What does a 1.4 billion dollar upgrade to an airport terminal look like? I went to Delta’s pop-up preview at 378 West Broadway, New York City, which is currently hosting a sneak peek of what their newly revamped terminal 4 at JFK will feature. I found a playful array of vending machines filled with gadgets and other stuff, like a Lego case for your iPhone:
One of the many Delta folks on duty promised me the terminal will have plenty of outlets for charging all your tech toys you can’t live without. This will solve the outlet scarcity problem of many older terminals, a problem that usually results in what I like to refer to as “plug lice,” or people who arrive early and hog the one or two measly outlets at the gate, even if it is not their flight’s gate.
Delta is mindful of the great things that have been happening in JetBlue’s nearby terminal 5, especially JetBlue’s slick selection of sit-down restaurants that range from tapas to French bistro to sushi. JetBlue’s terminal is one of the reasons why I have often chosen them over other airlines during the past couple years. Delta’s answer? They will offer a selection of restaurants including The Uptown Brasserie by Marcus Samuelsson (of Red Rooster fame, and a James Beard Award to boot), an outpost of the Shake Shack, and Blue Smoke on the Road. At last, JetBlue will have some competition. Sadly, the terminal 4 entrees are not being served at the virtual terminal at 378 West Broadway (there are, however, some internationally-inspired wraps inspired by some of the airline’s destinations, which arrive by a little conveyor belt). We’ll have to wait for the opening of the terminal on May 24th for Delta’s own Restaurant Row.
From what I’ve seen and heard about Delta’s JFK terminal 4, the only thing missing is a few Ms. Pac Man and Galaga machines. But I’ll forgive them if my mouth is full of pulled pork.