Zagat's Comes Down Hard On Once Great Hub Of Air Travel

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — And there’s yet another unwelcome badge of distinction for LaGuardia airport.

A new survey rates it as the worst airport in the country — again.

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And to think, once upon a time — 1960 to be exact — LaGuardia was voted the greatest airport in the world by the worldwide aviation community.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Zagat’s annual air travel survey of 8,000 travelers gives it a rating of 6.18 out of 30, which means LaGuardia is, for the fourth time in a row, the lowest rated airport in the U.S. 

Travelers at LaGuardia on Tuesday were a little bit kinder, maybe because the place wasn’t very crowded.

“No, not at all. I don’t know, several come to mind that are definitely less favorable to travel through than this. This is easy,” Matt Zimmerman of Colorado told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

“It’s often a tough place to get in and out of,” added Jeff Glatzer of Manhattan.

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“I don’t consider it to be a great airport. My gate always seems to be at the very end and my luggage takes a long time to arrive,” said Gina Zehr of Chicago.

Ted Zagat said reviewers blame the design.

“LaGuardia has two or three real problems. One, it’s one of the oldest terminals. It was built under Robert Moses in the 1930s I believe. Number two, it is separate. It has two main terminals that are quite far apart, relatively,” Zagat said.

LaGuardia’s sister airports didn’t fare much better. John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty ranked only a few spots higher on the list.

Part of the problem is LaGuardia was expanded over the years in a piecemeal fashion. So last April, they hired consultants to take a look at demolishing the whole place and starting all over again.

Until then, travelers will have to make the most of narrow passageways, crowded waiting areas, and more surveys confirming what everyone already knows.

If you’re curious, Portland International Airport got top honors.

LaGuardia does have one advantage over the other airports in this area – it’s a lot closer to Manhattan.

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The other airports at the bottom, LAX, Philadelphia and Miami.