Third World Airport
US Vice President Joe Biden called New York City’s LaGuardia Airport a “third world airport”. While Biden’s comments weren’t politically correct — the term “Third World” has been out of vogue for some time — he isn’t alone in his displeasure with LaGuardia.
Travel and Leisure magazine ranked the airport as America’s worst. “Dilapidated La Guardia hasn’t aged well. The airport has the dubious honor of ranking the worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst design and cleanliness.”
The Wall Street Journal recently reported, “The (LGA) floors, cracked and yellowed, are often the best and only seating. The lights are dim, the low ceiling is stained, the lines at the tiny bathrooms are usually long, even the LGA Central Terminal owners describe the passenger experience as dreadful… Airlines have had buckets on the floor collecting water dripping from the ceilings and the only hot food served at most gates is a pretzel… In Concourse B, there are deep cracks in the floor and often overhead flickering, florescent lights.”
Each of us certainly has our own LGA horror stories. We know that to get into and out of dismally crowded LGA quickly is a must. Then, we try to get into or return from Manhattan and experience metro unavailability, just cabbies who usually are not the best of America’s ambassadors.
The winds of change may be blowing. Appears that VP Biden’s critical statement may have spurred the state and city of New York into action. After more than five decades of decay, LGA may be razed to be replaced with a new terminal and transportation-to-city system now on the drawing board. Recently, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved plans for a new Central Terminal to merge with a new Delta terminal at a cost of $4 billion plus Delta’s contribution. This is expected to be a five-year project. In the meantime, we suggest that that AA’s LGA terminal facilities are the best of the worst.
Written by Bob Utne, Chairman of EWA Travel