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Joe Biden famously once compared New York’s LaGuardia airport to a third world country and not many people disagreed with him (although the comment may have been a bit unfair on third world countries).
Since then LaGuardia has been undergoing some significant changes and there was a big reshuffle a little over a year ago when Delta, JetBlue and American Airlines all moved around to new locations. Now we’re about to see the next phase of LaGuardia’s regeneration.
From 1 December 2018 (tomorrow) LaGuardia will open the first 11 gates located in the eastern concourse of the new state-of-the-art Terminal B.
Air Canada, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines will all operate flights from the new concourse, and United Airlines will join them in 2019.
Here’s what LaGuardia Gateway Partners (the Terminal B developers) has had to say about the new concourse:
Our concourse’s innovative design, inclusive atmosphere, and choice food and retail options will bring LaGuardia into the 21st century, and we’re proud to work with both the Governor and the Port Authority to transform Terminal B into a gateway New Yorkers can be proud of.”
The concourse features ample gate seating, with charging stations throughout seating areas, a nursing room, and thoughtfully designed restrooms that include spacious stalls and above sink shelves that will keep belongings dry. It also features Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge, with the United Club to follow in 2019.
Retailers and food outlets that we can expect to find in the new concourse include:
- Shake Shack
- Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
- Osteria Fusco
- La Chula Bar & Taqueria
- Kingside Bar & Restaurant
- Five Boroughs Market
- FAO Schwarz
- McNally Jackson
- LaGuardia Duty Free Shops
- District Market
The new concourse also offers a children’s play area with an airport theme that houses a 16ft tall interactive display which “creates a multi-user experience that allows kids of all ages to design their own aircraft on a tablet and watch it come to life on a giant digital wall as it takes off from LaGuardia’s runway”
Why do I get the feeling there will be some rather big “kids” playing with that display as they wait for their flights? 🙂
The play area is located next to an indoor green space (apparently modelled on a New York park) which offers benches and “plenty of natural light for passengers to relax with their children and families before their flights“.
The new concourse will eventually be home to 18 gates in total and the remaining 7 gates are expected to be brought into service in 2020 (no hurry guys!).
It’s a start!
The entire LaGuardia regeneration project is costing $8bn (before overruns) and will include 72 gates (spread across 6 concourses), two new arrival and departures halls all covering over 2.7 million square feet – that a lot of building work and there’s a long way to go.
LaGuardia has long been a real eyesore and not an environment I would voluntarily choose to spend any time in (it’s why most of my LGA experiences have involved arriving flights only….I like to land and get out of there asap!) so it’s great to see it finally getting the work it so urgently needed.
I’ll reserve judgement over the new concourse and the improvements made so far until I get to see them with my own eyes so, for now, I’ll just say that things are looking promising.
Images courtesy of PANYNJ