UPDATE: If you want to go to the open house, you have to RSVP. Call 562-570-2678 to do so.] I’ll be volunteering at the event to help answer questions, so please come on by and look for me in a green volunteer vest.

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27 Comments on "A Sneak Peek of the New Long Beach Airport Concourse"

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Brian Lusk
Guest

That looks great Brett. Really glad to see the changes for the good in restoring the terminal building. Southern Cal is like a lot of other areas in that there is little regard for historic buildings. Also all the open air areas of the new concourse remind me a bit of the old 1950s LAX terminal area off of Century.

David SF eastbay
Member

Maybe part of Jetblues cut back was a lost of people who didn’t want to use the old LGB and may not return with the new digs which should makes things much better.

DesertGhost
Guest

Looks great. I may have to fly to Long Beach just to have a look around.

Jon
Guest

definitely better than the trailers that were there the last time (only time) i was at LGB! looks great!

Sanjeev M
Guest

Awesome! Do you have any insight to how they kept the cost down and is that a model for other airports?

Also, nice anti-shaking in the video. What program did you use?

barry
Member

I have never been to the Long Beach Airport. I am amazed at the outdoor design of the facility. What happens if there is rain? Is there rain in that area?

stuartborden
Member

Thanks for the post and video! It’s nice to see LGB with a concourse that it can be proud of. I hope other airports take notice. See you Sunday at the Open House.

Nick Barnard
Member

That’ll be quite a nice airport. Very nice job on the video editing CF!

I really appreciate airports that have outdoor space.

I need to write up my trip report of getting to walk on the SEA ramp to get on my Q400.

Ron
Guest
Great work on the terminal; it’s especially impressive that they got it done under budget and ahead of schedule. Now what’s next for LGB? How about some transit improvements? A little over a year ago they finally started running a bus to the Blue Line station at Willow, twice hourly, weekdays only (routes 102/104). Any idea how well this is performing? How about additional connections, such as extending Metro 265/266 from the Green Line (currently terminating at the Lakewood Mall)? Also, what’s the deal with the taxi situation? Last year I landed late at night and there were no taxis.… Read more »
Jim
Guest

Do you know if this new concourse is going to have body-scanning machines? If so, I fear that LGB will lose some passengers. I know many people who live closer to SNA but make it a point to fly out of LGB in order to avoid the radiation from these machines. If LGB now has the machines, might as well stick to SNA.

Jaymanlb
Member
Brett… thank you! I couldnt be more prouder of this new terminal. As a long time Long Beach resident and business-owner, my quality of life is enhanced by our wonderful airport! I travel almost every week for my work, and I dont mind taking a connection in PHX or SLC or elsewhere if I have to if I can avoid LAX and SNA. I walked the long “perp walk” around the construction when I landed today on US 130 from PHX this morning (a mainline plane!!) for the last time! Everyone was buzzing… the construction crews, the airline crews, the… Read more »
chemist661
Guest
I live close enough that the cab fare is not too bad. (2.7 miles away). The parking rates are quite expensive ($17+ daily) compared to 10 yrs ago or so when it was $3/$6 per day. Too bad American Airlines do not fly out of LGB because between my wife & I, we have well over 1 Million AA miles and with AA, our preferred airport is SNA over LAX. On alot of flights, flying out of LGB adds an extra connection (US Airways & DL) but with the new terminal, it looks quite nice!! We have $200+ of Jet… Read more »
Ron
Guest
Well, I was there at the open house today with my 6-year-old son (I looked for you, Cranky, but I couldn’t find you). We had a lot of fun. We spent most of our time at the food court, and I have a few comments about that. The food court is great (and we got a free souvlaki from George’s Greek CafĂ©), but there’s hardly any seating in front of the food court. People told me the intention is for customers to carry their food outside to the open area seating, but that seems a bit far to me. There… Read more »
Ron
Guest

Yeah, the soda fountain appears to be designed for something like a car dealership or doctor’s waiting room — a space with little traffic, where people are bored and trying to pass the time. Let me know when they’re selling it at a discount :-)

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