The 1950s and 60s have often been described as the golden age of flying. Traveling by air meant three-piece suits for men, high heels for women, lavish meals and lots of legroom.
Today, at U.S. airports, passengers are forced to wait in long security lines and then line up for fast food before boarding overcrowded airplanes with no free meals. So why are U.S. airports so cash strapped?
U.S. airports, for the most part, are publicly owned and operated by either a city, a county, a state or in some cases, a public authority.
But, in the face of decaying infrastructure, a handful of U.S. airports have started to abandon the public model and turned to private money to fund multi-billion-dollar projects.
In 2016, New York State and the Port Authority partnered with Delta Air Lines and LaGuardia Gateway Partners to completely rebuild the airport. LaGuardia Airport is now getting an $8 billion overhaul.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the group that will finance, construct and operate Terminal B, said the redevelopment, expected to be finished by 2022, will provide a host of new services to passengers including restaurants, better bathrooms, higher ceilings and lots of natural light.
And more airports across the U.S. are also on the way to getting massive multibillion-dollar makeovers, thanks to cash from private companies.
New York's JFK Airport is planning to spend $13 billion including $12 billion in private funding for improvements including two new international terminals.
Los Angeles International Airport is spending $14 billion on a giant expansion.
LAX Integrated Express Solutions was selected to design, build and operate the terminal's passenger train. The "automated people mover" is LAX's first public-private partnership project.
Airports Council International says U.S. airports will need $128 billion in infrastructure spending over the next five years.