Terminal C at John Wayne Airport officially debuted on Monday, November 14th and not without the usual snafus – hopefully the baggage system is operational now. Travelers that have flown Southwest Airlines, the anchor airline of Terminal C, know that flights have been departing from Terminal C gates (those closest to Terminal B) for months while construction continued behind barrier walls. The $543 million dollar expansion was approved five years ago during a booming economy with little question of the need to expand to keep up with the growing number of travelers – nearly 10 million a year at that time.
Given the economic recession, airlines consolidating and eliminating flights, and people traveling less, critics are skeptical about whether John Wayne Airport will be able to generate sufficient revenue to support the expansion. During the media preview day on November 9th, Airport Director Alan Murphy projected confidence and maintained the necessity of the expansion with statistics to support it – you can read more about the specifics in Mary Ann Milbourn’s article in the Orange County Register.
If you live in Orange County and travel extensively, you have appreciated the ease and convenience of John Wayne Airport (SNA), versus driving to LAX, for decades. With the opening of Terminal C, serving Southwest and Frontier Airlines, John Wayne Airport continues it’s commitment to elevate your travel experience with several new features:
Parking: The Terminal C parking structure adds 2,000 much needed spaces and allows travelers to pay cash or express pay in advance with a credit card which allow you to exit without waiting for a cashier.
Check-in: A standardized check-in system gives travelers the ability to check-in and obtain a boarding pass for any flight at any of the 48 electronic kiosks located throughout the airport.
Privacy screening: The new security machines show generic male and female body images to protect your privacy.
Art at Terminal C: The Airport Arts Program presents museum quality exhibitions in three areas and a large scale three-dimensional sculpture, “Flight of Ideas” by artist Beth Nybeck (opening photo), floats above the baggage carousels in Terminal C. Memorable are the bold, graphic photos of the exhibition, “In Plane View” from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum which captures the beauty of airplane design in surprising ways.
Work spaces equipped with electrical outlets: passengers can recharge laptops and cell phones while waiting for flights.
Customs area: With hopes of adding international flights to Canada and Mexico in the future, a customs area and dual purpose gates and baggage facilities are able to process international passengers.
Dining choices: The much anticipated Marketplace opens in Terminal C in mid-December. Passengers will enjoy a stellar line of local names: Zov’s, from award winning chef and cookbook author Zov Karamardian will offer contemporary Eastern Mediterranean foods, the first Hobie Sand Bar, celebrating famed surfboard maker Hobie Alter and southern California’s surf culture, and the National Hockey League (NHL) Anaheim Duck’s Breakaway Bar and Grill, the first Southern California professional sports team and third NHL club to open a franchise-themed restaurant concept at a metropolitan airport.
Zov’s Grab & Go opened in October in the pre-security area and all of the contemporary Mediterranean items are made fresh on site by airport employees trained by Zov’s culinary team. The Terminal C eatery in the Marketplace will have a larger menu of signature Zov dishes, including Zov’s famous lentil soup, tabouli, and hummus. Also, new items were developed especially for the airport, including a Mediterranean breakfast wrap and four selections of flatbread pizzas: three-cheese, tomato basil, Soujook-beef sausage, and roasted vegetable. Zov’s menu also includes four sandwiches, three paninis, and three salad selections.
Rendering of Zov’s in the Marketplace
The first Hobie Sand Bar, a surf culture themed eatery, will serve classic surfer breakfast items such as the “Legend” Veggie Wrap, Surf Shop California Wrap, and Surfer Trio Cheese Wrap as well as Hobie’s Steel-cut Oatmeal, Hoffman’s Belgian waffle, and the Katie-Sue fruit plate. Travelers can also choose from surfer themed small plates, sandwiches, salads and specialty Hobie‘s Beach Road Tacos, including beef barbacoa, chicken verde with chipotle, or Mahi Mahi fish tacos along with an array of “Have a Hobie Day” signature cocktails, beer, and wine. Partner, Mark Christy says that “the food is the real deal, authentic recreations of meals you would enjoy when a guest at Hobie’s house on Beach Road”.
Rendering of Hobie Sand Bar
Reminiscent of a neighborhood bar, the Anaheim Ducks Breakaway Bar & Grill is the only restaurant with a runway-facing view. Guests will enjoy familiar surroundings with memorabilia that celebrates the history and success of the Anaheim Ducks, including their Stanley Cup championship in 2007. The Anaheim Ducks are very excited to extend their brand to John Wayne Airport and look forward to providing travelers with a superb dining experience and offer a prime setting for watching Ducks hockey and other live sports.
Guests will dine on menu items that feature upscale bar favorites (Spicy Wings, Angus Beef Burger, Turkey Club Sandwich, Sweet Potato Fries), South-of-the-Border flavors (Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Quesadilla, Chilaquiles, Shrimp Tacos) and fresh, California – infused cuisine (California Cobb Salad, Charcuterie plate and Flatbread Pizzas). Freshly prepared desserts including the signature Peanut Butter Moon Pie will also be served. From the bar: hand-crafted signature cocktails (non-alcoholic and alcohol varieties), a wide selection of draught beers, wine varietals, and premium liquor will be available. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a children’s menu will be available as well.
But wait, there are more choices: other eateries coming to the Marketplace in Terminal C include Carl’s Jr., Subway, Pinkberry, Pei Wei, Jerry’s Wood-fired Dogs, Javi’s (Javier’s Mexican restaurants), and Ruby’s Diner. With all these improvements, food and otherwise, I don’t know why anyone would choose to drive to LAX, but I know you’re out there!
Photo renderings courtesy of HMSHost.