At last, the clouds have appeared to clear over the American Airlines vs. City of Chicago conflict surrounding a proposed $8.5 billion expansion plan for O’Hare International airport. The details of the proposal, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post here, came under opposition from American as they believed that United was unfairly receiving 5 of 8 common-use gates that will be vacated by Delta when it moves from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5 in order to make room for a new “Global Terminal” which will be occupying the space where Terminal 2 currently sits.
The terms of the agreement are based on the same specifications as before, broken down below:
- American will have 71 gates, including the 66 it possesses now + 5 new “L-Stinger” gates slated to open this spring.
- United will have 85 gates, including the 80 it possesses now + 5 new gates it will acquire from Delta.
- Delta is vacating all 8 of its gates from Terminal 2 and moving to Terminal 5
- American will get three additional gates in the “L-Stinger” terminal that will be on the opposite side of the five new gates, although these will technically be “common-use” facilities that can only accommodate regional jets?
- Furthermore, construction of these new gates will require removal of the snow removal equipment storage site located north of the stinger pier
- The timeline to construct these gates will be “escalated” to take place sooner rather than later, although the timeframe is unspecified.
So, what American originally wanted, which was access to the remaining three gates vacated by Delta that will become, “common-use” in the Global Terminal, will still not be given to the carrier, and instead, it will simply have access to three common-use gates within its own Terminal 3 that can only be used by regional jets.
To me, it doesn’t seem like all that great of a deal for American, but if they feel content with that end result to move forward with the signing, I’m all for it.
What are your thoughts on the final agreement between American and the City of Chicago?