Summer travel season is in full swing and if you’re like me, chances are you’ve picked La Guardia or John F. Kennedy as your point of departure. (Sorry Jersey, you couldn’t pay me to fly out of Newark!) The good news is that all New York area airports have been recently undergoing extensive, multi-billion dollar renovations. While there are a few amenities I’d still like to see, here’s what caught my attention.
What’s Good at NY’s Airports
Business Lounges – One of my favorite benefits to being an Amex Platinum Cardholder is the access to airport business lounges. They are not just places to get a bite to eat, finish up emails or take a call. In some locations, you can get a massage or a manicure. Anything to not be tempted to buy another design magazine or a package of nuts that end up in the bottom of my bag!
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – There’s a reason why soft-baked pretzels make the best airport snack. They’re quick, not too expensive, and hit the taste buds at all the right places. They also remind me of my trips to the mall as a teenager!
Fresh Art – Art exhibits have long been part of New York’s airport scene. Luckily, La Guardia has upped its art game. When I’m able to take a brief stop and admire what’s on display, I it helps me more easily notice local art more when I arrive at my destination. (Note: Some of the art is really bad but the new water installation is way better than what was there)
Shopping – Need to refresh your workout wardrobe? Forget your night serum? The Bowery Bay Shops in La Guardia’s Terminal B are a slice of New York retail heaven. Not only do they carry commonly found NY brands but there are also original NY eateries to make sure that you won’t miss the taste of New York too much.
Cool Hotels – If you’re at JFK with a long layover or want to make an extended layover, don’t forget about the TWA hotel at Terminal 5. Not only is the TWA a place to spend an evening for an early morning flight, the hotel features a roof deck pool, fitness studio, roller-rink, and a retro-chic bar.
What’s Still Missing at NY’s Airports
Hair Salons – I love the fact that there are places to get a quick massage or mani/pedi at many airports. New York is such a fast-moving city, that people expect to utilize every single minute possible. However, I see a huge opportunity for a blowout bar to be in every terminal, particularly at the arrivals area. Picture this: you’re heading to a wedding or big meeting out of town and have been swamped with work up until you deplane. Nothing better than knowing your final destination will make you look glamorous!
Sound Baths – Getting a chair massage goes a long way to help tired muscles when you’re traveling. Imagine if you could also get into a good mental state before you get on a place. Sound baths are immersive sound experiences created by that help you destress and unwind before or after a stressful trip.
The airport experience has come a long way. I am so relieved that New York City has finally invested in improvements to give its locals and visitors a favorable experience; not to mention, a favorable impression of the City. Whether you’re traveling yourself or picking-up or dropping-off someone, the new renovations are worth a stop inside. If only the transportation authority could work on cutting down the traffic and time to get there…