New York Laguardia Bottoms Out in Zagat Survey

Former New York Mayor Fiorello Laguardia may have insisted that New York have its own airport (rather than relying on Newark, New Jersey), but his namesake facility is not exactly a towering tribute to his commitment to providing air service to the Big Apple. The Depression-era mayor was a champion of the emerging aviation industry, and is reported to have insisted that he be flown to New York (rather than Newark) because his airline ticket said, "New York." But the latest Zagat airport survey ranks LGA 30th out of 30 in its most recent survey of the quality of major airline airports. On the plus side, the old Pan Am Marine Terminal has been restored to its original Art Deco splendor, but most airline passengers never see it. Passengers and crew of GA aircraft do, however, since the building serves as the FBO terminal operated by SheltAir. But for airline passengers, on a scale of 1-30, the airport scored only 6.18 — actually worse than last year's dead-last rating of 6.75. Zagat CEO Tim Zagat suggested, "The best thing probably is to knock it down and start over." […though I'm not sure exactly how one goes about knocking down an airport.] As for the direct competition among the three major New York airline airports, JFK did little better, coming in ranked 26th with a score of 9.57 out of 30. Newark bested the other two with a 24th-place finish and a rating of 11.72 out of 30. The top scoring airport was clear across the country in Portland, Oregon. Portland International ranked number one, with a score of 22.47 out of 30 in the Zagat rating. Zagat's suggestions for improving satisfaction at LGA included piping music into the hallways; projecting slides and videos on the walls; and making the luggage carts free.