The second phase of the new Salt Lake City airport has opened; here’s a first look

Nov 19, 2020

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There’s exciting news for flyers headed to or from Salt Lake City.

On Sept. 15, city officials, as well as Delta, inaugurated a portion of the new airport with the opening of the first phase of Concourse A. But only select passengers have been able to experience the new facility since mid-September. That’s because the new terminal and its 25 gates primarily serve Delta flights.

As part of the brand-new concourse, flyers have been treated to dramatic art installations, like The Canyon in the main departures hall, sun-soaked gate areas, a plethora of bathrooms, top-notch retailers and much more.

There’s even a brand-new 28,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club welcoming the carrier’s premium flyers. It boasts passenger-friendly amenities like an outdoor deck, two buffets and private workstations.

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But what if you’re flying another airline?

On Oct. 27, local airport authorities opened the second phase of the new airport — Concourse B. And with the opening, all flyers passing through SLC will now pass through a new gate.

I’ve already detailed what phase one of the new SLC looks like, so now let’s take a peek at how the new B gates compare.

To start, every passenger departing from a B gate will need to clear security in the main headhouse. Then, after passing through The Canyon, you’ll need to walk to the underground tunnel connecting the A and B gates.

Related: First look at Delta’s largest, brand-new Sky Club in Salt Lake City

The walk from the security checkpoint to the tunnel entrance takes about five to seven minutes, and you’ll then need to walk the nearly 1,000-foot tunnel before getting to the B terminal.

Though the trek is long, keep your eyes peeled to the walls — there’s a colorful art installation depicting Utah’s four seasons.

Fortunately, SLC is building a more convenient underground passageway, but that won’t be ready until late 2024. Once open, you’ll be able to head to the B gates right after clearing security, saving you at least ten minutes.

Once you ascend the escalators at the end of the tunnel, take a deep breath. (At this point, I was sweating under my mask.)

And once you open your eyes, you’ll see that the B concourse is essentially a carbon copy of its older cousin. There are 21 gates, allocated as follows:

  • Alaska Airlines — one
  • American Airlines — two
  • Delta — seven
  • Frontier — one
  • JetBlue — one
  • Southwest — four
  • United — two
  • Three common-use gates allocated based on demand

As you walk east, you’ll appreciate the wide hallways.

Continue walking and you’ll approach the end of the concourse near Gates B21 and B24. These gates are primarily reserved for regional jet operator SkyWest since they afford easy access to the ramp for a hard-stand operation.

As you meander through the concourse, you’ll notice that there are bathrooms at nearly every turn. Indeed, the new SLC is proud to offer restroom facilities every 150 feet.

Related: Salt Lake City’s spiffy new terminal has opened — here’s what it was like on day 1

The bathrooms themselves are large, with plenty of stalls and sinks. Each features a different art installation as well.

All 21 gates have a ton of seating, as well as power outlets and — my personal favorite — USB-C ports. As more and more phones support faster USB-C charging (like the new iPhone 12 Pro), this is a feature I hope other airports add soon.

If you’re hungry, there are three new restaurants in the B concourse, including Gourmandise Euro Diner and Bakery, Uinta Brewing Company and Wasatch Brew Pub. Indoor dining is currently permitted in the airport, and flyers seemed to be enjoying their meals.

There’s also a selection of retailers offering conveniences like drinks and snacks, magazines and newspapers, tech gear and more. As passenger throughput increases, several additional restaurants and shops are slated to open.

Concourse B is large enough to handle current levels of demand. But, hopefully, demand will pick up we recover from the pandemic. If it does, SLC is prepared; the airport has the ability to add eight additional B gates in a second construction phase and 15 more in a third phase.

In the meantime, now that the first phase of B gates is open, construction returns to the A gates. Specifically, the airport is working to complete the demolition of the old C, D and F concourses, as well as the international terminal — all while building 22 more gates in Concourse A East.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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