Surrounded by government officials and fanfare, Delta Air Lines opened the first concourse of its new Terminal C at New York's LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday, the latest in the revamp of the beleaguered airport.
Once infamously likened to a third world country by former Vice President Joe Biden, and voted the most stressful airport in America last year, LGA has been undergoing a complete reconstruction to the tune of $8 billion. Tuesday's unveiling was for the first of four concourses.
Last year, officials unveiled the remodeled Terminal B and renovations are ongoing; the terminal's arrivals and departures hall is slated to be finished by mid-2020 and Delta’s terminals are expected to be fully open at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022, Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Rick Cotton, told Travel + Leisure.
Additionally, Cotton said the Port Authority recently approved an additional $2 billion for construction of an AirTrain, which he said is targeted to be completed in 2024.
A wall of windows at the new Terminal B on Tuesday overlooked Flushing Bay and Citi Field, a welcome reminder to visitors that they had arrived in New York City. And to reinforce the Big Apple vibes, travelers will be treated to Rossi Pizzeria, created with Chef Mark Iacono of Lucali Pizzeria (it's good enough for Beyoncé and Jay-Z so it's good enough for us), and H&H bagels, made fresh every day.
"This is amazing — it's amazing because it was impossible to do this...You can't rebuild a new airport on this site and operate the site, that was just impossible," Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Travel + Leisure. "But as impossible as it was, is as necessary as it was."
Modern conveniences are peppered throughout, including power outlets at all seats, and when the terminal is finished, it will include a 35,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club — including an outdoor sky deck.
The terminal will open to passengers on Monday and then start servicing shuttle flights to Boston, Washington D.C. and Chicago on Nov. 16.
While LaGuardia used to be a modern entrance to the city, Cuomo conceded that Biden's harsh description was in fact true, and that New York must compete with airports all over the world.
“We are in a competition and the airports are the new front door,” Cuomo added. “The only thing that is impossible is what you believe is impossible. And the New York way is to never believe anything is impossible.”
Cotton, said when the airport is finished, LaGuardia will be “worthy” of the city it is in.
“This project is not only hugely ambitious in terms of its scope, we are also committed to getting it done as quickly as possible,” he said.