What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Tue Aug 17, 1999 4:49 am

What is wrong with the main terminal for most international airlines-Terminal 4 JFK. I was on a flight to Athens out of 4E, which was delayed for 5 hours (that's another story), that on top of arriving 4 hours early (the only connecting flight available was that early). This terminal is awful! It is overcrowded, there is only a few places to eat, and nowhere to sit before your flight gate is announced. There were also no windows or anything. We ended up sitting in UAL and AWA's Terminal 6. When returning from Istanbul, we find the INS area equally bad. Long, dark corridors and no windows! What a way to greet people to the US! Also, TWA's Terminal 5 was equally bad, with no seats available, uncomfortable seats if you could find any, no food in the gate areas, long lines for the bathroom, etc.

I know they are building a new terminal 4, but the old one is crazy. And I guess TWA's Terminal 5 fits well with the airline that serves it!

By the way, the flight was an ATA L1011 charter to Athens operating for Renaissance Cruises.

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RE: What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Tue Aug 17, 1999 10:37 am

Yeah, I've heard some pretty bad things about TWA's terminal and terminal 4 over at JFK. The thing is, TWA's terminal has been designated as a historical site, and cannot be altered. As for terminal 4, I'm not sure what the New York/New Jersey Port Authority plans to do about it. I know that AA, DL, and UA are expanding and improving their services at JFK, but TWA has to try and find something to do about their terminal.

RE: What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Tue Aug 17, 1999 10:56 am

My family and I recently flew National Airlines to Las Vegas. Their operations out of Kennedy are in Terminal 4. What a dump! It was some hike from the ticketing area to the gate. We rushed only to have our flight delayed an hour and a half. The terminal is old, dingy, and depressing. They light the place with some type of street light fixtures. The gate area was crowded also. No windows either. It was nice to come out of the plane in Vegas and see daylight!

Coming back we were herded like cattle to the baggage claim in the temporary arrivals hall. We had to walk down a flight of steep steps (Not an elevator or escalator in sight) with all of our carry-ons. It took us an hour to get our luggage.

I hope the new IAB is lives up to what they say it is going to be. New York needs to have a world class facility to welcome its international visitors.
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RE: What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Wed Aug 18, 1999 2:18 am

Next time, try to fly through Newark. Continental (well I mean the Port Authority) just built a wonderful arrivels hall for international flights, full of bright big windows and lots of space.

I try my hardest to avoid Kennedy. I'd even be willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars more to avoid it. I don't think they can do much to improve it, despite all the renovations.

New York probably needs another airport.
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RE: What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Wed Aug 18, 1999 3:17 am

Terminal 4 was built a long time ago for about 1/4 of the daily traffic that it currently handles. It is in the process of being replaced while it is still being used. I think the new terminal will be very nice, lots of glass, more gates, etc. The new Terminal One replacing the original Eastern terminal is great... very spacious, plenty of windows and a sensible layout.

The basic problem with JFK is that when it was built, each of the major airlines at the time (Eastern was Terminal 1, Delta was 2, Pan Am was 3, TWA was 5, National was 6, British was 7, American was 8 and United was 9) was allowed to build whatever it wanted. Therefore there's no consistency of design and the roadways have to look like spaghetti to accommodate 10 different landside designs.

There is nothing that can be done to TWA's terminal to modernise it without altering it beyond what the National Register of Historical Places will allow. If they want to preserve it, they should move it and build a modern terminal there. Just be glad nobody decided to try to preserve the IAB.
"Is this the life that you lead... or the life that's led for you?"
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RE: What's Wrong With Our Nation's Gateway!?!

Fri Aug 20, 1999 5:07 am

I have posted a message like this in the apologies to anyone who's read it already...but JFK is the most awful airport I have ever been to - and believe me I thought Chennai/Madras International in India was better.

I have only flown through JFK Terminal 4 - with Virgin Atlantic before its move to Air France's terminal...and more recently with KLM. I don't have much of a choice from London. Most flights fly into JFK and attempts to route via Newark have always been difficult (due to scheduling). I also now try to fly KLM when I flew through JFK4 last in April. Hardly any decent facilities at this terminal - it comes close to being little more than more than a bus-stop.

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