On Saturday, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines will officially open its brand new Terminal C at LaGuardia, which features a new departures hall, arrivals hall, gates, and security checkpoint.
The $4 billion project is a mammoth investment in New York City, and Delta hopes to create a better customer experience and improve the airport’s on-time performance.
Insider went on a tour with Marzullo to see everything that Delta has built at LaGuardia since breaking ground in 2017. Take a look.
We started in Delta’s “crown jewel” of the project: the Headhouse, which is where travelers will check in to their flights.
The room was spacious and modern, with beautiful marble walls…
…several murals created by local artists…
…and calming hues of red, blue, and purple on the ceiling.
For check-in and bag drop, passengers can use one of the 49 self-service kiosks or visit a customer service agent.
Marzullo told media that the facility was built with New Yorkers in mind, meaning a main focus was speed and efficiency.
One example of this can be seen outside the terminal where Delta has split the roadway to create more curb front and improve traffic flow.
Marzullo also explained that the departures hall has been designed mostly as a transient space because LaGuardia is a main business hub for Delta and those passengers rarely check luggage.
Because the hall will see fewer passengers, the company invested more money into designing the security checkpoint and gates. “We really try to focus all of our design efforts and our money on that customer experience in areas where you will dwell,” he said.
Marzullo said the impressive technology changes whenever a Delta flight takes off, and the panels will show the destination that the plane is flying to.
The space’s art, floor-to-ceiling windows, and natural light are meant to calm passengers during the most stressful part of flying, according to Marzullo.
Tall digital boards stand just before the checkpoint, displaying TSA wait times for general security, Sky Priority, people with disabilities, Clear, TSA PreCheck, and family assist.
There is one central security checkpoint for all passengers, which has 11 lanes, though that can be expanded to 16 if needed.
Gates 70-79 will open on June 4 and gates 90-98 opened in 2019. Meanwhile, gates 80-89 and 61-69 will be renovated by 2024, and are part of the last 20% of the project.
After clearing security, passengers will either turn left to gates 61-79 or right to gates 80-98. Walking time can take anywhere from five to 12 minutes depending on the gate.
Walking towards gates 61-79, we explored the food and seating areas around the terminal. Delta has partnered with airport hospitality company OTG to bring new sit-down restaurants to the space, like Bubby’s Diner…
According to Marzullo, there will be four Starbucks locations throughout the entire facility, but there will sadly be no Dunkin’ Donuts. Sorry, New Englanders!
Though, there will be plenty of other stores, like BuzzFeed News…
…a Cibo Express with to-go snacks, electronics, and books…
…and several quick service restaurants.
The food was delicious, and my favorite drink was the refreshing House Negroni, which will be on draft at Sunday Supper.
The setup of the gates themselves seemed efficient and customer-focused. The waiting areas were spacious with plenty of seating…
…and every seat has power.
There were also plenty of large, modern bathrooms in every area of the facility.
The entrances to the bathrooms in the concourses have large mosaic artwork that represents different parts of New York.
When it comes to the airside part of the facility, Marzullo said the primary focus was the airfield. “LaGuardia is notoriously known for departure delays, arrival delays, and taxi delays, so we wanted to maximize the airfield circulation for aircraft,” he explained.
He further said they designed the gates to have more flexibility with the size of planes they can accommodate, which includes any narrowbody jet in the company’s fleet.
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