Tulsa Airport businesses hurt

Monday, September 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The sudden change in security at Tulsa International Airport has hurt some people who rely on travelers for their income. News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says one of the keys to success in business is having a good location.

Anywhere at the airport used to be a good location, but now businesses on the other side of the security checkpoint, find their customers can't get to them. Passengers are back in the airport, but only about half as many people are flying as before the hijackings. But the planes are back in the air, signaling a return of confidence - but the downturn has hurt some airport businesses.

Only a few are outside the security zone - available to everyone, but most businesses are beyond the X-ray, where only ticketed passengers may go. Nancy Williams, CA One Concessions: "We're scrambling to redistribute our services and items." The Green Country Cafe is outside security and business is back. Nearly two dozen stores and restaurants are on the concourses, where business is down by more than half. "We're really hoping that people will come out and get on a plane and feel like they're making a difference in that way."

It's hurt no one worse than the skycaps - which can no longer check in passengers and their bags. Victor Latimer, Latico Skycaps: "With the suspension of the curbside check in, it's had a drastic effect on the skycaps ability to generate tips and make a living." And it's left the airport with room for thousands beyond security - and few bathrooms and chairs for all the people who drop off and pick up passengers.

Mary Smith, Tulsa Airport Spokesperson: "We've added chairs, we luckily had just added a center lounge in the center terminal for people to sit and relax and visit and it's being used already but we're going to have to beef that up as people come back to the airport and they are, every day we gain a little bit more."