The final piece of the transformed LaGuardia Terminal B is now open
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Believe it or not, New York’s LaGuardia airport is well on its way to being one of the nicest in the country.
The final piece of the construction puzzle for Terminal B officially opened on Thursday: a passenger bridge connecting the main departures and arrivals hall with the Western Concourse.
This pedestrian bridge marks the end of disruptions to the passenger journey in Terminal B. Now, all flyers, regardless of which airline they’re flying, will exclusively pass through newly built infrastructure.
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Before the bridge opened, travelers flying with American Airlines checked in and cleared security at the new headhouse, but then took a step back in time by walking to the gate through a portion of the old central terminal.
Now, the bridge soars high above the leaky ceilings, narrow hallways and long bathroom lines of yesteryear.
To celebrate the occasion, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul attended a grand opening ceremony, along with officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the airport, and executives from LaGuardia Gateway Partners, which developed and built the new Terminal B.
“Today we complete the $4 billion Terminal B, and with the $4 billion Terminal C coming this spring, the total LaGuardia project is on time and on budget… here’s to the whole new LGA, here’s to the completed Terminal B, and we’ve gone from worst to first,” said Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority, at the ribbon-cutting event.
Though passengers will no longer be inconvenienced by the construction at Terminal B, there are still a handful of improvements coming later this year.
This includes an expansion to the new American Airlines Admirals Club, a portion of which is still under construction. Once completed this summer, the lounge will span more than 20,000 square feet, with room for over 350 passengers.
Additionally, portions of the old central terminal still need to be demolished. Once complete, new taxiways and ramp areas will be paved, and the final jetbridges on the Western Concourse will be installed.
Finally, a new Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club is slated to open sometime soon in Terminal B as well.
That said, the new Terminal B is essentially complete from a passenger-facing perspective — and that’s news most travelers will be happy with. Of course, some frequent flyers will miss the convenience of the old concourse: I routinely managed to get from the curb to the gate in less than ten minutes.
The first portion of the new LaGuardia Terminal B opened back in 2018 with a handful of gates in the new Eastern Concourse. The next phase saw the opening of the departures and arrivals hall in June 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
At the time, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised that the remaining terminal construction would be accelerated due to the slowdown in passenger traffic due to the pandemic.
Since then, the entirety of the Western Concourse has opened, along with the connecting pedestrian bridge and a new taxiway under the Eastern Concourse.
Now that Terminal B is essentially complete, all the attention turns to Terminals C and D, home to Delta’s LaGuardia hub. There, the airline is in the midst of a $3.9 billion project that will include a new headhouse connecting the two gate areas.
It’s set to officially open in spring 2022, and when it does, LaGuardia may actually start winning some awards.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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