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San Jose airport opens new ticketing lobbies

Travelers should find check-in faster, easier in American, Southwest terminal A

Some San Jose air travelers have begun using a new, larger check-in area, the first passenger space to open in the city's ongoing airport expansion project.

The new ticketing lobbies in Terminal A serve passengers on Southwest, American, Hawaiian and Mexicana airlines.

Airport spokesman David Vossbrink said passengers will spend less time "waiting to be checked in, and waiting to be checked out," referring to both ticketing and security screening.

Vossbrink said the move required a flurry of overnight activity to transfer computer systems for counters and ticketing kiosks.

All this activity was happening behind a construction fence, Vossbrink said. The seemingly instant switch may momentarily perplex regular air travelers, but Vossbrink said the change has gone smoothly thus far. A new longer roadside curb gives passengers more space to unload luggage when arriving to check in for a flight.

The old ticketing center located upstairs was, Vossbrink said, way too small for the passenger volume. That space will now be used to expand the nearby security checkpoint. Two new lanes will go in, with room to eventually double the existing six security lanes if needed.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will also update its screening equipment, according to Vossbrink, to make security checks faster and more efficient.

The ticketing lobby is the first passenger space to open in the ongoing $1.3 billion airport expansion project. A portion of the new terminal B will open later this summer, Vossbrink said.

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