LaGuardia’s transformation continues with the opening of a new concourse next week

Jul 30, 2020

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

With the sharp decrease in demand for air travel, airports haven’t been nearly as crowded as before the pandemic.

And while this decrease has significantly hurt airlines’ bottom lines, it’s posed an interesting opportunity for airports. Without as many passengers flying, now’s the perfect time to accelerate existing construction projects, assuming that they can keep the workers safe.

That’s exactly what’s happened with New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

On June 13, LGA inaugurated the brand-new, mesmerizing 850,000 square foot Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall. The project was completed ahead of schedule, thanks to the lull in passenger traffic.

And on Wednesday, Aug. 5, LGA will be opening its latest project — seven gates in the newly-constructed Western Concourse.

The new Western Concourse (Photo courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners)

For context, there are three major facilities in LGA’s Terminal B. There’s the already-active main Arrivals and Departure Hall that’s accessible to all of the terminal’s passengers. Then, passengers are funneled to one of the terminals with gates. The first, the Eastern Concourse, has been open since December 2018. The second, the Western Concourse, is still under construction — and will begin opening Wednesday (Aug. 5).

The Western Concourse will resemble many of the design elements of the Eastern Concourse. Sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows and 55-foot high ceilings will help you quickly forget the old LGA.

Some of the amenities include a children’s play area, a green space with seating and spacious restrooms.

Green space at the Western Concourse (Photo courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners)

Like the Arrivals and Departures Hall, the Western Concourse features some New York City-inspired artwork. The Big Apple is a sculpture by Romero Britto that was gifted in 2006 to American Airlines for display at LGA. The artist recently restored the piece and it is now back in Terminal B.

The Western Concourse will eventually be the home of American Airlines’ LGA operation, so it’s no surprise that AA is building a dedicated customer service desk, as well as a brand-new Admirals Club.

Only the first part of the Western Concourse will open on Aug. 5. This includes seven of the total 17 new gates. The second — and final — phase of the construction is still on schedule to be completed by the end of 2021, with a grand opening expected at some point in 2022. That’s likely when the new Admirals Club will open.

When completed, the Western Concourse will span 210,000 square feet. Once the elevated pedestrian bridge is built to connect the Western Concourse and Arrivals and Departures Hall, the Terminal B modernization project will be complete.

When the seven new gates are activated on Aug. 5, over 40% of LGA passengers will arrive or depart from new gates. That’s real progress from the leaking ceilings and tiny restrooms that flyers might remember from the old airport.

Arrivals and Departure Hall (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Though the Western Concourse will primarily serve American Airlines, it’ll be interesting to watch what happens with JetBlue’s presence at the airport. Right now, JetBlue is located in the Marine Air Terminal, which opened in 1939 and was built to handle Pan Am’s fleet of seaplanes.

The Marine Air Terminal is located at the far end of the airport, far away from the new AA gates. Because of the new New York-focused partnership between AA and JetBlue, I wouldn’t be surprised to see JetBlue move into the Western Concourse once it’s fully completed. That way, flyers on both airlines could seamlessly connect between flights without needing to take a bus or reclear security.

All in all, LGA’s progress has been quite impressive for airport construction, which is usually riddled with delays. Aside from Terminal B, Terminals C and D also are getting a makeover.

Artwork in the new Western Concourse (Photo courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners)

Delta currently operates from Terminal C and D at LGA. The two terminals are being combined into a new Terminal C. But with the airline only operating a fraction of its typical daily routes from LGA and having already consolidated check-ins to Terminal C, Delta is taking this time to accelerate the work.

At the Wolfe Global Transporation Conference on May 22, Delta CFO Paul Jacobson mentioned that now’s actually a great time to accelerate the terminal redevelopment. In his mind, the travel slowdown should help the carrier “deliver it much, more sooner.”

And fortunately, the executives have been true to their word. Come Wednesday, LGA will be one step closer to being a world-class airport.

Featured photo courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.