TPG tours New Orleans Airport’s new terminal as opening nears

TPG got an exclusive sneak peek of the new $1 billion, 35-gate
terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
(MSY). Compared with our last visit in December 2018, the airport
is clearly in the last phase of construction.

Related reading: TPG
gets another exclusive look at New Orleans Airport’s new
terminal

The new terminal was originally scheduled to open in May, but
that was delayed. James McCluskie, the Deputy Director of Aviation
for Planning, Development & Construction, didn’t share a firm
date for the airport’s opening, still saying it will open this
fall.

The departures area at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyThe
departures area at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport (Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The nearly one million square-foot terminal, designed by the
late architect César Pelli, has three concourses with 35 gates,
two new garages and a surface lot within walking distance and an
economy garage with shuttle service.

The entrance to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyThe
entrance to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport (Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The road to the new terminal is complete, and the signage for
the airlines operating out of the new facility — including
Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines and
United Airlines — is up and running. Inside, the terminal has
natural curves reminiscent of the Mississippi River, with plenty of
natural light. On the day TPG was there, the airport was conducting
tests on the baggage system.

The security checkpoint at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyThe
security checkpoint at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport (Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The single security checkpoint will have up to 16 lanes, with
promised wait times of no longer than 10 minutes. Once past the
checkpoint, the light in the terminal continues, featuring plenty
of seating with outlets. Restaurants are on either side of the
gates, allowing travelers to eat and not worry about missing their
flights.

MoPho restaurant at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J. Wilson, The Points GuyMoPho
restaurant at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
(Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The airport has worked with concessions companies HMSHost and
Delaware North, along with the grandson of the late legendary Chef
Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s, to lure in local eateries to give
travelers a strong sense of place.

Cafe Du Monde at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyCafe
Du Monde at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
(Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

Among the most popular are expected to be Café du Monde,
Emeril’s Table from Chef Emeril Legasse, Leah’s Kitchen, an
homage to Leah Chase and Angelo Brocato’s, an Italian ice cream
parlor that’s been open in New Orleans since 1905. There’s also
the Heritage School of Music, a wine bar and a stage for live
music.

Fleurty Girl at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyFleurty
Girl at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (Photo
Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

On the retail side, there’s Fleurty Girl, which sells New
Orleans-themed souvenirs, a TripAdvisor travel store, a Be Relax
spa and a CNBC-themed newsstand.

The Delta Sky Club at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyThe
Delta Sky Club at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
(Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

Construction was in full swing at the two-level Delta Sky Club.
The airport will also be home to a United Club and an independent
lounge for those with Priority Pass access or anyone willing to pay
a daily fee.

The women restroom at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyThe
women’s restroom at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport (Photo Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The restrooms are spacious and airy, with stalls large enough to
hold rolling carry-on bags, along with shelves and hooks to hold
purses and jackets. There’s a large family restroom, complete
with a changing table, along with a separate room for nursing
mothers that includes a reclining chair, a changing table and a
sink.

Baggage claim at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Photo/Benet J Wilson, The Points GuyBaggage
claim at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (Photo
Benet J Wilson/The Points Guy)

The baggage claim walls continue the Mississippi River theme.
The area also has a stage for live music and travelers can buy
alcohol at the liquor store located near the exits.

The original airport was built in 1946. In 1959, a new terminal
and two new concourses were built, with another two concourses
built in 1974. The airport has undergone several upgrades,
including after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But in 2013, the city
decided it was time to build a new world-class terminal befitting
the city.

Plans are in place to do an open house before the official
opening, but no date has been set. Follow the airport on Facebook and Twitter
@NO-Airport to keep up
with the latest news.

Featured photo courtesy of Louis Armstrong New Orleans
International Airport

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
TPG tours New Orleans Airport’s new terminal as opening nears