Delta's "NEW" Terminal at JFK

Last week Delta announced the opening of it's new Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport.  Leading up to this, Delta has spent the last few weeks promoting the new terminal and even had a preview site setup in lower Manhattan.

But Delta may have taken the cake on false advertising.   T4 actually opened twelve years ago, that's right, twelve YEARS, not last week.   What did open last week was an extension to T4.

A bit of history.  The current T4 replaced the original International Arrivals Building (IAB).  The IAB was the catch-all building for all the airlines that didn't have a terminal of their own, so it served most of the third world carriers (somehow appropriate that Delta falls in here ;).   When T4 opened, it was still not owned by an airline, but rather managed by an outside company.  The terminal was still a bit of catch-all, though a chunk of the airlines had found new permenant homes in other terminals.   Even today T4 is managed by the JFKIAT and is not owned by any airline nor is it exclusive to any airline (something Delta seems to be neglecting).  

All the while, Delta has plans to destroy the histroic Pan Am Worldport.   While I understand the building has long outlived it's useful life, it is still possible to keep the iconic front of the building and integrate it with a new terminal and facility when the start the rebuilding of T2 (it could make a killer Skyclub).  But given this isn't Altanta, Delta has very little allegiance to maintaining any history so they are going to just demolish and rebuild, rather sad.  

So, don't be fooled.  Delta doesn't have a new terminal at JFK.  They simply got a few new gates, a new check-in area and their facilities are no longer third-world at JFK, though they are still behind as far as quality of facilities at JFK (T5 and T8 are long ahead and even T1 could be considered a bit better).


rocky May 28, 2013 at 04:10 pm

I will disagree with you here fozz. I was in t4 on Wednesday of this week and I much prefer t4 over t8. I flew out of t4 also in 09 and prefered it then to t8 as well.

UA-NYC May 28, 2013 at 06:19 pm

Disagree on T1 vs. T4, as far as the two main int'l terminals at JFK go...retail is MUCH better at T4, and it's just more spacious generally.

Fozz M May 28, 2013 at 06:45 pm

@UA-NYC: I was thinking of the T4 prior to the recent security changes. Before they moved security, since moving the security checkpoints in T4, I would agree T4 is better than T1, though still lagging behind T5 and T8.

I definitely think T5 is still the best at JFK. I could see the debate between T4, T8 and T1 at this point; all are OK but none are spectacular.