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Biden Lambasts Conditions at LaGuardia Airport

“If I blindfolded someone… and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you’d think, ‘I must be in some third-world country.’” That pronouncement was made by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who was the latest frequent traveler to comment on conditions at America’s busiest airport. During a speech in Philadelphia on Thursday, ... ( さらに...

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btweston 6
I was just there two weeks ago. It was... Totally fine. Sure, it's the smallest of the three airports in town, but it was quick and easy, nice and clean, and the plane took off and hurtled me through the air. Pretty good, I'll say.

I stopped in Philly on the way back, though. Talk about jam-packed with sadness. Forty five minutes in that place will make you chuckle when you hear the old standby LGA criticism. But, in fairness, the whiskey did work.
I have been working there for 17 years now. On my first day there a senior aircraft mechanic said to me " Welcome to LaGarbage". I agree with the VP comment. The hangers there are 76 years old. How many hangers do you know that are 76 years old? There so old that only MD-80s can be pulled in with out raising the nose. 737 and 757 can get in but you need to raise the nose in order to get tail down. They just started building a new central terminal. This should have been done 25 years ago.
Sounds about right... There are a lot of WWII hangars still out there and in good condition... Most are decently maintained and economical for the airlines.
What was his specific complaint? Easy to make a sweeping generalization. Nothing's perfect.
The problem with all New York City area airports are the swirling cesspool brought by the combination of corrupt government and public unions.

Next add the self-important determination they are the greatest in the world. They are not number 1, not even the top ten.

The airport facilities should be run by the airlines. Government should stop at the curb.
sparkie624 12
Biden is truly one of kind guy... and I am sure glad we don't have more just like him... Oh I forgot.. We got a whole senate full of them...
btweston 2
You write your own material?
Some times...
Sad part is in the Senate Vice-President Biden is the boss, and the smartest one in the room.
Ugh... I forgot about that..... What a bad thought...
If 'Jumpin' Joe Biden is the smartest, I'd hate like hell to see the dumbest!! Joe needs to exit stage left.
If he is the smartest, I do not want to know who the dumbest is, and 2 he probably would exit to the right as he probably does not which is wich.
Still closest to Manhattan, and your in and out of the place quickly due to compressed footprint. It's an airport, not a mall with a food court.
The infrastructure of this country could use some serious work and it would create a ton of jobs in the private sector. We use to actually pay attention to these type of things but our politicians hijacked us with talk about guns, abortion and a thousand other personal matters that are none of their business.
You know it was strange but back in 08 when O came to power, all the state folks talked about shovel ready jobs and he just started throwing money, and in that part, was on good faith to get some activity going and folks back to work. Problem is, he was naive enough to trust folks and not attach any strings and not many shovels turned, as it got used for something else; can we say PORK??
SootBox 5
My dog has created more shovel ready jobs than Obama.
canuck44 6
Actually all that stimulus money went to support Wall Street via the banks and to "invest" in union public service jobs...thereby laundering the money back to the politicians via the unions. Very little actually was used as intended.
Lots was spent to bail out the banks. Lots more to states to delay needed right-sizing of state/ local governments that had grown in bloated messes (in that vicious circle John describes).

But as far as infrastructure spending, there was little prioritization for the most societally valuable, necessary and long-lasting projects. It was all about funding shovel-ready projects. This meant a disproportionate spending on things like highway repaving (ahead of need cycle), instead of bridges, airports and other mass transportation infrastructure.
Not sure why anyone downvotes John. He's one of the more knowledgeable and intelligent commentor.
And this is another growing problem. You use to be able to trust your fellow man to do a good days work for a good days pay. Forget that today. It's all about me.
totally agree. I was there yesterday, and I made it from a midtown hotel to gate B4 in 35 minutes.
While you folks are all blasting the VP for his comments, the general public agrees with him in regards to this airport. And, LGA is the busiest airport in the world without transcontinental service, which is prohibited by a perimeter rule of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Oh, and that same Port Authority owns and operates LGA, EWR, JFK, SWF and TEB. LGA, in addition to being outdated, boasts the worst on-time performance of any airport in the US. Sparkie, you seem to have your own agenda, which ignores fact so that you can take swipes at the President and Vice President, and you certainly are prolific.
Didn't know about that perimeter rule thing. Is that something akin to the Wright amendment that has surrounded Love field in Dallas over the years. I knew they didn't have any International flights. I didn't know about the Transcon.
It is an archaic piece of legislation that was created to help then Idlewild grow by forcing long haul operations to that airport. As it now exists, no flight of longer than 1,500 miles can operate out of LGA.
Not quite as restrictive as WRIGHT, but restrictive nonetheless. It would be interesting to see what would happen if it did go away. LOL
LGA perimeter rule is similar to the perimeter rule at DCA.

With the high, tight, fast approaches to short runways, there should be little to no pressure to add long-haul service on big planes. Especially with plenty of local airport alternatives. The main airport alternatives even have rail connections.

Wright is an animal on to itself. It was anti-competitive legislation created for and by special interests.
Having been to all of them, I can definitely agree with tight, fast approaches. I can remember the days before IAD and DCA was all that was there. DCA was fun with a 707. LOL
And with AA's 767-200s too!
If I blindfolded someone and they saw how much public money gets re-directed into the wrong pockets you would think your in a third world country.

Wow, a crummy airport, who is in charge of the funding to fix it? Oh wait, its the government!
Don't worry... they will just raise more tax money to pay for it... That way they don't have to take the money back out of their pockets.
Yeah they will raise taxes to put more in their pockets and say they need more because of cost over runs!
you expect something different? LOL
watacat 2
The Port Authority of NY & NJ owns and operates it. The PA is probably the richest entity in NY outside of the Catholic Diocese.
Didn't the governor step in a few days ago and say we're going to upgrade them all, meaning LGA,JFK and Newark
Which governor? Newark is in NJ and LGA and JFK are in NY.
Cuomo, but Newark is owned/operated by the port authority too, I think, so Idk how that plays out
The airports are owned by their respective cities. The Port Authority is the operator. It is within the imaginable that either city would fire the Port Authority and hire different managers.

The Port Authority is a bi-state agency that reports to both governors. The airports are owned by the cities. The authority is growing into a bureaucratic monster with highly elevated costs. There are a very high and disproportionate amount of workers earning over $100,000. Many retire with pensions in the multi-hundred thousands. They have many retired police officers with pensions just shy of $200,000/yr.

At some point such excess becomes unsustainable.
Port Authority is constantly upgrading all of them, except LGA.

But now that LGA is well into a captital improvement campaign, is when there is blow hard political commentary. Would've actually meant something if he had suggested using much of that depression-avoiding bailout money to actually update long lasting infrastructure.

No, at that time, he didn't say anything about LGA. They spent all that money resurfacing highways and bailing out investment banks, and auto companies instead. Now, when his comments are on their way to quickly becoming out-of -date is h finally talking about non-asphalt imfrastructure. (Shovel-ready was code for any easily accomplished projects, which in an era of endless gov't bureaucracy means resurfacing projects mostly).
honza nl 3
Yes, blame government. By the way, government is you......
ps: private sector is better ? the ones that failed at 9/11 (security at airports) ? the ones who had to be rescued (GM, and many banks) ? the ones who pay politicians so that they once elected do what big corporations want ?
Problem with the US is that people not want pay tax because tax and government is bad. Then comes a huricane (New Orleans /New York) and then you pay twice: damages, and still better and safe dikes.
The government is you....was the vision of Jefferson and Washington. Today the government is private and public special interests that herd low information voters to the polls to do their bidding. How do you think people like VP Biden get elected? Certainly not by the informed electorate.
Stop blaming the gov for everything.... unless you are a tea bagger then it's just par for the course. We ALL need to invest into our public infrastructure ... both party's ..... just because Biden said the truth does not mean he is the bad guy. Again, unless you are a tea bagger the gubberment is BAD.
It's not so much that he's wrong.

It's more that he's late to the party. The apart Authourty and airlines have already announced and are quite a ways along in a major capital investment in airport infrastructure and terminals, respectively.

Further, his 'guvamint' has spent in the neighborhood of $9 Trillion of additional debt, plus the total of the annual budgets for the past 5 years). In that time, and with those astronomical expenditures the federal government neither expedited nor funded these improvements. Most of the funds* were local and/or airline funds.
* with the exception of FAA funds derived mostly from user fees.

How can a 'guvamint' spend so much and not tackle important infrastructure needs. This is the largest amount of additional debt ever spent by any state in the history of the world. And it was spent in such a short amount of time.

Had the man used part of those $9 Trillion if additional debt to fix this 'third world' airport, then he'd have a leg to stand on. Without that, he's essentially condemning the horrible job if his administration to spend so much and do so little.

[And in a slightly related side note: Has anyone else noticed how the resurfaced highways that were rushed along in the earlier years if this administration are already starting to get ripped up with this harsh winter? A newly resurfaced highway should last more than 2-3 years before disintegrating.]
FYI, it's #20 on the America's busiest airport list and it doesn't appear on the World's busiest list.

It does 50% of the traffic that JFK does and 75% that of Newark.
Certainly isn't the busiest airport in the country. As you point out, it's only the third busiest airport sevicing it's home city.
For ONCE Biden is right, I traveled in and out of LaGuardia for years until I retired and it was one of the few places, you could always expect to get stranded no matter the time of the year or the weather and yes every third-world type you can imagine can be found there
Which airport in the US is remotely equal to Singapore or any of the Emirates? They all are second rate or worse
I love Changi, but LAX has hourly service to Las Vegas. Can DXB or SIN match that? Ha!
That's a little exaggerated. Third-world countries aren't THAT bad.
sparkie624 -1
The airport is not quite that bad.. But he is...
Mr. Biden is not willing to open his wallet and aid in the renovation you can be sure. Politicians as a whole have ignored, mishandled, and over-regulated all modes of transport for nearly a century. It nearly cost us most of the railroads in this country, and did cost us quite a few airlines. Service has regressed for the most part, not progressed.

Even when those in the industry back in the 1940's tried and tried to explain that without a balanced transportation policy, we would have these issues one day, decision makers buried their heads in the sand.

Of course it is easy to thump one's chest and proclaim the horrid conditions, feigning outrage. It's a completely different thing to roll one's sleeves up and take action. We can see which person Mr. Biden is! Don't hold your breath waiting for him to take action.
Regarding that balanced transportation policy, if they would have just nationalized everything and put W. Graham Claytor in charge of the rails, Howard Hughes for the Airlines, and Eisenhower over the highways/bridges, after he got done building interstates, we'd have all been a lot better off.
I believe Mr. Trump said this a few YEARS ago...
I agree w/ Schecter, easy access, $2 bus/subway ride to manahattan, 30 min, no trams or long walks, just keep it clean and efficient. ATL takes 30 minutes to xfer to a plane parked 100 feet away!
LGA may be "bad" for some people, but if you are a very frequent flyer (as I am) and need to get in and out of the airport in the least amount of time, LGA is your best option and the best airport in the city! It may be not be a flashy shopping center/airport, but if you are using the airport for efficient, business travel, DCA is a great airport. A few bucks spent on it, making it look a little bit better won't hurt though.
If the 1500 miles radius restriction on LGA flights is removed, hopefully soon, I would be the first one to fly on AA's/BA's LGA to LCY on a nonstop flight!
It may be not be a flashy shopping center/airport, but if you are using the airport for efficient, business travel, LGA is a great airport.
I must admit my travels to LGA over the last 10 years have only involved the Delta terminal. They have made big strides to fix this up and add nice restaurants. I will admit being huddled together with 4 gates at one end can be aggravating but efforts have been made. Likewise the newer Terminal at JFK is nice. I will admit the old Pan Am terminal was bad but a 3rd world country seems a stretch. The key, I feel safe, go ahead and fly into some major 3rd world country airports and let me know what you think about the dimly lit cafes and dirty restrooms Mr. Biden. Here's another thing, what about all the nice airports that have lost business and have no air traffic in other markets?
dee9bee 1
I agree that LGA is a stinkhole, but jeez, I'll bet Biden hasn't been through there in thirty years...
I happen to travel fairly frequently to JFK, LaGuardia, Philly and DC-Reagan National. I have only good things to say about Reagan,the JetBlue terminal at JFK and Philly. La Guardia is not third-world as Biden called it. It is best described as Fourth World. Honestly, how can a city like NY have an airport like LG or JFK (minus the JetBlue terminal)?
Of course I was being flip. Mr. Schmidt gave a serious answer and he is correct.
Agree that LGA is baaaaad
It looks like hackers, or at the least snake oil salesmen, are working this blog. There are two similar comments, attributed to different names, below that start out by stating that a friend or relative makes a certain dollar per hour figure but has been out of work for 6 months. Then it goes on to say how the person made a phenomenal amount of cash with their computer and provides a link to “the golden website.” I hope the administrators here take notice and eliminate such posts. With identity theft on the rise, we can’t be too careful.
These have been reported but a new link has been added for you to ease the process and it gets taken care of pretty quick. There is a REPORT link on the REPLY line under the post. Click on it and go from there. It takes 3 clicks to report it and get back to the page.
I'm sure if Biden had been in Concourse A (Marine Air Terminal) or Concourse D, he would not say that. No third world airport would have iPads everywhere and the MAT is a trip through time.
The MAT is cool, with Sheltair and also the original location of FSI.
rwb2112 -2
Biden is a jackass, Trump already stated that 3 years ago Biden should be more worried about our economy and how IT is looking like a 3rd world country.
btweston 2
You know people can think about two things at once, right? One would think that would be a desirable trait in an elected official. Unless you can only think about hating someone, in which case you probably wouldn't care what he actually does.

[This comment was deleted.]

btweston 1
Michelle gets Biden? I don't understand.
What a MORON. Too bad Americans are so stupid they re-elected this guy VP twice.
kev wu 5
Actually they reelected Obama..... Biden just came along as a package deal
LOL.. I hear the only reason obama chose Biden was to prove that you did not need a Vice President.
btweston -1
I don't get it.
Biden is such a nothing it is like having no one... I know if I had Biden as a VP anywhere, I would feel that I did not have a VP.
jwmson 0
Yeah, LaGuardia has been a 50's airport since the 50's. Probably the first time little Joey has seen it since the 50's. And how much money has this administration put into America's infrastructure? They've wasted so much on bailouts and doomed "green" projects. What a bunch of idiots!
chalet 5
And what about the TRILLIONS of dollars that the Agriculture Lobby has been able to extract from the American public over the past 60 years or so thanks to the "free" collaboration of senators and representatives as well, not to mention the honchos at the DOA
The subsidies have actually made fresh fruits and vegetables more expensive, as the subsidies have incentivized vast acreages of corn and soy, while bringing us cheaper subsidized corn and soy products, such as high fructose corn syrup.

Would've been better if government had stayed out of agriculture entirely.
In the maintenance world, we call in La-Garbage...
btweston 1
Actually it's pretty modern. Perhaps you haven't actually been there.
Have you? I wouldn't call 76 year old hangers modern.
Muchits -1
Biden dislikes aviation as a whole. He blasted flying in 2009 when he said it was unsafe to fly commercially during the flu epidemic. Sounds like a good way to stimulate aviation during the recession - not.
Once again the hon. Mr. Biden is correct and people criticize him. He is like the boy who had the guts to call the King naked.
Once again... You probably meant "For Once"
I hope the Queen's naked!!!
Ugh... That is a site I do not want to see... LOL

[This poster has been suspended.]

Why was he at LGA anyway and with all us peons, and not in AF2 and hobnobbing around like O and crew?
Maybe he did something wrong and obama took his plane for a week.
What's his dog gotta do with it???
When was the last time that idiot was in the terminal ? He is not in touch with reality and he
wanst to be our next president ?
so, what's your solution, Joe?
Hottest exhaust lately seems to be coming from politicians' mouths, not from jet engines.
Yeah... and I don;t think their ITT has peaked yet...
dave40 0
Biden's brain IS blindfolded !!!!
Where was Airforce 2? I guess the Veep was sluumin' it!
They keep talking about Sochi while some parts of the northeast look like Syria.
I guess the VP has never been to Tribhuvan airport (Katmandu, Nepal). THAT is a third-world airport!
kev wu 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Biden: LaGuardia like a 'third world country'

(CNN) – LaGuardia airport is notorious for older crowded terminals and other constraints that contribute to horrid flight delays. And Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t appear to be a big fan.

"If I blindfolded someone and took them at 2 o'clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said 'where do you think you are?' They would say, 'this must be America. This is a modern airport,'" he said on Thursday. "If I took them blindfolded and took them to LaGuardia airport in New York, he would like 'I must be in some third world country.' I'm not joking."


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