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George Bush Intercontinental Airport

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George Bush Airport Delays

Facts and Figures about George Bush Intercontinental Airport

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport, with airport code IAH, is located in the city of Houston, Texas approximately 23 miles north of the city’s centre. The Houston Airport System operates this Class B airport, which denotes that it has the strictest rules especially when it comes to pilot certification. Officially known as the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, it serves Greater Houston or the metropolitan area of Houston-The-Woodlands-Sugar Land, which is comprised of nine counties. IAH provides flights for both domestic and international travellers and acts as a hub for the United Airlines.

The busiest international route of IAH is Mexico City, which is served by United Airlines along with Mexico’s local airlines. The second is Cancun, also in Mexico and served solely by United Airlines. London is the third most popular international route and served by both United Airlines and British Airways. For domestic routes, Los Angeles is the busiest, with over 730,000 passengers in the twelve months ending February 2014. The carriers flying this route are American Airlines and United Airlines. Denver, Colorado is next with almost 700,000 passengers in the same period. Third is Chicago, Illinois which is operated by United Airlines.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport had more than 40 million passengers in 2012 alone. It is thus the 10th busiest airport in the entire North America when it comes to the total number of passengers. It is also ranked 7th in the list of largest international gateways for passengers in the whole country. In the world, it is number 6 for its total number of aircraft movements. The United States Department of Transportation hailed the airport as one of the top 10 airports in the US to grow the most rapidly.
The IAH houses the Marriott Hotel which is located between B and C Terminals. Passengers can access the hotel through the train that serves either terminal. Aside from the 566-room hotel, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport is renowned for its beautiful artwork. A glass sculpture known as “Light Wings” by Ed Carpenter can be found at the North Concourse of Terminal A. On the opposite side of Terminal A, “Countree Music” by Terry Allen is viewable. This is a bronze tree designed to play instrumental music. Terminal A also has the “Passing Through” which is created by Leamon Green. It is an engraved glass wall that stands 200 feet tall.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s website offers details on the wait times for each terminal. It displays all the terminals as well as the checkpoint. You can also look for the status of a certain flight through their Flight Search tool where you can define whether you are checking for an arriving or departing flight.

A Brief History of the Airport

The history of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport began in 1957 when its location was purchased by businessmen representing the Jet Era Ranch Corporation from Houston. The airport was first called Jetero due to a typographical error which turned Jet Era into that name. In 1967, it became formally known as the Houston Intercontinental Airport, but was not open for business until 1969. The airport was originally planned to be named after the African-American congressman Mickey Leland. Instead, he became the namesake of the International Arrivals Building (now called the Mickey Leland Terminal D). In the end, the city of Houston made the decision to rename the airport after the 41st US President George H. W. Bush.

Should You Worry About Delays?

There have been a number of delays occurring at other airports that affect flight schedules in IAH. The location of the airport is prone to frequent thunderstorms which are often severe enough to cause delays of more than an hour. The area is within close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, frequently known to cause fog and low clouds. Other airports with ground delay that affect IAH are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, and the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The adverse weather conditions at other airports are continually affecting the performance of the airport. In return, the delayed flights are expected to rise in the coming months. Due to the large number of passenger numbers at Houston airport, delays are bound to occur from time to time. Most of the delays due to traffic, however, last no more than 15 minutes.

What rights do I have?

Under EU law, you can get up to 480£ compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation or overbooking of your flight.
This is true regardless of the ticket price and up to 6 years retrospectively.


What to do when delayed?

  • gather information
  • Take photos
  • You are entitled to vouchers
  • Keep documents from the airline, such as letters, tickets, vouchers
250 €
< 1,500km
3H Delay
400 €
1,500km - 3,500km
3H Delay
600 €
> 3,500km
3H Delay
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