Take a long walk down the length of JFK’s Terminal 4 and, after a while, you’ll discover that Delta and the airport have expanded once again. Delta JFK Terminal 4 now has 11 new gates available for operations, mostly focused on regional jets and helping to pull even more passengers out of the misery which is the Terminal 2 facility. Yes, it is a long walk (~15 minutes when I timed it during the grand opening event yesterday) from the security checkpoint to these new gates, but having them available is absolutely a good thing for travelers in several ways.
The main benefit of the new gates is the consolidation of travelers into a single terminal. Gail Grimmett, Delta’s SVP-New York, noted that 65% of the Delta Express passengers coming through JFK are connecting to another flight. Putting them in the terminal where the other flights are more likely to be departing from means fewer bus transfers and a generally better travel experience. It is worth noting that the “JFK Jitney” bus Delta operates will now serve both ends of the T4B pier so connecting passengers can take the bus rather than walk if so desired.
The concessions in Terminal 4 are also much better than in Terminal 2 so that’s a win for those travelers. The new extension has a restaurant – Urban Crave – and a Hudson News so passengers all the way out at the end have some amenities available without walking back up into the main part of the terminal.
The seating area in the new space is also quite well appointed. Power outlets are everywhere and readily accessible for passengers. No need to crawl around or duck under the seats to find them.
The gates are mostly focused on RJ operations but they can also be used for narrow-body mainline flights up to the 737s. That does involve blocking an adjacent gate but it is an option. Also, two of the gates are connected to the FIS facility to handle international arrivals if necessary, though most of Delta’s RJ operations at JFK currently serve preclearance airports.
And, finally, there are some excellent plane spotting opportunities available out at the end of the terminal. Bested perhaps only by T5’s big windows.
JFK has, for a long time, been railed on as a horrible place to fly through. I personally think that reputation is somewhat undeserved, depending on which terminal you’re passing through. This new expansion will reduce the number of passengers who are in one of the “bad” terminals and put them in one of the best. That’s good news for everyone involved.
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