Do You Consider LaGuardia to be 3rd World?

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Apparently Vice President Joe Biden does. In a speech last week, he called New York’s LaGuardia “3rd World” and one that you would find in a third world country, not the United States.

Delta Terminal at LGA

Delta Terminal at LGA

He then goes on to say that Hong Kong’s airport is very modern which one would expect if flying through the United States.

I do agree parts of LaGuardia are bad, but others are actually quite nice Clearly he hasn’t seen Delta’s renovations at Terminal D and their new SkyClub. But, I want to know what you think?

Does this look 3rd World to you?

Does this look 3rd World to you?

Do you agree with the Vice President that LaGuardia is 3rd World, or do you think he was out of line?

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  1. LGA could definitely be worse…and I am sure there are worse airports in the actual third world…. BUT LGA is DEFINITELY very very bad. Sure parts of it look nice…but it is far too small for the number of people/flights it tries to handle even at the BEST of times. One little problem, and once the delays start it feels worse than a NYC subway at rush hour!

  2. BTW if you want to truly experience third world in NYC just take a flight in/out of the “RJ Corral” that Delta operates at the end of T2 at JFK! It LITERALLY looks like cow chutes….and the stairs you take to enter the terminal if you RJ arrives at the corral definitely look and feel third world!

  3. Yup. JFK too. They are both a national embarrassment. Need to build a gleaming new airport, maybe at SWF and build a bullet train that runs every 10-15 minutes to the city. But maybe that’s just me.

  4. I agree with Conway (I qualify for DL status on segments out of the JFK regional jet nightmare tunnel system). While the DL terminal has been upgraded a lot (as part of DL’s investment to retake NYC biz travelers), I advise the writer to head to the American terminal at LGA, which is truly “third world”. I landed there on Tuesday afternoon and I could find no redeeming qualities in the terminal (AA lounge excepted). Terrible seating, no outlets, crowded, and miserable food options. The airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia was much nicer.

  5. LGA terminal B is terrible. Terminals C and D aren’t too bad. The only issue is that traffic can be a mess coming from the city.

  6. LGA is not third world.
    Most third world airports I have been at are nicer and have less delays.

  7. LGA is definitely 3rd world. You can always find a pocket or two at any crappy airport that looks acceptable. But what one should also consider is the overall layout and convenience of using the facility. On that score, LGA was probably impressive in the 50s. Since that time, multiple additions make the place a pathetic mess. And the U.S. airways terminal is all-out depressing. The place needs to be leveled and re-done from top to bottom. I do just about everything I can to avoid the place as its just too sad.

  8. The biggest problem with LGA is the lack of a train between terminals / rental car area. Dropping a car off and taking the shuttle bus at LGA can easily add an hour on to your “getting to the airport” time.

    JFK isn’t much better with the poorly named terminal stops — Who in their right mind thinks “Federal Circle Station” makes more sense than “Rental car area”?

    Even using Newark airport-style “P3” would be more intuitive, as it at least tells me that cars are parked there, as opposed to “am I just going to some random part of queens?”

  9. I don’t like using the term Third World in this regard because much of what we consider T/W is actually far superior to what exists in the infrastructure decay capital of the world: the UA! But yes, the main terminal building at LGA is definitely one of the worst airport terminals in the world and a disgrace to the country. The facilities used by AA, UA and AC are among the worst I’ve experienced in my travels (200K+ BIS miles a year), particularly the commuter pier used by AA. And more than 10 years after 9.11 one still cannot move airside between the piers thus requiring long waits through cramped TSA areas. (Terminal A at EWR has a similar problem with pier 1 being isolated and is equally disgraceful.) It will be interesting to see how the AA/US merger is handled. DL should be turfed out of the US terminal and life would be much better. Of course parts of Logan are equally “decayingly American”…and IAD is definitely the worst gateway terminal in the country with its C/D pier (and people mover that stops a mile from the actual terminal pier it serves!) Of course, now that we’re witnessing the political corruption at the NY/NJ Port Authority (at least on the NJ side) we can see why LGA and EWR have such pathetic facilities for certain airlines. (Agree fully with Truthiness’ comments!)

  10. Biden is spot on. As a rule, US airports are crappy embarrassments. Go to any major city in Europe or Asia and they make US airports look like a Greyhound bus terminal in Cleveland.

  11. The only thing good about LGA is the view of the city if you are on the right side of the plane, or the view or Riker’s Island if you are a Law and Order fan.

  12. I always thought LGA wasn’t too bad when I flew Delta, but I just flew Southwest out of there for the first time a month ago.

    It’s essentially a bus station with an unbelievably convoluted TSA setup. Once you’re in the gate area there are almost no facilities and people are trying to drink themselves into a stupor in the one tiny restaurant. Miserable.

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