This week: LAX upgrades, slots in Boston & Vegemite problems

Well, you may be delighted or you may be disappointed, but this week’s airport news update is going to be an “all US” one. While we saw some minor articles coming from other parts of the world (e.g. Spain’s Santiago airport (IATA: SCQ) unveiling a new €230m terminal or the opening of Saudi Arabia’s new Najran regional airport (IATA: EAM)), the majority of relevant articles – twist it anyway you like – came from the United States. Let’s then get right to it:

On Tuesday, NBC LA broke the story that Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 5 (IATA: LAX; LD hub page) is about to get a facelift. The article states that the Los Angeles City Council’s recent approval of new lease terms with Delta for its terminal allows the multi-million dollar upgrade to go forward at no cost to taxpayers.

Then – on the other side of the country – reported that slot machines could now also be coming to Boston’s Logan International Airport (IATA: BOS). According to the article, State Senator Marc Pacheco proposed the amendment to the state’s gaming bill because he said it would be a big money maker for the state. The state legislature will choose what stays and what goes and discuss the topic next week.

Accidents happen but in the aviation industry the smallest incident can have grave consequences. Luckily no one was hurt this time when a baggage cart crashed into a plane wing at Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL). According to The Washington Post the accident happened shortly before noon Friday as the Richmond, Va.-bound US Airways Express flight was getting ready to leave the gate. The plane has been taken out of service. None of the 48 passengers and three crew members were hurt.

And finally to ‘the odd news of the week’: frequent travellers will know that customs officers can sometimes be very “annoying” in trying to confiscate goods that for whatever reason are not allowed into the country you are about to enter. It was therefore somewhat good to hear that diplomats can face the same problem when The Washington Post wrote that Australia’s foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, said American authorities tried to confiscate his supply of Vegemite as he entered the U.S. That story stated that it’s the second time this year that Australia’s signature yeast extract spread has sparked high-level – if lighthearted – diplomatic disagreement.

With that we wish all of you a great new week – of course – a delay and accident free one!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by tolomea]