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William P. Hobby Airport


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(Intercontinental-Houston based Continental airlines was ranked #1 for legacy carriers in customer satisfaction also)

HAS press release

Hobby Airport rated number one in customer satisfaction

Houston's second-largest airport a favorite among North American travelers

June 29, 2006

The verdict is in.

Passengers across the country have selected William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) as the number one airport in the country for customer satisfaction.

Houston's second-largest airport was selected, this year, as the top-pick among travelers in the United States who were surveyed by J.D. Power and Associates for an Aviation Week traveler satisfaction report.

J.D. Power and Associates is an internationally-recognized global marketing firm that annually measures quality and customer satisfaction in various industries based upon the responses of millions of consumers.

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This does not suprise me since Soutwest dominates both Hobby and Love. Southwest may be Greyhound in the air but for short jaunts there is nobody who gets you there faster and with a smile. I fly SWA at will for work and am always amazed at how quickly I get through the airport. IAH is another story.

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The only good thing about Love Field is that it's close to downtown Dallas. Even with some of the recent renovations (which are very cheap) the place is still a major dump.

At least Hobby has been improved with the nice, new Southwest concourse. However, construction on the rest of the terminal seems to have stalled.

I was surprised by some of the airports on the list. DFW ranks as one of the worst airports in the country for making connections, although it has been improved by the new train system. Yet it was still up there on the list at number 4. Philadelphia is one of the worst airports I've ever dealt with -- plagued by major delays due to its design and lack of runways, ugly worn-out terminals, and ridiculously slow security lines due to most terminals not having adequate space for security secreening. And it's number three on the list, supposedly for its speed at processing inbound international passengers through immigration and customs, and its retailers. While I've never arrived internationally at PHL, I would rank it well below IAH in all other areas.

I did find it interesting that Continental's two biggest hubs, IAH and EWR, tied in the large airport category, and the other domestic hub, CLE, was number 4 in the medium category. The same survey also ranked Continental as number 1 in the traditional airline category. Southwest was number 2 in the discount carrier category, behind JetBlue.

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  • 9 months later...
Guest Plastic

There was supposed to be a multimilllion dollar rennovation of Hobby. I wnet there and didn't see much different accept the Southwest Airlines gates. That and the cover ober the top of the garage.

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There was supposed to be a multimilllion dollar rennovation of Hobby. I wnet there and didn't see much different accept the Southwest Airlines gates. That and the cover ober the top of the garage.

the gates weren't in existance before. that area used to be outside the airport. ;)

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Any photos?

there's one here. The portion on the right (you see william in red letters) was actually the outside wall of the orginal terminal at hobby. And the round area was an observation deck to watch the planes on the tarmac. according to my mom you could also walk out on top of the concourses. the covered area shown is the ticketing area for the new central concourse.

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The original terminal is being renovated into a museum. It's worth a trip.

Really? What kind of museuem? I mean, I figure it has something to do w/ aviation... but just general aviation, Houston aviation?

Edited by HtownWxBoy
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With the smaller ones, I'd imagine that it is because they only have one or two staff members, and most folks won't work 6-day weeks without good pay...but we're talking about museums, and most are cash-poor.

Yea I can understand why they would be closed one or two days a week... it just seems that a lot are closed on Mondays. Maybe that's the day of the week they would get the least amount of visitors. :unsure:

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The original terminal is being renovated into a museum. It's worth a trip.

for plastic's benefit, the terminal woolie mentioned is the terminal for houston muncipal airport which is the terminal prior to hobby airport, which is the terminal you were inquiring about. the museum, while unfinished on the interior is just a marvel of art deco architecture. They are slowly raising funds to continue the renovation on the interior. here are a couple of pic during one of the museum's functions.

DSCF0433.jpg

DSCF0432.jpg

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Yea I can understand why they would be closed one or two days a week... it just seems that a lot are closed on Mondays. Maybe that's the day of the week they would get the least amount of visitors. :unsure:

Bingo.

It's like with BBQ. Sunday & Monday are the proprietor's weekend.

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Here's an interior shot I took.

269906980_994e9f3712.jpg

One side of the first floor is currently operational and contains exhibits and a meeting space. The other 3/4ths of the building are still being renovated. You can explore them if you ask nicely and sign a liability waiver. You can go up to the conning tower, which is awesome. Stand on the outside of it and watch the jets land and take off. The day I went, a Southwest pilot was retiring, and buzzed the tower at 100ft before his final landing.

Edited by woolie
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I don't really see how they can expand because it's landlocked on all sides.

Any expansion (additional and/or lengthening runways) would require closure of at least one major street or acquisition of land that might be quite expensive.

Additionally, while there are a number of industrial businesses in the area, a good portion of the area is residential and there would be considerable opposition to this.

if THAT wasn't enough, downtown is part of the flight path and that would have to be taken into consideration as well. While I don't know operations of airports in THAT detail, I would imagine that a reconfiguration of the runways isn't really an option to prevent that in the future.

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I don't see them expanding the terminals very much either.

While hobby airport seems to have a very good on time record, it's pretty much at capacity as it is and it can't really move to the larger jets because of the lengths of the runways.

I have noticed some construction (maintenance?) going on at the edge of one of the runways (Airport BLVD side) for the past week, though.

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I meant the terminals not the runways.

The current terminal expansion is not yet completed. The old southwest concourse closed recently and will be demolished. The airport is currently acquiring land south of the airport (bounded roughly by braniff/telephone/almeda genoa/Ballantine). Some acquisitions have already happened while others are still to happen. The airport is looking to expand their north/south runway.

longer term, they want to acquire land to the east of the airport. The current monroe between airport and almeda genoa will be moved east approximately parallel to an existing drainage easement.

The fire training academy on Braniff is also expanding as they have acquired numerous acres behind the current facility.

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The approach and take off paths are already over downtown and the entire central city.

Last time I flew into Hobby, we banked dramatically at few thousand feet for 270 degrees over downtown, came in directly over Kirby Dr., directly over the Med Center, and then landed. It's awesome at night.

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Guest Plastic
The current terminal expansion is not yet completed. The old southwest concourse closed recently and will be demolished. The airport is currently acquiring land south of the airport (bounded roughly by braniff/telephone/almeda genoa/Ballantine). Some acquisitions have already happened while others are still to happen. The airport is looking to expand their north/south runway.

longer term, they want to acquire land to the east of the airport. The current monroe between airport and almeda genoa will be moved east approximately parallel to an existing drainage easement.

The fire training academy on Braniff is also expanding as they have acquired numerous acres behind the current facility.

SO what are they going to do witht he spot of The Old Southwest Terminal.

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SO what are they going to do witht he spot of The Old Southwest Terminal.

it was my understanding that the capacity of the finished central concourse will handle the same plane load as the 3 concourses. further expansion eastward (where southwests concourse was) is still possible if warranted.

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it was my understanding that the capacity of the finished central concourse will handle the same plane load as the 3 concourses. further expansion eastward (where southwests concourse was) is still possible if warranted.

That is correct. The Master Plan also includes a third concourse to the west. You can see it all here:

Hobby Master Plan (Just click on the "William P Hobby Master Plan Brochure")

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That is correct. The Master Plan also includes a third concourse to the west. You can see it all here:

a rep from the airport system spoke at our civic club earlier this year and said that they want to do a lot, but most likely it all wouldn't come to fruition. I do like the central concourse. hopefully it will help bring more air traffic to hobby.

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it was my understanding that the capacity of the finished central concourse will handle the same plane load as the 3 concourses. further expansion eastward (where southwests concourse was) is still possible if warranted.

Actually the East Concourse is supposed to be built. It's the West Concourse (where the current concourse American and Delta use is located) that will only be built if air traffic justifies it. Also, the Central Concourse isn't fully opened yet. The east end of it is nearing completion and should be opening soon.

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Actually the East Concourse is supposed to be built.
i've heard both sides on this one....the latest was that it wasn't because of the load the new one can handle. but if it does GREAT for Hobby! The convenience of Hobby is unbeatable. Edited by musicman
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I remember in the 60's that the restaurant in the present Hobby Airport terminal was called Dobb's House. There were other Dobb's House restaurants around town during that time. The one on Memorial Dr. at Post Oak Lane comes to mind. They were kind of like a present day Denny's. Someone told me that they had the food concession for several of the airlines.

Also looking at a "1940 WPA Guide to Texas Handbook", the map points to the "Howard Hughes Airport" as being out Telephone Rd. Is this the present day museum terminal building? or was there another airport out Telephone Rd?

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Also looking at a "1940 WPA Guide to Texas Handbook", the map points to the "Howard Hughes Airport" as being out Telephone Rd. Is this the present day museum terminal building? or was there another airport out Telephone Rd?

that should be the same one. I think they took the Hughes name off of the airport after there was some sort of uproar over naming it for a living person.

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that should be the same one. I think they took the Hughes name off of the airport after there was some sort of uproar over naming it for a living person.

At the time, there was apparently an FAA regulation against naming an airport for a living person...

Actually the East Concourse is supposed to be built. It's the West Concourse (where the current concourse American and Delta use is located) that will only be built if air traffic justifies it. Also, the Central Concourse isn't fully opened yet. The east end of it is nearing completion and should be opening soon.

That was Plan A, and the East Concourse was actually part of the Capital Improvements Program that included the new Central Concourse, etc. BUT, they have adjusted the plan and I believe actually made the Central Concourse larger than originally planned, so that it has enough gates for everyone. The East Concourse will now be built only when there is demand for it. Then, if there is eventually demand for it, they would build the West Concourse, as shown in the Master Plan.

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Also looking at a "1940 WPA Guide to Texas Handbook", the map points to the "Howard Hughes Airport" as being out Telephone Rd. Is this the present day museum terminal building? or was there another airport out Telephone Rd?

Yes. mr hughes paid for many improvements, including the tower and its name was changed to HH Airport. Later it was discovered that federal funding would be denied if it was named for a living person so the name was removed.

Edited by musicman
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  • 2 years later...

Here's a few photos I snapped as our flight came in yesterday. They're not good quality, but I wanted to share them with you anyway. Our flight flew in from Birmingham via Alexandria to the Rokit waypoint to do the Rokit One Arrival. The Rokit One Arrival Procedure basically brings the plane in from the Rokit wapoint located about 40 miles SE of Lufkin, with a turn to the SW near Kingwood. Thence the plane is brought in over Lake Houston, Settegast, Galena Park, the Ship Channel and then over Hobby Airport. Then, the plane does a turn over Hobby to a point W of the airport near 288 and Reed and then makes a turn to the north toward the Med Center. Then, the plane is given clearance to land on Runway 12R which means a turn over the old Astroworld site and the Med Center area while the landing gear is put down and the flaps are extended. The turn is usually complete once the plane is over Riverside and it's a straight shot for a landing.

Here's the start of our arrival. You can see the Trinity River below us.

GEDC1089.jpg

In this photo, you can make out Lake Livingston in the distance.

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East of Kingwood

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Part of Lake Houston

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Here, you can see construction of the final leg of the Sam Houston Tollway.

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You can make out IAH in the distance.

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Landfill out on Beaumont Highway

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That US 90 freeway sure is coming along.

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The I-10/610/US 90 Interchange

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610 over the Ship Channel

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Portions of the East End

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Looking North at the Gulf Freeway

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South Loop East

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MLK Blvd

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288/610 Interchange

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Looking North at 288

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288 and Bellfort

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Downtown and the Med Center on a gloomy day

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Med Center, part of the Houston Zoo is visible as well.

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Good view of the Mosaic and the newly repaved Southmore St.

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Riverside with views of N. and S. MacGregor, 288, the Colubmia Tap Hike and Bike Trail, and the recently completed Modigliani Townhomes

GEDC1125.jpg

Intersection of OST and Scott

GEDC1127.jpg

Like I said before, not professional by any standards, but you can do only so much when the plastic interior window is scratched and the outside window is water stained.

Edited by JLWM8609
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's a few more photos on appraoch to Hobby Airport that I took on July 30th on the way back to Austin from Jacksonville, FL.

Reliant Stadium

JAX091.jpg

Medical Center

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Medical Center

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Hobby Airport

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And a couple from inside the airport:

Walkway between main terminal and passenger concourse

JAX093.jpg

Passenger Concourse

JAX092.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

A few more photos from March 2, 2010 coming into HOU from Jacksonville, FL. Not being from Houston, I'm not really familiar with what we were flying over, but I do know we came in from the south

JAX281.jpg

I think this is the Gulf Freeway

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HOU001.jpg

Taking off again for Austin

HOU004.jpg

Wonderful photos! Looks like you guys did a 30L landing and a 30L departure. I flew MDW-HOU on Saturday night and made a video of the approach to 12R from 288 all the way to engine shutoff at the gate. Maybe I'll upload it to YouTube when I get the chance.

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  • 3 months later...

I've never flown them but I had a friend who really liked them.

Also, according to this route and destination points, they're off by about 1 mile.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=I-45+S&daddr=Telephone+Rd&geocode=FUjcxQEd4uFQ-g%3BFT6DxAEdigFS-g&hl=en&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=12&sll=29.69968,-95.33801&sspn=0.224561,0.307961&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=12

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That's to be expected from an article which also states Hobby Airport is on JFK Boulevard.

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It's a great airline with an even better livery. Love the "whole different animal" tagline.

That said, I am sad to see them leave IAH and I find it VERY interesting that they decided to move to Hobby to take on Southwest head-on. Southwest has made a major move and expansion into Denver, which is Frontier's home base. Frontier had a niche market at IAH as one of the few lower fare airlines and they were a great alternative to Continental's outrageous walkup fares on that route. Now, they'll move to Hobby and join other lower cost carriers like Southwest, Air Tran, and Jet Blue.

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  • The title was changed to 2

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