7 things to know today and best and worst airlines for customer complaints







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When it came to the rate of customer complaints about in 2017, passengers were feeling the love for Southwest Airlines.

Southwest (NYSE: LUV) — the largest carrier at Orlando International Airport — had the lowest rate of passenger complaints officially filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation last year at 0.47 per 100,000 passengers.

That’s according to the annual Airline Quality Rating released Monday, which utilizes that and other DOT data to compile an overall ranking for the 12-largest U.S. airlines.

And on the metric of customer complaints, which, again only measures those officially lodged with DOT, Southwest was part of an overall industry improvement in 2017.

More here on how the 12 airlines in the study did.

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OIA seeks south terminal eateries; shares details about new stores

International will begin searching for the concessionaires at its new $2.15 billion south terminal, while also locking down the theme park retail stores planned to go there.

The airport will release the first advertisement for food and beverage concessionaires on Dec. 28 for more than 30,000 square feet of food and beverage space.

Meanwhile, the airport is already in talks with Walt Disney WorldUniversal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex about having shops there, said airport officials during the Dec. 20 Greater Orlando Aviation Authority meeting.

The south terminal will have more than 61,000 square feet of overall retail space. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Nineteen total food and beverage spaces (30,678 square feet)
  • Three theme retail spaces (17,902 square feet)
  • Six general retail spaces (6,353 square feet)
  • Two specialty retail spots (1,866 square feet)
  • One duty-free shop (4,600 square feet)

Stan Thornton, COO at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said during the meeting that the airport is seeking to fill out themed retail spaces — those used by theme parks for merchandise — and move onto filling out food and beverage space and other specialty shops.

Maps of the new airside terminal show most of the retail space is split between two levels, with Disney and Universal both having dual-level stores. Other spaces are earmarked for a sports bar, casual dining, gourmet market, fast casual/ethnic cuisine, a burger stop and more.


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“We will be looking at food and beverage, but a lot of different concepts. We hope to focus on something that’s emblematic of Orlando. You can’t do that all over, but more airports are doing local fare. For retail, you have the themed retail and news/gift and specialty retail,” Phil Brown, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, told Orlando Business Journal.

Site work already is underway at the new south terminal. The expansion will add 16 new gates to the airport — for both domestic and international flights — and will provide for future growth. The terminal, dubbed Terminal C, will be ready for flights by 2020 and is a vital cog to the overall growth of the $60 billion tourism and travel industry that serves more than 68 million annual visitors.

Orlando airport pitch 1,800-acre project


Orlando Airport

Roads slated to access the project include Boggy Creek Road, Narcoossee Road and Medical City Boulevard. A planned extension of Osceola Parkway would access the southern end of the project.

With the Greater Orlando Airport to the north, plans mention transit prospects for the property, which has long known as the Poitras property.

Located in a southeast Orlando sector planning area, owners are seeking “urban village” land use approval. About 236 acres would be set aside for conservation, according to plans submitted last week. Plans also mention connections to the existing sidewalks and bike lanes in Lake Nona.

The project proposals comes as Starwood has submitted plans for the 1,572-acre Vista Park north of State Road 528 and west of State Road 417. And further east, Tavistock is working through the process of a project that would engulf other proposals. With more than 24,000 acres, Sunbridge would span stretches of Orange and Osceola counties.