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United to remain in Terminal 1 at SFO until 2014

Construction progress on Boarding Area E at United's Terminal 3 at SFO. (Photo: SFO)

Construction progress on Boarding Area E at United’s Terminal 3 at SFO as of March 14. (Photo: SFO)

Have you flown United Express out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) lately?

If so, you likely know that most (but not all) United Express flights now use Terminal 1 instead of United’s Terminal 3.

Passengers who don’t know- and enter the airport at United’s T3- must descend a metal stairway and into a small shuttle bus that moves through the bowels of the airport and then deposits them on the ramp by Terminal 1.

Since The BAT broke this news last June, United has been using Terminal 1 for its Express flights while it waits for reconstruction of Boarding Area E (the old American gates) to be completed, allowing it to consolidate its operations in Terminal 3.

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Originally, the reconstruction of Boarding Area E was to be complete in October 2013. This week SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel told The BAT that completion of Boarding Area E has been pushed back “until late January 2014.”

Yakel explained that the delay is due to, “the addition of items in the project scope, including additional airline and concession space as well as expanded wayfinding. The biggest single item was the addition of another elevator, which required the creation of a new elevator shaft.”

Yakel also confirmed a rumor we reported last week that is only going to add more to the confusion: SFO has allocated Gate 47 in Terminal 1, Boarding Area C (the Delta terminal) to United starting July 1. But, he said, “It remains to be see how United ends up using it.”

So far, our requests to United for more information have not been answered.

Have you experienced United’s musical gates at SFO? Please leave a comment about your experience(s) below.

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-Chris McGinnis

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