Central Concourse and Gates at Houston Hobby - 2011
Hobby Airport, named after former Texas Governor William P. Hobby, is Houston's oldest commercial airport and was the city's primary airport until Intercontinental Airport, now known as George Bush Intercontinental Airport, opened in 1969. Hobby is located fairly close southeast of downtown while Intercontinental is located further to the North. Hobby has a similar story to Dallas Love Field, albeit much less controversial. When IAH opened in 1969, there was no commercial service here until Southwest began operations in 1971 between Dallas, San Antonion, and Houston. Hobby has evolved into the low cost carrier airport of choice for Houston. Southwest controls over 75% of the emplanenments here, making Hobby its 7th busiest destination after Denver and Southwest's busiest station in Texas. As of 2011, there were 133 Southwest departures from Hobby to 33 cities nonstop that is not gate and slot constrained in the same way as Dallas Love. Southwest controls 19 of the 26 gates at HOU. This will only increases as AirTran is merged into Southwest. Other airlines here include: American Eagle, Delta, Delta Connection, Frontier, and JetBlue who all serve their main hubs. Vision Airlines serves Gulf-Coast gambling mecca Gulfport/Biloxi. Developments at Hobby in the 2000s include a new Central Concourse to serve Southwest Airlines and the upgrade of Runway 4/22. A terminal renovation project is now in progress that will update the ticket counters, lobby area, and baggage claim.
In a survey among travelers in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates for an Aviation Week traveler satisfaction report, passengers have selected William P. Hobby Airport as the number one airport in the country for customer satisfaction in 2006 and again in 2007. Hobby ranked #2 in 2008.
Photography courtesy: David Zaccaria.