New Orleans opens new airport terminal

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New Orleans opens new airport terminal

New Louis Armstrong International Airport

New Louis Armstrong International Airport

Courtesy of Sam Ferro

New Louis Armstrong International Airport

Courtesy of Sam Ferro

Courtesy of Sam Ferro

New Louis Armstrong International Airport

Brian Thometz, Contributing Reporter

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A new terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport opened on Nov. 6, replacing the previous terminal that was built in 1959. It features three concourses, flies 16 airlines, has 35 gates and over 40 restaurant and fast food options, and took $1.3 billion to build. The long awaited new terminal was initially supposed to open in February, but the project deadline was pushed back to May, and eventually November. 

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport serves as the main airport for Tulane students, and with 80.39 % out of state students at Tulane, the creation of a new terminal was favored by many. 

“It was large, it was nice, beautiful and clean,” Jared Freifeld, a sophomore from New York, said.  “It was very clean. I walked in there and everything was white and everything was very fresh and sleek. It was a nice revamp.” 

The amenities, especially the new food options, were also a focus for students.

“They have a lot more food and everything,” Paige Noland, a sophomore from Rhode Island, said. “There’s like a cleaner feeling. They have a Chick-Fil-A, which was yummy.” 

Other new additions include faster Wi-Fi, water bottle refilling stations and automated restrooms. A jazz garden has also been added, which will feature live jazz music throughout the day.

Many students expressed concern over whether the new airport would increase airport security wait times. This has not proved to be an issue for many students who have flown out of the new terminal recently, however. 

“It wasn’t super crowded,” Freifeld said about his early morning flight to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. “The security line was definitely longer than at the old airport, but I had TSA precheck and it was still fast, but it’s all in one security checkpoint now instead of different ones and so there was definitely a longer line, but it didn’t seem to bother people.”

“It was actually not bad, but it looked like it was going to be really bad because of the security is now one line,” Noland said. “I think it feels more crowded because everyone is more together, but generally it wasn’t.”

The reduction from several security checkpoints to only one is designed to reduce wait times from bottlenecks and allow travelers to move between concourses after they have gone through security.

While the new terminal has been well received, its location could be inconvenient for Tulane students. There is no direct route to it on a highway from Tulane like there was with the previous terminal through US-61 North.

“Honestly, I think it’s in a really weird place, but that might be the side we’re coming from,” Noland said. “You have to go all the way around, there’s not a direct way to get to it. But, I’m sure if you’re coming from the other side it’s fine.” 

Ride-sharing was also a bit tough for Freifeld.

“Lyft was cheaper, and Lyft also had the new address. Uber did not,” he said. “So it was easier to order Lyft.” 

For those driving to the airport, however, there is plenty of space. There over 8,000 spaces available in four different parking areas.