By Mark Chesnut
Delta Air Lines is in growth mode in New York City. As a result, travelers heading through Delta’s facilities at both LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports are likely to see changes, including new flights and new terminal facilities.
Delta is in the midst of a major flight expansion in the Big Apple, some of which is due to a slot swap finalized earlier this year with US Airways. Among the newest routes from LaGuardia are nonstops to Charlotte, Charlottesville, Denver, Houston, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Roanoke, all of which launch on July 11.
As a result of nearly doubling its flights from LaGuardia over the course of just a few months, Delta has expanded into Terminal C, adjacent to its existing Terminal D. For now, a bus shuttle links the two terminals (as well as the Marine Air Terminal, which hosts Delta’s shuttle flights to Boston, Washington and Chicago); eventually, a walkway will be constructed. Terminal C will be home to a new Delta Sky Club later this year, and passengers may check in at either Terminal C or D and pass through security, taking the bus to the adjacent terminal if necessary.
At JFK, changes are underway, but the biggest shifts are still a ways off. Some $1.2 billion is being spent to expand and upgrade Terminal 4 , which serves mostly international flights for a variety of airlines. The expansion, which will add nine new gates, will allow Delta to transfer much of its long-range service to a brand-new facility. Currently, Delta flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and London-Heathrow depart from Terminal 2, while flights to Milan, Pisa, Rome and Venice leave from Terminal 3 and service to Montego Bay and San Juan dock at Terminal 4.
Airline historians take note: Once the expansion at Terminal 4 is complete next year, the existing Terminal 3 — which was built for Pan American World Airways in 1960 — will be torn down to allow for more aircraft parking. Terminal 2 — which debuted in 1962 as a facility for long-gone Northeast Airlines, Braniff International and Northwest Airlines — is scheduled to stay put, at least for now.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He collects airline memorabilia.