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6 Most Beautiful U.S. Airport Terminals

Stocks in this article: AMR DAL JBLU UAL

San Francisco's New Terminal 2

San Francisco International Airport's revamped Terminal 2 officially opened Wednesday, when Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and a handful of other celebrities arrived on a Virgin Airbus A320. The public grand opening is Saturday, and the first commercial flights are set to arrive Thursday, April 14.

The newly-updated 640,000-square-foot "T2" is a major departure from the typical airport terminal, and features a focus on sustainability and traveler convenience and comfort. The $383 million overhaul includes white leather sofas, new-age egg-shaped chairs and a local food marketplace with offerings from organic food purveyors including celebrity chefs Tyler Florence and Cat Cora. Some 90% of the original building content was recycled.

"We want to return the romance to travel, make it less stressful," airport spokesman Michael McCarron told The San Francisco Chronicle. "This is an elegant place."

T-2 was originally constructed in 1954. It served as the central terminal, showcasing the first jet bridge to the world and ushering in the modern jet age. One of its first tenants, American Airlines, utilized a prototype of the jet bridge for its aircraft. In 1984, T2 underwent its first renovation by current architect, Gensler, transforming the space into SFO's international terminal.

Virgin America will occupy seven gates at the new T2, American Airlines will operate six and there will be one common-use gate.

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