The coronavirus (COVID-19) is bringing with it a lot of fast-breaking, bad news for travelers and the travel industry.
Over the weekend, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced the temporary suspension of flights to Milan, Italy and United Airlines announced a temporary suspension of flights to Tokyo Narita, Osaka Singapore and Seoul.
And, because travelers are holding back on buying new plane tickets, on Sunday American Airlines announced it will join JetBlue and Alaska Airlines in offering a change fee waiver on new tickets purchased in the next two weeks.
The airline says using wipes to clean armrests and tray tables is fine, but they’re asking passengers not to use cleaning wipes on the leather seats because commercial wipes will deteriorate the top coat of leather.
“The wipe might look dirty, ” says Alaska, “but it’s actually the leather dye color that’s coming off.”
Bad news for travelers may keep coming for a while, so it was refreshing to have Saturday Night Live do this silly bit about traveling through New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
In New York, JetBlue moved all of its LaGuardia Airport flights to Terminal A – the historic Marine Air Terminal – in December 2017.
18 flights a day now operate out of this space, which offers passengers a private-terminal feel, a Mamava nursing pod, a CIBO Express Market with plenty of New York-themed souvenirs and Salotto, a farm to table Italian restaurant created by the airport hospitality company, OTG.
To celebrate the first year of operations at the LGA’s Marine Air Terminal, JetBlue and OTG hosted a terminal tour and tasting lunch at Salotto.
Here are some snaps from the day.
Passengers enter the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia through the historic rotunda and pass under “Flight,” a circular Works Progress Administration (WPA) mural by artist James Brooks that was completed in 1942, covered over in the 1950s, but restored in 1980.
Check-in and the security checkpoint areas are just beyond the rotunda.
A CIBO Express market with plenty of grab-n-go items and New York- themed souvenirs is on the short ramp leading up to the gate areas.
Lounge seating, the 4-gate hold area and OTG’s farm to table Italian restaurant, Salotto, are at the top of the ramp.
In addition to an extensive list of cocktails (starting with an aperol spritz; end with an espresso martini), Salotto’s menu offers a wide range of appetizers (try ricotta toast or the meatballs), sandwiches and more than a dozen varieties of good-sized Neopolitan-style, fresh-made pizzas that range in price from $9 to $16.
New York’s LaGuardia Airport is in the midst of an $8 billion makeover and the first 11 gates are now open in the state-of-the-art Terminal B.
Airlines operating out of this new concourse include Air Canada, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. They’ll be joined by United Airlines in 2019.
The space includes soaring ceilings, a colorful children’s play area, charging stations throughout the seating areas and a nursing room.
The kids’ area has a 16-foot interactive display that allows users to design their own aircraft on a tablet and watch it come to life on a giant digital wall. Next to the kids area is an indoor green space with greenery, benches and plenty of natural light.
A slection of New York-inspired food, beverage and retail offerings include a branch of toy store FAO Schwarz and dining options such as Shake Shack, La ChulaBar & Taqueria (Mexican taqueria), Osteria Fusco (Italian), Kingside Bar & Restaurant, Irving Fam Coffee Roasters and Five Boroughs Market.
In-airport food and retail delivery service ‘At Your Gate’ is up and running in LGA Terminal B as well.
The terminal also has an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, with a United Club scheduled to open in 2019.
Other retail offerings include independent bookseller McNally Jackson, Hudson, LaGuardia Dufry Duty Free Shops, Spa Here, M∙A∙C, and District Market, with specialty Made in Queens products.
“You’re going to love the new LaGuardia Airport,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet.