Houston William P. Hobby Airport
History of Hobby Airport
The William P. Hobby Airport is Houston’s first original airport. With the addition of the Houston International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport went from being the most popular, biggest airport in Houston to a secondary airport. This happened in 1969. Before that point, the airport was the biggest and busiest in the city of Houston. This airport was opened in 1927 on a mere 600 acres, though that was quite large at the time. The airport changed names several times over the course of its life. In 1937, the name of the Hobby Airport was changed so that it became the Houston Municipal Airport. Less than a year later, the airport was named after the very famous Howard Hughes, and remained the Howard R. Hughes Airport until 1967 when it was renamed the William P. Hobby Airport after the former governor of Texas.
Since the William P. Hobby Airport was built in 1929, it has expanded in size. As of today, the airport has more than doubled in size from 600 acres to 1,304 acres. It has four runways and accommodates approximately 9 million passengers on an annual basis. The four runways range in size from 5,148 feet long to 7,602 feet in length to accommodate a variety of different aircraft as they take off and land. Nearly 262 aircraft use the William P. Hobby Airport as a base for their flights, though most of the flights in and out of William P. Hobby Airport are on Southwest Airlines.
The arrival of Pan Am to the William P. Hobby Airport in 1950 led to a huge increase in passengers travelling through the airport. At the time, nearly 1 million passengers per year flew from the William P. Hobby Airport, which is the equivalent of what 9 million passengers per year is today. The reason for this growth was Pan Am’s nonstop flight from Houston to Mexico City, which was a popular vacation destination for many passengers and business people at that time.
In 1969, the city of Houston began construction on the Houston International Airport rather than expanding the already existing William P. Hobby Airport because of size and growth restrictions. This caused all of the airlines at William P. Hobby to move to the Houston International Airport and cease operations for just about two years. William P. Hobby Airport did not reopen to passengers until 1971. Neither airport services many of the same destinations, and the William P. Hobby Airport is no longer considered an international airport. However, it is uncertain whether or not that will change in the future.
There are only 26 gates at the William P. Hobby airport, and most of them are used by Southwest Airlines. Only seven of the gates are used for other airlines. The airport has only one terminal and one concourse. The airport offers passengers and travelers’ unlimited free Wi-Fi access and other amenities such as public restrooms and bilingual staff who can help passengers reach their destinations and gates.
There is a four-story parking garage on the airport lot that connects passengers from the parking lot to the terminal and airside. There are also economy parking lots at the William P. Hobby Airport that are within walking distance of the terminals, which eliminates the aggravating need to wait for buses and shuttles to take passengers to and from their parking spots to their terminals. The airport can accommodate more than 4,000 vehicles at any given time. There is also a valet parking lot for those who wish to have their vehicles pulled around to them after landing from their flight.
Airlines Serving Houston Hobby
Serving as a secondary airport in Houston, the William P. Hobby Airport offers passengers service from some of the best domestic airline companies. Passengers can buy tickets and check in at the main lobby area of the terminal building. All flights depart from the gates in the single Concourse at Houston William P. Hobby Airport. Baggage from all flights can be claimed from the lower level of the terminal.
Southwest Airlines dominates the schedule in Houston William P. Hobby Airport. This makes sense because this low-cost company has headquarters in Dallas and uses this airport as a major domestic hub. Southwest Airlines links Houston with more than 30 domestic destinations. The regional carrier offers direct flights to other major destinations in Texas including Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio. Other major southern cities that are accessible via Southwest Airlines include Albuquerque, Birmingham, Little Rock, New Orleans, Nashville, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Phoenix. Of course, this busy airline also offers trips to major West Coast destinations such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oakland, San Diego, and Seattle.
Passengers at Houston William P. Hobby Airport can count on Southwest Airlines to get to major cities in other parts of the United States. Baltimore, Charlotte, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Tampa are major East Coast cities that are directly linked to the largest city in Texas thanks to Southwest Airlines. Chicago, Indianapolis, and Kansas are important Midwestern destinations accessible via Southwest Airlines.
American Eagle operates direct flights between Houston William P. Hobby Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Passengers should know that the service to the busiest airline in Texas may be officially operated under the American Airlines name.
At Houston’s secondary airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the only destination that is offered by Delta Air Lines. One of the largest airline companies in the United States offers daily flights to Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta, which also serves as a major domestic base Delta.
Passengers at Houston William P. Hobby Airport who’d like low-cost flights to New York City can use JetBlue Airways service. This major low-cost carrier operates direct trips to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. In fact, NYC’s largest airport serves as the main base for JetBlue Airways.
AirTran Airways connects Houston William P. Hobby Airport to several important destinations such as Atlanta, Austin, Orlando, Tampa, and San Antonio. This Dallas based company is a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines.