Delta's New LaGuardia Airport Terminal Is Finally Finished — and We Got a Peek Inside

Ribbon cutting at the new Delta terminal at LGA
Photo: Courtesy of Alison Fox

Years ago, then-Vice President Joe Biden likened New York's LaGuardia Airport to a third world country. On Wednesday, as the state's governor helped unveil the airport's latest modern terminal and multibillion dollar project, she remarked Biden would be astonished at the transformation.

"Come see this President Biden because your jaw is going to drop," Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a ribbon cutting ceremony just days before Delta Air Lines starts welcoming travelers to its brand-new Terminal C. "Every person who travels out of this airport will have an extraordinary experience, unthinkable just a few years ago."

The new terminal, which features all the top-notch local restaurants and modern conveniences travelers have come to expect in recent years (like chargers and plentiful seating), will become the hub of Delta's operations at LaGuardia, consolidating terminals C and D and making them accessible from one main check-in area, a spokesperson for the airline told Travel + Leisure. What was once the butt of many jokes — and even a less-than-flattering SNL skit — now welcomes travelers with soaring ceilings, local art curated in partnership with the Queens Museum, and high-end shopping from brands like upstate New York cosmetic company Beekman 1802 and suitcase company Briggs & Riley.

Delta corridor in the new Delta terminal at LGA
Courtesy of Alison Fox

To eat, travelers can choose from several local options like Brooklyn's Chuko Ramen or Tribeca's Bubby's Diner.

The new terminal, which opens on Saturday, June 4, will have 36 full-service check-in counters, 49 self-service kiosks, and 16 bag-drop counters, as well as 11 Transportation Security Administration screening lanes (with the ability to add up to five more).

The airline will also open its largest Delta Sky Club in the new terminal, which is a whopping 34,000 square feet and has seating for nearly 600 guests. The club features conveniences like wireless charging pads and touchless bathroom entry as well as several phone booths where travelers can go for a bit of quiet time.

Entrance to the new Delta Sky Club at LGA
Courtesy of Alison Fox

"This is an airport and airports can feel very impersonal [but] this has personality already," Delta's CEO Ed Bastian said on Wednesday at an event unveiling the new terminal. "And it's something that we're all going to be very proud to operate and we look forward to finishing the last pieces of the concourses over the next couple of years."

The completion of Terminal C comes more than two years after Delta remodeled the first Terminal C concourse in October 2019. It also follows the completion of the airport's new Terminal B, which is used for several airlines, including American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, and United Airlines.

Calming room inside the new Delta terminal at LGA
Courtesy of Alison Fox

While the terminals are getting nicer, getting to LaGuardia is still not entirely convenient. Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a plan to create an AirTrain linking the airport with the city's subway system. On Wednesday, Hochul told T+L a panel of experts was working on transportation alternatives to the airport.

"I know they're looking at all kinds of ideas," she said. "And we're going to make sure it works for the passengers but also for the community [and] the neighborhood and [pick] the one that actually makes sense."

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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