Even though it’s performing better than many U.S. airports thanks to our pleasant winter climate and plentiful outdoor activities, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport continues to see the pandemic affecting the number of travelers passing through.
But even as passenger numbers held steady in January at about half the number in January 2020, Sky Harbor continues to prepare for the future.
The pandemic forced the airport to put some capital projects on hold but two — the second phase of the PHX Sky Train, which will connect the terminals to the Rental Car Center, and the construction of an eighth concourse in Terminal 4 — are on track and scheduled to open in 2022.
Here are three more pieces of Sky Harbor Airport news as well as two sales to know about if you’re considering a trip in the near future.
After undergoing maintenance, the PHX Sky Train is running again between the East Economy Parking Lot and the terminals — with a few exceptions if you’re flying in the early morning hours.
“There are short (90-minute) temporary service suspensions between East Economy Parking and Terminal 4 scheduled to take place between 1-2:30 a.m. on 10 more dates this month,” Greg Roybal, spokesperson for Phoenix Sky Harbor International said by email.
You can view those dates and where to catch a shuttle at https://www.skyharbor.com.
If you’ve ever tried to find out what restaurants and shops are near your gate at Sky Harbor, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to use its online maps. They were pretty clunky and not easy to use on a mobile device.
The Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board recently voted to recommend that the city’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee start looking for four food and beverage establishments and four retail outlets for Terminal 4’s new concourse. It’s set to open in 2022 and host Southwest Airlines flights.
Along with an open-air bar, where presumably you could enjoy an adult beverage and have a line of sight to when your flight starts boarding, the airport also revealed that the concourse would host a new general-use lounge.
A general-use lounge is not a perk of a specific airline, it’s run by a company that has partnerships with airlines or credit cards to allow those customers to have access. Often, general-use lounges let any traveler buy a day pass. For example, on March 1 you could find a Groupon for the Escape Lounge in Terminal 4 for $25.
The new lounge is one for members of Priority Pass, a beloved perk of the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, to keep an eye on. Members lost access to a Sky Harbor lounge when Priority Pass ended its relationship with The Club lounge in 2019. The Club closed later that year before the new American Express Centurion lounge and the general-use Escape Lounge opened in January 2020.
I learned the term “revenge travel” this week to describe the concept of finally booking post-pandemic trips. Used in a sentence: “I’ve been at home during the pandemic so long that now that I’m vaccinated, I’m booking some revenge travel.”
If that describes you, know that Southwest Airlines and Marriott’s Bonvoy rewards club are offering sales this week.
Southwest Airlines is offering a $29 one-way sale on some routes for travel from April 13 through June 2. From Phoenix, you’ll find that deal on select flights to Palm Springs, San Diego and Albuquerque.
You can see the full list of fares offered from Phoenix and book at https://www.southwest.com. The sale ends March 4.
If you’re planning to travel in the next six weeks, mark your calendar for March 3. Marriott’s Bonvoy Escapes will offer a five-day sale on its hotels in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America.
The sale is good for stays between March 4 and April 11. If you’re a member of Marriott’s Bonvoy rewards program, you’ll save 25%. If you’re not a member, you’ll still save 20%. Book at http://www.marriottbonvoy.com/escapes.