“Welcome to NY” – Good Riddance to JFK Terminal 3

“Welcome to NY,” was what one women grumbled on a drizzly day last summer dragging herself from JFK’s Terminal 2/3 arrivals up to the AirTrain.

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With Delta moving into a rehabbed Terminal 4 on Friday, and me about to board in Shanghai for a flight to JFK, I thought back to to this woman capturing my sentiment of the many times I have wished there was a proper arrivals or perhaps a tow rope. I was always embarrassed as an American to see international visitors shocked at the decrepitude.  There are people who will miss these terminals, Flying With Fish movingly recounts his memories. For me, I can’t think of a positive JFK memory outside of Terminal 4 Oasis Club meals, so I bid a nice kick in the rump to Terminal 3 on its way out. Hopefully as Delta shifts to refitting Terminal 2 it will be possible to offer luxuries such as walking on level ground and even staying inside.

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  • Let’s not overdo the situation. The mess was mostly what Delta made of it. I recently arrived to terminal 4 on a Delta domestic flight and the lack of signage was attrocious. The airside of Terminal 4 was designed as a departure only area and there was no signage nor thought on how domestic fliers exit. It basically required a trip up, then crossing the terminal to the land side then an elevator down. Not impossible but challenging to somebody that is familar with the terminal and near impossible to a stranger.

  • Not even a little nostalgia, mate? Ever go through there as a kid?

    The soon-to-be former T3, just like the Saarinen terminal, is among the last vestages of time gone by. Certainly a sorry state of repairs it (T3) has been in for years…but sad to see it go, nevertheless.

    Beyond TWA/Saarinen, perhaps the only old-school terminal left in town is Marine Air Terminal at LGA! 😉

  • @NYBanker – my NY flights as a kid I think we are LGA, I started flying there unaccompanied at 3 years old, some of those were fun. JFK is only recent and icky to me.

  • So I badmouth JFK and now my DL 172 NRT-JFK is having repeated mechanical delays. Do I need to feign that I like it?

  • Chris Bastian

    Let’s remember that there were TWO T3’s: the original Pan Am terminal, which while small was still fairly functional, and the crap built behind it in the 1970’s. If I were running the Circus, I would have retained the historical section and used it as an exclusive SkyPriority check-in and lounge facility.

  • I always avoid connecting through NYC if I can, but when I do have an extended layover there, I enjoy doing the AirTrain and imagining the old PanAm WorldPort and TWA terminal during their glory days….

  • @Aaron Hurd – my 2 hour mechanical delay room care of my extended layover today.

  • Ugh. Hate mechanical delays… unless they are on the flight *before* mine, causing it to be oversold! The girlfriend got that in Tucson last week. Scored a $200 voucher and got the reroute home to get in earlier than she had planned. She’s learning. 😛