Biden compares New York's LaGuardia Airport to 'Third World country'
Vice President Joe Biden, talking about the need to invest in America's infrastructure, compared New York City's LaGuardia Airport to a "Third World country."
"If I blindfolded someone and took them at 2 o’clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said, ‘Where do you think you are?’ They’d say, ‘This must be America. It’s a modern airport.’ If I took him blindfolded and took him into LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think 'I must be in some Third World country.' I’m not joking,” Biden said at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, during an event to celebrate Amtrak's debut of its newest train engine.
He continued, "Why did we lead the world economically for so long? We had the most modern infrastructure in the world."
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 America's worst.
From Travel and Leisure:
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.
LaGuardia also ranked poorly in surveys conducted by Frommer's, Jalopnik and J.D. Power & Associates.
A call seeking comment from representatives of LaGuardia was not immediately returned.
UPDATE: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs LaGuardia, released a statement in response to Biden's comments.
“Significant investment in transportation infrastructure is the key to growing our economy and creating jobs, which is why the Port Authority this week proposed a 10-year $27 billion capital plan that creates more than 126,000 jobs and invests $8 billion in modernizing the region’s airports. We are fast-tracking efforts that have lagged for more than a decade and investing $3.6 billion through an innovative public-private partnership to build a new Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport that will provide passengers with a world-class terminal.”
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