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    LaGuardia goes from ‘third-world’ to best airport: survey

    From “third world” to top-of-the-line.

    LaGuardia Airport – which President Biden once infamously compared to “some third world country” – is now one of the best North American airports, the Airport Service Quality survey revealed.

    The flight hub was chosen alongside Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport as the best midsize airport after it unveiled the completion of $8 billion in renovations last year.

    The new LaGuardia also received an overall satisfaction score of 4.25 out of 5, or a 20% jump from 2018, when passengers called it the worst airport on the continent.

    LaGuardia is now ranked among the top North American airports, according to the Airport Service Quality survey. Juan Gonzalez

    Just a couple years ago, LaGuardia was beset by delays, complaints about lost baggage, and shoddy customer service.

    But some fliers were quick to point out that the flashy renovations still left a few things lacking.

    LGA has no subway or commuter rail lines, and the only mass transit to the airport is by bus — something that can be a source of anxiety and chaos for out-of-towners and locals alike.

    Some felt like the upgrade was still far from world-class.

    “Yes, new LaGuardia airport is better. But who designed ultra-long hikes to far-flung Terminal C gates with only one short moving sidewalk?” one X user wrote.

    Some passengers claim LaGuardia is still the pits despite the costly upgrades. AFP via Getty Images

    Others were still scarred from past experiences, with another social media user writing that “The new LaGuardia is the only airport that has lost all of my bags. So, as far as I’m concerned, they still suck.”

    Then-Vice President Biden used the airport as a punchline in 2014 to make a point about how the U.S. needs to update its infrastructure.

     “If I blindfolded someone and took him at 2 o’clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said, ‘Where do you think you are?’ He’d say, ‘This must be America. It’s a modern airport,’” he said in a speech.

    “If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you’d think, ‘I must be in some third-world country.”

    The airport recently underwent an $8 billion renovation.

    LaGuardia was so infamously abysmal that it was even skewered by “Saturday Night Live” in a famous skit about buying sushi at the airport.

    Starting in 2023, however, passengers were treated to the results of the multi-year renovation, which completely rebuilt the facility to include a Central Terminal Building and concourses inspired by New York City’s parks.

    Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo – who first announced the renovations in 2014 – celebrated LGA’s newfound status among the best of the best on Tuesday.

    “The rebuilding and reimagining of LaGuardia was done in record time under very difficult circumstances and was a demonstration that daring performance and ambition can be actualized by the government,” Cuomo wrote on X.

    The airport was famously mocked on “Saturday Night Live.” Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    “[LGA] was universally regarded as the worst airport in the country. It was the airport everyone loved to hate. But no longer,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton added in a statement about the survey results.

    “LaGuardia’s days as a punchline for late night jokes is finally over.”

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