|by Jason Steele|
Delta is the largest airline serving New York State. Notice how that title conspicuously excludes Continental/United’s hub in Newark, New Jersey. They have been expanding their presence rapidly at New York’s JFK Airport, but they have been hampered by some terrible facilities. There are stories abound about long waits for customs when arriving, and indoor waiting areas frequented by birds and their droppings. There are also horror stories about Delta’s staff being of a much lower caliber than those at their other hubs, to be polite about it.
Enter Delta’s New Terminal Four, And The Weird Video To Prove It
Delta has already announced that it will be demolishing their old Terminal 3 and reconstructing it as an addition to Terminal 4. They even put out an odd YouTube video with computer graphics. I don’t know where to begin analyzing this computer generated propaganda. First of all, it is hard to miss the lack of children, elderly, minorities, fat people, and even luggage (this is an airport, right?). The primary demographic seems to be thin white women in short skirts (not that there is anything wrong with them, certainly.) If this is representative of some place in the world, perhaps it is Sweden, but certainly not New York City. I am totally, serious, watch the video. I think they have one white guy working check in along with a dozen white women!
Political correctness aside, there are several substantive matters I take issue with. First, there are no lines for checking baggage, even at the non “Sky-Priority” check in counters. Yeah, right. Second, the voice over in the video proclaims that expanded customs and border patrol stations will make arriving from an international flight as easy as a domestic trip. Good grief! First, Atlanta has about 100 stations at their customs. The last time I arrived there, I had an hour wait as only about five were manned. Delta can build a terminal to house million government workers, but if it isn’t staffed properly (it never is), there will still be long lines. How we wish the delays with customs at airports around the country was merely caused a lack space. To be clear, Delta isn’t responsible for this issue, but they certainly can’t claim to solve it. Frankly, even if immigration was a breeze, travelers still have to claim and re-check their bags, and re-clear security. No matter how you slice it, it will still take much, much longer than a domestic transfer and it is crazy for Delta to claim that a new building, no matter how grandiose, will change that.
Delta travelers deserve a decent facility at JFK. They are finally going to get that, but it won’t be the ultimate terminal known to mankind. They will still have to staff it appropriately and hope that Customs does the same. At the very least, we can all watch their video, have a chuckle, and imagine the computer graphics replaced with the gritty reality that will always be a part of New York City.