New York LaGuardia LGA $3.6 Billion Renovation Announced

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Of the three major airports serving New York City, by far the worst – and indeed, it’s often voted among the nation’s worst airports – is LaGuardia. It’s smaller than both JFK and Newark, its infrastructure is aging and far to small to handle the nearly 30 million flyers who travel through it each year. The original terminal (B) was built way back in 1964 for the World’s Fair and precious little has been done to it since then despite periodic plans for upgrades that have stalled since the 1990’s. Plus, whenever there are weather conditions in the area, you can count on its being the first to close, making it more of an air travel liability than anything else.

Governor Cuomo announced plans to update LaGuardia today.
Governor Cuomo announced plans to update LaGuardia today.

In light of all that, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $3.6 billion renovation to the airport that will include a new central terminal building, with new restaurants, shopping areas, parking garages and free WiFi. Before you get your hopes up, it’s only the B Terminal (which handles about half the passengers that fly through here) that will be renovated. The other three terminals including the 1940’s-built Marine Air Terminal will not see any improvements. Currently, the central terminal services all airlines flying through here except Delta (including Connection and Shuttle), Westjet and US Airways (including Express and Shuttle).

Only the central B terminal will be getting a refresh.
Only the central B terminal will be getting a refresh.

Still, this is good news for the millions of passengers who do use the Central Terminal since the changes have been needed for a long time. In fact, in this 2012 T+L reader survey, the airport was ranked “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.” That’s a pretty bad record!

Four companies have been asked to submit project proposals by April 15 and the plan is to get construction underway by the end of the year. Only time will tell how this is going to work out and affect air travel through the airport, though I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that this is bound to create headaches for a lot of New York flyers, and I’m personally going to avoid the airport at all costs while the construction is ongoing.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Sleek metal card design
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 See Terms Excellent Credit