Virgin is bringing its fresh take on all thing aeronautical to San Francisco Airport with the opening of the SFO's new Terminal 2 (T2).
Slated to launch in northern spring next year – that's Aussie autumn, or Q2 in globalspeak – T2 springs from the ashes and asphalt of the old international terminal, and will serve as a hub for Virgin America (which is headquartered at SFO) and American Airlines. Each airline will occupy half of T2's 14 gates.
T2 will connect via the airport's elevated people-mover train to the BART (Bay Area Regional Transportation System) station, which gets you to downtown San Francisco in around 30 minutes.
Virgin commissioned architecture and interior design firm Gensler for the project. The Virgin-esque fitout includes 'mood-lit' LED ticket counters to mirror the airline's distinctive cabin mood lighting (and with transitions based on the time of day and level of exterior light) and gates designed with more open and relaxing 'living room'-like spaces.
Among the smart traveller-friendly features are 'hydration stations' (in the old days we used to call them 'taps') located airside, past the security checkpoints, where flyers can fill reusable water bottles with filtered water.
The terminal will also sport a scattering of laptop station benches with AC outlets and free wireless.
As you'd expect from any corporate citizen, especially one with a foothold in the uber-green City by the Bay, Virgin is also quick to tout the design's environmentally-friendly attributes such as as a dining area with outlets for San Francisco's many organic and 'slow food' vendors, and preferential parking for hybrid cars.