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LaGuardia, former laughingstock, ranked best midsize airport in US

LaGuardia Airport has made a significant comeback in passenger rankings, after years as a laughingstock.

After having one of the worst reputations, LaGuardia, in Queens, has bounced back, now ranked the “best airport of 25 to 40 million passengers in North America” in 2023, according to a new passenger survey.

The airport has undergone a multibillion-dollar redevelopment, transforming its terminals and roadways over the last five years.

“Taking LaGuardia Airport from worst to best is now more than just an aspiration, it’s an accomplishment that passengers have now resoundingly recognized,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement. “When we started out on our $8 billion transformation of LaGuardia, few believed we could create the world-class airport our region deserves. But the ASQ award proves that seeing is believing.”

Last year was the first in which all new facilities were completed and being used at LaGuardia, according to the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, which sought reviews based on the passengers’ overall satisfaction.

The airport got an overall passenger satisfaction rating of 4.25 out of 5, a 20 percent increase from its 2018 score, when LaGuardia was rated as the worst airport in North America by passengers.

“There is no better judge of our new airports than the passengers who use them, which is why the ASQ award for best airport going to LaGuardia is so meaningful,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said.

LaGuarida’s past bad reviews were echoed by the White House. In 2014, then-Vice President Biden called it a “third world” airport. Later that year, he doubled down on his criticism.

”If you were blindfolded and I dropped you in an airport in the middle of New York and I dropped you in an airport in the middle of Beijing, you sure as hell wouldn’t pick LaGuardia as being in the United States,” Biden said.

The survey was completed by 4,200 at the gates of LaGuardia in 2023.

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