The best of both worlds — an approach that provides both world-class retail shopping options spiced with the local flavor of Houston’s renowned dining scene — now awaits customers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with the completion of an ambitious new restaurant and retail program executed by the Houston Airport System, United Airlines, and dining and retail partners.
The multi-million dollar project — which began with construction in September 2015 — provides an elevated experience for airport customers, enhancing efforts to make Bush airport a 5-star global air service gateway.
“With the steady growth of international travel at Bush Airport, the need to provide world-class options — offering both globally recognized brands and local brands in both retail and dining — is more important than ever,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario Diaz. “The new program dramatically improves the quality and variety of choices for our customers. We were looking for products and services that satisfied the needs, wants and desires of our passengers, and still create a sense of place that is uniquely Houston. This program succeeds in reaching that vital goal.”
This long-term effort began with extensive planning, research and passenger surveys that provided the blueprint for the final result — a massive makeover that produced 43 new and diverse retail shopping options, 30 restaurants recognized for their variety, global flavors, and more healthful choices, and nine new coffee shops.
Global brands, local favorites, chef-inspired cuisine and fine dining have been added. The new program includes global brands such as Chanel, Hugo Boss, iStore Boutique, MAC, The Body Shop, TUMI, Hard Rock Café and more.
Ensuring that “Houston” feel — creating a space that embraced the unique flavor of Houston and the surrounding region — a number of local concepts are now a part of the expanded dining options. Among those are The Breakfast Klub, Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard, Hugo’s Cocina, Café Adobe, Pink’s Pizza, and Tony’s Wine Cellar & Bistro.
“Dining and retail are an important part of the customer experience and are integrated into the overall operation of the airport,” said Houston Airport System Chief Commercial Officer Ian Wadsworth. “This new lineup of choices offers world-class products, world-class service, and a world-class feel in a city that is recognized for growth and innovation world-wide.”
United Airlines, in conjunction with master concessionaire OTG, further supported the global/local strategy with its clear customer benefits by opening the brand new C-North concourse in March. The new concourse features five local chef-driven restaurants, including Ember with menu by James Beard-award winning chef Chris Shepherd, and upscale retail brands such as Jo Malone and Swarovski.
The Bush airport program already has been recognized for its customer-centric efforts.
Skytrax, recognized as a leading global air transport rating organization, ranked Bush Airport No. 1 in North America for dining in the 2017 World Airport Awards Passenger Choice Survey results. Bush was rated No. 9 overall in the world for dining. RewardExpert.com, a top travel industry website, ranked Bush Airport No. 5 overall in its 2017 Airport Dining Scorecard released in March--and tops among the top 20 most trafficked airports for vegetarian and vegan dining options. One year after Ruby’s Diner won the passenger voting for Best Sitdown Dining in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards, Bush Airport had four restaurants finish in the Top 10 in three categories in 2017, and finished sixth overall for Best Airport for Dining voting.
“I am positive that our customers will be delighted by the products and services the new concessions program provides,” said Houston Airport System Director of Concessions Randy Goodman, who was honored as the ACI-NA 2017 Concessions Director of the Year. “We hit the mark on our goal of enhancing our customers’ airport experience with new concepts, more choices and options as well as highly requested services.”
For a look at the shopping options at Bush Airport, check this link.
For a look at the dining options at Bush Airport, check this link.
For images of the new concessions options, check this link.