Big Terminal Moves at LaGuardia Where American and Delta Appear to Be Consolidating Operations Under One Roof Each

It looks like both American and Delta will consolidate terminals at New York LaGuardia next month.

American has been operating both out of the Central Terminal (legacy American gates) and the C terminal (legacy US Airways gates) and that looks like it will soon change.

New York LaGuardia Central Terminal

Delta — which has had a strong presence in the C terminal ever since it picked up a good chunk of the US Airways operation at LaGuardia — moves into the gates that American will give up. They’ll use those gates to consolidate their own operations and move out of the Marine Air Terminal. (Other airlines, perhaps Alaska and JetBlue, move in to the Marine terminal.)

It appears that American may lose two gates in the process, receiving fewer gates in the Central Terminal than they’re giving up in C. Notably,

  • American has a lounge currently both in the C terminal and the Central Terminal. This will put them down to one lounge at LaGuardia presumably for the same number of passengers.

  • However all American passengers will have access to the American Express Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia which is before security in the Central terminal.

  • American’s gates will apparently be spread out in the Central Terminal rather than all being on the same pier, meaning that it won’t be convenient to connect or to access the American lounge for all flights. Although there’s a shuttle bus connecting piers similar to Washington National airport where gates are behind security on different piers (there American has lounges on both piers where they have gates).

American describes their New York operation as ’boutique’ aimed at serving business markets. They aren’t really running a connecting operation and many of their domestic routes seem timed towards bringing passengers from other markets to New York rather than serving the needs of New Yorkers. They’re retrenching their international flying somewhat out of JFK in favor of Philadelphia as well.

American Airlines New York JFK

The changes at LaGuardia are rumored to be happening on or about November 12. It’s further rumored that Delta — which I’d argue is getting the biggest benefit out of the move, consolidating operations in C and D — is paying the costs of the move.

Delta has the most juice with the Port Authority as well, since they’ve been willing to fund major renovation costs at the airport though in return they’ll receive a significant income stream from concessions going forward (and have had support as they try to gain exceptions or a lifting of the perimeter rule for flights at LaGuardia).

Moving out of the Marine terminal must also say something about what Delta thinks of the white elephant
plan for ferries to bring passengers from Manhattan and dock at the terminal.

(HT: @JonNYC)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The LGA shuttle bus between the AA terminals is a pain. You have to wait for the bus, then it’s a long 5 minute ride to the other terminal. I’m not an AA flyer (once in a while). I arrived at the main terminal to find my flight was departing for gate 39. Hmmm? It took me all of 10 seconds to realize there was no gate 39 in my terminal. I happened to see the shuttle sign out of the corner of my eye.

    I already had my boarding pass on my phone, so I probably could have headed to the right terminal if I had a clue, but not everyone is in the loop about these things.

    One more thing, there is no elevator to take you down to the ramp on either end of this trip. If you need that assistance, better do your homework.

  2. I assume your comment about the centurion lounge is only for those that have access through an Amex card – the way it is wrtten makes it sound like all AA passengers – even those without the correct Amex can access – and guessing that is not the case

  3. Finally! Now AA is in the same General Vicinty for All Flights….rarely use Delta so couldn’t Care Less about Where They locate to.

  4. The Marine Air Terminal is beautiful and it’s sad to lose the super-expedited check in for Shuttle flights. However, the terminal is a lot less convenient since they eliminated the M60 SBS (bus rapid transit) stop there.

  5. When I flew from Chicago ORD to Incheon Seoul Korea, I discovered it was easier for me to find my way around in Korea than Chicago. The signs and directions and flow in Chicago with 50 years of opportunity to improve, were inferior to Incheons 4 or 5 years to correct theirs. Of course I have an idea that Incheon was correct on day 1 and ORD was based on the assumption that all international travelers were and are fluent in English and mind reading. Seriously, until US airport authorities get a clue, they will constantly be trying to improve inherently flawed designs.

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