NYC Officials Vow to Improve Shoddy Airport Bathrooms

Forget crowded planes and long lines. Officials launching a campaign to improve the New York City metro area's much-maligned airports are starting with the bathrooms.

Dirty airport bathroom.
Photo by Darren Booth for
Dirty airport bathroom.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is on the verge of announcing a 90-day plan to provide cleaner restrooms and more customer-service representatives at the three major airports serving the region, executive director Patrick Foye said Wednesday.

The effort is part of an attempt to overhaul the image of the airports — LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark International — which each landed in January on the list of the world's 10 worst airport terminals. The only other American airport to be placed on the global list was Chicago Midway International Airport.

"My goal is not to be on the Frommer's list in 12 to 24 months," Foye said during an appearance at LaGuardia to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking of a $160 million Delta Air Lines terminal expansion.

Delta has also committed $1.2 billion to overhauling its facilities at Kennedy, home to the airline's Terminal 3, which the Frommer's list named the world's worst terminal.

"Terminal 3 is known for endless immigration lines in a dank basement, for an utter lack of food and shopping options, three crowded and confusing entry points, hallways that could have been designed by M.C. Escher and for vomiting international travelers out onto an underground sidewalk with no cabs available," said the ranking.

Foye said that $3.5 billion in further planned renovations at Kennedy should also help the agency's efforts to improve conditions.