A Sneak Preview of Houston Hobby Airport’s New International Terminal & Today’s Flights

Yesterday, the car was outside at 6am – ready to take Belize’s Channel 5 news’ team to Hobby Airport.  They are filming for their daily morning show (which you can watch on their website) and…well…I enjoy all scoop and more than happily tagged along.

The sun in Houston came up at 7:22am, so we arrived before dark.

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Quite a bit smaller than GW Bush International Airport (Houston’s main hub) and situation just 7 miles from downtown Houston, I think this is going to work out nicely for travelers.

We first met Lindley Reyes, a Houston based pilot and a man who considers himself a Belizean.  And an American.  And Honduran.  Lindley was born in Roatan, Honduras to a mother from the Cayman Islands (like many Bay Islanders are) and a father from Kings Park, Belize City.   As a child, he and his dad flew up to Belize City once a month from Roatan.

Later he moved to the States, joined the US Marines and got into flying.  He has been with Southwest for 28 years.  And if they didn’t swear it wasn’t so, I would think he was someone they hired to “play a pilot on TV”.

Here he is with Marleni Cuellar, one of the host of Channel 5’s morning show.

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He will be on today’s flight with us and staying at the Radisson in Belize City overnight.  The same hotel that he stayed in as a child of 7.  Needless to say, he is very excited about this new route to Belize.

Also on the flight but working and I HOPE doing the announcements in Kriol, will be San Pedro’s Deion Spain.  This should be very fun.

We headed to the new international terminal to start the show.  It’s not open yet and there were teams of workers finishing last minute details.

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See what I mean?

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And…ACTION!

IMG_5767Brad Hawkins, Senior Advisor in Media Relations at Southwest Airlines, covered the major points.

  • Hobby Airport puts your closer to downtown Houston and will make the customs/immigration process one.  As a much smaller international airport, my photo from yesterday’s post of Houston’s other airport’s Customs Line should not be an issue.  Here’s the photo.
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Tuesday afternoon at GW Bush International – Houston
  • Southwest’s website should set the tone for the ease of the airline – and how easy they want to make the flying process for you.   Buy your ticket – congratulation 2 bags are free!  And if you change you mind about time or schedule, there is no fee.  In fact, if you book at a lower fare, you can receive a credit.  No “gotchas”…
  • Some people don’t like the fact that there are no assigned seats.  But if you log in 24 hours in advance, you get a spot – an order in which to board.  If you don’t like to take that kind of risk, you can pay a small fee for the priority boarding.
  • And then he spoke about empowering the employees to make customers happy.  There is no rule book…just make people happy.  And that makes customers happy and then shareholders happy.
  • Southwest comes in and lowers fares.  🙂

And with over 40 years of profits for Southwest (something NO other airlines has done), it seems to work.

I am TOTALLY drinking the Kool-Aid…I’m a fan.  Clearly.

We stepped back outside to see the ticketing area.  Southwest has invested $156 million to build all of this.

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And then the captain was up.

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All ready for today’s flights to Cancun, Liberia, Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas and Belize.

IMG_5790IMG_5794The part being built by the city of Houston – the overpass to get to the new parking garage still has a quite a bit of work ahead of it.

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But everything vital will be ready. We are leaving the hotel at 6am…there will be local morning shows, press conferences, speeches by the CEO of Southwest and local government officials.  And then…it’s off to Belize.

A beautiful piece of art in the terminal.

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Where…and I don’t know if this is a surprise…but there will be trivia and give-aways on the flight.  A water arch on our arrival…gift bags and plenty of Belikin.

See you in Belize!  Windfinder is not predicting the prettiest day…but maybe we’ll get a few minutes of sunshine.

And so it begins…

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  • ”I am TOTALLY drinking the Kool-Aid”……lol

    • My definition: I would do anything they told me…I’m a total believer. Not as in Southwest is trying to kill me 🙂