According to this article in BuzzFeed News, U.S. airlines are investing billions of dollars to improve the quality of airline terminals. A few years ago, New York City’s La Guardia airport terminal was a drab, uninspiring place to wait for a flight. Delta Airlines invested $160 million in upgrades and La Guardia now features upscale dining options, shopping, and a beer garden.
Other airlines have followed Delta’s lead, and Brad Reifler is glad to see it reported on Reuters. United is planning major improvements to Newark International Airport. American has announced $2 billion in improvements to its Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix facilities. Jet Blue is upgrading terminals in Fort Lauderdale and Boston.
The improvements are intended to offset increasing customer dissatisfaction with the flying experience. Airline mergers and reduced flights scheduled have resulted in less capacity to meet demand. To increase profits, carriers have reduced services to economy class customers and increased seating capacity by reducing space between seats. As economy seating becomes less comfortable and fees rise, many customers are turning to lower fare carriers. By increasing terminal amenities, major carriers are hoping to attract more affluent fliers.