New York-In an unexpected development concerning a key component of this city's transportation infrastructure, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the troubled Central Terminal Building at La Guardia airport would be given away for free to anyone who wanted it-locks, stocks, garbage, water stains and more.
"For free, anyone who wants this pile of crap can have it," he said. "We're no longer interested in trying to keep our airline tenants happy. It's just become a money pit for our city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey." Previously the Port Authority had announced it would spend $36 billion to replace the terminal building.
De Blasio did not elaborate, but several airlines expressed an interest in acquiring the infamous terminal, which was compared to a "third world country" by Vice President Joe Biden in February. The established carriers, including American and United, would be encouraged to relocate to other airports in the area such as Kennedy and Newark. Among the interested carriers seeking to use the terminal building are Allegiant Air and Spirit Airways, two leading low-cost airlines in the United States.
Most notable among those interested was the United Kingdom-based low-cost carrier Ryanair, which would use the airport for its transatlantic flights from Europe on its Boeing 737s. Ryanair is known for charging its passengers for everything from not printing out boarding passes to using aircraft toilets. "We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid," its outspoken chairman Michael O'Leary once said.
All of the airlines would do away with services such as jet bridges, baggage claim carousels and Wi-Fi for those with computers. "Use a f****g notepad," O'Leary said when contacted about Wi-Fi and internet service at Ryanair's section of LaGuardia airport for this article. "Leave the laptops and tablets at home, you morons!"
Luggage would be retrieved by passengers who would be leashed together with leg-cuffs and marched from the loading stairs to the cargo hold, O'Leary added. They would then be marched to the terminal building. If someone had trouble with the luggage, "we'll throw their luggage into Long Island Sound," O'Leary explained.
Whoever used the terminal building would have to provide a connection to the downtown area via rapid transit, something that La Guardia has never had. One notable proposal was forwarded by O'Leary who suggested building a connection from the Long Island Railroad and Pennsylvania Station via a series of storm sewer lines and a bridge across the Grand Central Parkway made out of Tinkertoys®, Lincoln Logs®, St. Regis® cardboard and Sears Toughskin® jeans. The connection would be built by a consortium including the Kiewit Corporation, Sears Roebuck and Toys "R" Us. O'Leary was ecstatic about that idea. "we charge the passengers extra for pumping out the water and replacing the Tinkertoys®, Lincoln Logs® and Toughskins®," O'Leary explained with glee. "That connection will be ruined every time it rains."
In addition to the airlines, other uses being examined for the airport terminal include an annex for the nearby Riker's Island prison and as a haunted house. When questioned about that, Mayor de Blasio said the terminal building might not meet building codes. "Hey, this is New York, we'll find a way around that-whether by hook or crook. It's the American way."