Valley travelers reminisce as Sky Harbor Terminal 2 closes doors

Feb 4, 2020, 4:15 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm
terminal 2...
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup)
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup)

PHOENIX — After nearly 60 years, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 2 was in operation for the final time Tuesday.

Terminal 2 saw its first flights in 1962 and was considered Phoenix’s gateway into the jet age.

The 330,000-square-foot terminal housed 19 gates and several airlines, including Alaskan and United.

One airport worker said she moved to the Valley in 1959, just a few years before the terminal opened, and has been working for Sky Harbor for more than 30 years.

“You hate to see Terminal 2 go, but that’s progress,” she said with a smile.

All of the airlines that previously called Terminal 2 home will be absorbed by Terminal 3.

One frequent Terminal 2 flyer said he’ll miss the convenience of the large airport’s smaller terminal.

“The time it takes to get from the car to the check in point and then through security, that really makes a difference,” he said. “I think Terminal 2 was a lot faster. I think Terminal 3 is going to be a lot nicer but a lot slower.”

He wasn’t the only traveler to express an attachment to Terminal 2.

Others took to Twitter to reminisce about memories they created there.

The most notable memory for Terminal 2 seemed to be when hundreds packed into the airport to welcome home the Phoenix Suns after their 1976 Western Conference Championship win over the Golden State Warriors.

At least one piece of Terminal 2 will be preserved: the original mural from the terminal lobby entitled “The Phoenix” by artist Paul Coze.

The mural will be removed from the terminal and relocated to the Rental Car Center in 2021.

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(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup) (KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup) (KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup) (KTAR News Photo/Taylor Kinnerup)

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Valley travelers reminisce as Sky Harbor Terminal 2 closes doors