Skip to main content

New York's 21st Century LaGuardia


For years, New York's LaGuardia Airport was the butt of jokes and complaints, with then Vice-President Joe Biden saying it reminded him of the Third World. The main terminal was Early Eisenhower, parts of the building were mid-FDR, and year by year everything seemed shabbier and more crowded. Like this:

Screenshot 2021-04-24 184434

But many of us New Yorkers loved it: closer than others, more intimate, more hometown, more LaGuardia. Somehow, it was the airport we deserved and the one we loved. And although there was constant talk about upgrades, it never seemed to happen.

Look at all the space...and notice that the scales at the counter are floor-level, no hefting your bag up onto the counter!

But all that's changed and gone. In a whirlwind of construction over the past three years or so, the old terminals are gone, except for the landmark Art Deco Marine Air Terminal; new roads, new garages, and wide open concourses have replaced them.


The gateway to the security area, which used to be a series of partitioned hallways, is open wide with a central area serving all concourses. And all the old arrival and departure boards have been replaced by hi-def flat panels.


Unlike the old terminal's limited glass, there are plenty of big windows for us avgeeks to watch the action.

20210311_054117There's still work going on, but basically: A brand new airport. Bright. Airy. Clean. Just like all the rest of the world's airports. I enjoyed starting a recent flight from there but, perversely, I found myself nostalgic for the way it was.



Images (11)
  • 5a456ab94aa6b5c7008b7592
  • 20210311_051026
  • 20210311_051900
  • 20210311_051922
  • 20210311_052010
  • 20210311_052047
  • 20210311_053333
  • 20210311_053635
  • 20210311_054117
  • 20210311_063643
  • Screenshot 2021-04-24 184434

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Add Comment

Comments (1)

Newest · Oldest · Popular


LaGuardia's rebirth has just taken another big step: the last pieces of the new Central Terminal, aka Terminal B have just fallen into place with the opening of the Western Concourse, used largely by American Airlines and partners. It's one of two concourses linked to the main hall.

Two key steps remain in the LaGuardia plan: By late spring, Delta's two terminals, C and D, will finish the process of becoming one terminal with two concourses. Aside from that, what remains is to remove the last bits of the old terminals and pave their footprints to serve as added taxiways.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Link copied to your clipboard.