While all eyes in New Jersey were focused on the massive renovation of Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal A, there was another renovation being done. LaGuardia was modernizing their own Terminal B.

Now you know our new Terminal A at Newark Airport cost $3 billion. Quite an expensive endeavor. Day 1 was a nightmare. After so many delays, it opened with passengers missing flights due to long check-in lines where stations had wiring issues.

Twice security was thrown into chaos when things went wrong, one passenger triggered an alarm and another wandered off before completion. There was an hours-long power outage too. And security lines were outrageously long.

Sure there were pretty new shops and restaurants. But on day two the security lines continued to be a problem and a new bar in Terminal A was so unprepared for business that it ran out of beer. Some might call Newark's $3 billion makeover lipstick on a pig.

Then there's LaGuardia. They have a new Terminal B and guess what?

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just announced:

LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B was named the world’s best new terminal based on feedback from customers around the world surveyed on factors including check-in, shopping, security, terminal comfort and ambiance, and choice of bars and restaurants.

Skytrax, an airport rating firm, determined this in a global passenger survey. Not only did we spend $3 billion on Newark's brand new Terminal A only to have LaGuardia be voted best new terminal, their new Terminal B is one of only 22 airports and terminals worldwide to achieve 5 stars for best global practices.

© Jeff Goldberg/Esto
© Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Here's a quick look inside LaGuardia. This setup screams efficiency.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Does this even look like an airport?

© Jeff Goldberg/Esto
© Jeff Goldberg/Esto

It feels like natural light everywhere you go.

It's said that these World Airport Awards from Skytrax are like the Oscars of the airport industry, and Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton couldn't be prouder.

Our goal at the Port Authority was to completely transform the customer experience at LaGuardia, from curb to gate, by building a brand-new, world-class airport,” said Cotton. “Winning this prestigious award and becoming the first North American airport terminal to receive a 5-star rating from Skytrax proves that we have accomplished what many once said was impossible: elevate LaGuardia from worst to best.

Want a quote about Newark's Terminal A after its opening? OK, here's one from Huntley Lawrence, chief operating officer for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

As you make your way through the facility, you’ll recognize it’s a world-class facility, but when you start a new operation there’s some challenges. There have been a number of trials, operational trials, both basic and advanced, to make sure we work the bugs out of things. Sometimes you find out all the bugs, sometimes you don’t.


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