Biden: LaGuardia is a Third World Airport

2.9.2014

By Neal Broverman

Officials with the New York airport agree that its facilities need an upgrade.

Vice President Biden, speaking in Philadelphia last week, said American infrastructure is flagging and specifically called out New York's LaGuardia International Airport, calling it a "Third World Airport."

Biden, a long proponent of Amtrak, was in Philadelphia for an event promoting the publicly-funded rail service. He applauded the increasingly-popular transportation service, especially the Acela high-speed route that quickly gets commuters from Boston to Washington, D.C. (while connecting to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other cities in the Northeast corridor). The Vice President said all our infrastructure needs to be upgraded, including the airline industry's, which has a pretty dismal on-time record and many sub-par airports.

"If I blindfolded someone and took them at 2 o’clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said, 'Where do you think you are?' They’d say, 'This must be America. It’s a modern airport.' If I took him blindfolded and took him into LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think 'I must be in some Third World country,'" Biden said. "I’m not joking." Watch Biden's speech below.

LaGuardia is often maligned, with Travel+Leisure magazine naming it the nation's worst airport. LaGuardia officials responded to Biden's comments, agreeing that we need to invest in transportation infrastructure and noting that a $3.6 billion Central Terminal Building is on its way. 

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