Discover, Dine, and Shop at the IAH Airport

February 21, 2024

History of George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 2800 N. Terminal Road in Houston, Texas, initially opened in 1969 after a group of Houston businesspeople in 1957 preserved land for the city to build an airport to replace the William P. Hobby Airport. Originally named Houston Intercontinental Airport, IAH was renamed George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 1997. 

Since its opening, it's become the second-busiest airport in Texas and the 15th most active in the United States. It's one of the largest hubs for United Airlines, and it has five runways spread across 11,000 acres. When you travel here, you'll have many unique amenities and features to consider. 

Unique Art and Sculptures in IAH 

Throughout IAH, multiple works of art were created by Houston artists, each highlighting different techniques and styles. For example, Terminal C features 34 art pieces, including artwork about gay liberation and many other social movements. The connector tunnel from Terminal C to Terminal B includes a large and beautiful blue heron painting. 

Throughout this tunnel, eight photographs of Texas landscapes highlight the area's unique beauty. Many more art pieces like these spread throughout each terminal, creating an attractive and memorable look for visitors when they travel. Periodically, George Bush Intercontinental Airport updates these pieces.

Parking and Transportation at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport typically provides multiple parking options, including valet and terminal parking. These lots often get filled up quickly, and usually come at a significant cost.

IAH visitors can also reserve parking by working with The Parking Spot. Visitors who book with The Parking Spot save about 70% of their standard parking and booking fees. They also park just a few minutes from IAH and receive many other amenities that make this service worthwhile. When you reserve a parking spot, you get the following:

  • Complimentary door-to-door shuttle service 
  • 24/7 on-call shuttle service support
  • Luggage assistance in and out of the shuttle
  • Free bottled water
  • Short- and long-term parking options 
  • Shuttle tracking options on the Parking Spot app
  • Express check-in and check-out options 
  • Valet parking at some spots 
  • Extra-wide parking options in some locations 

Hotels Near IAH 

Are you staying in Houston for some time as you travel, or just need a spot to sleep overnight? George Bush Intercontinental Airport is near several high-quality hotels, including: 

Terminal Map for George Bush Intercontinental Airport 

IAH has five terminals offering multiple amenities, shopping areas, restaurants, and more. Thankfully, there's a simple online terminal map that you can use to get around this area with ease. Check here to learn more about the airport's layout, and keep the map open on your phone to ensure that you stay aware while traveling here.

Checking Flight Times at IAH 

If you're traveling through George Bush Intercontinental Airport and need information about your flight, flight websites stay updated with departures and arrivals. It includes the latest and most updated information about departures, which should make it easier for you to plan your trip. 

Food and Dining Options at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

When flying through IAH, you may need to stop for a quick bite or drink to refresh yourself. Others may have a long layover that requires killing some time before getting on the plane. Thankfully, there are many different bars and restaurants you can visit when you travel through George Bush Intercontinental Airport, including: 

  • Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar: Get some delicious tacos or burritos or enjoy a shot of tequila when visiting this popular bar in IAH.
  • Q Bar: This busy bar lets you have a drink or two, watch a game, or meet new people while you travel at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
  • Steak ‘n Shake: A well-known national fast food chain, Steak ‘n Shake provides steak-based meals and delicious ice cream shakes. 
  • Poppy’s Bagels/Little Purse: Stop at Poppy’s to get a quick bagel or bagel sandwich, delicious baked goods, and soft drinks.
  • Ray’s Fish and Shrimp Shack: At Ray’s Fish and Shrimp Shack, you can eat a variety of seafood dishes, including fried and baked meals. 
  • Gavi: This Italian restaurant combines locally sourced foods with traditional family restaurants and unique Houston-style dishes. 
  • Houston Wheelhouse: A popular Tex-Mex bar and grill, Houston Wheelhouse includes nachos, fajitas, quesadillas, and much more. 

Amenities for Visitors and Pet Policies at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Amenities for fliers, parents, and pet owners that may improve your visit to IAH include:

  • A children’s play area with multiple fun zones 
  • Nursing areas for young mothers 
  • Changing tables at various spots
  • USB power outlets spread throughout the airport
  • Signs to welcome pet owners and direct them to safe areas
  • Pet-friendly vendors and facilities 
  • Outdoor and indoor pet relief areas
  • A pet plan that sets you up with a nearby vet hospital
  • Pet supply stores
  • A pet therapy program
  • Airport information booths 
  • Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)
  • Multiple ATMs throughout the airport
  • Several baggage carts and wraps 
  • A chapel that serves multiple faiths 
  • Interactive visitor kiosks
  • A lost and found station 
  • Nurseries for little ones 
  • Bathroom and shower services
  • Minute suites for people who need a private retreat 
  • Smoking areas outside the facility 
  • USO support for members of the military 
  • Water bottle filling stations 

Fun for Kids and Teens in IAH 

Two play areas are in the airport where young children can enjoy themselves. Parents can also use the many charging stations in the facility to keep their children entertained with electronic devices, like smartphones. There are also Little Libraries in the airport where readers can freely take and exchange books while traveling. 

Kids may also enjoy visiting the airport’s art galleries, checking out yoga rooms, and visiting the two KPRC travel stores at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. These stores include T-shirts, snacks, travel necessities, drinks, neck pillows, books, magazines, and various souvenirs that may entertain kids while they travel. 

Lounges in George Bush Intercontinental Airport

If you’re traveling IAH and want to relax, you can choose from multiple lounges throughout the various terminals. These include spots like:

  • Terminal A: The Admirals Club, The United Club
  • Terminal B: The United Club
  • Terminal C: Three The United Clubs
  • Terminal D: The Air France Lounge, The Executive Club, The KLM Crown Lounge, two British Airways Lounges
  • Terminal E: Two United Clubs, D Terminal; the United Polaris Lounge

Lightrails, Moving Walkways, and Accessibility Support in IAH 

George Bush Intercontinental Airport has a unique people mover system spread throughout the airport that was based on a design used by Disney in its many parks. The WED Transportation System uses a simple and effective transportation system that carefully moves you through the airport without any danger. It’s one of the many unique elements of IAH. 

Furthermore, an above-ground skyway helps transport passengers between terminals to keep them safe. This effective system cuts travel time significantly and improves the overall experience at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. IAH also provides wheelchair support through various ramps and support systems that will enhance its overall accessibility. 

Security at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

IAH has multiple security systems that help keep you safe during your travels. These include standard TSA checkpoints throughout the terminals and a new technology called Advanced Imaging Technology, or ATT. This system is unique to the airport and automatically scans people to ensure you get through checkpoints more quickly and effectively without needing pat-downs. 

There are also enhanced TSA pat-downs for those who don't use ATT and a modified version for children under 12. Expedited services are also available for qualified people, typically requiring a pre-flight check. Contact IAH before your flight if you're interested in expedited services to see if you qualify. Typically, you need to apply for this service and pass a simple screening test to get approval.

Wi-Fi at IAH

While visiting George Bush Intercontinental Airport, you can use free Wi-Fi on your phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Note that this connection isn’t secure and is publicly available, so make sure you’re careful with the information you share while visiting

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