New York airports suck, but there's a $500,000 bounty to un-suck them


New York City is snobby about how great it is at everything, but one thing we can all agree upon is this: the city's airports are terrible.

They're so terrible, in fact, that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering designers $500,000 to come up with a total redesign of JFK and LaGuardia Airports that will bring the dated facilities "up to 21st Century standards".

Unveiling the contest at LaGuardia last week with Vice President Joe Biden (who once compared the airport to a third-world country), Cuomo announced plans for a total overhaul of both airports that'll see stronger infrastructure to withstand extreme weather; faster transport to include ferries and an improved train service (as well as JFK's AirTrain); and updated entertainment such as shopping and restaurants. More hotels around JFK are another priority.

Submissions will be accepted from Nov. 19 through mid-January, when the top three designs for each airport will be chosen by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. Those winners will be awarded $500,000 to continue working on their ideas before a final decision is made.

The contest's part of a larger initiative to revamp four of the state's airports, including Republic and Stewart International Airports. But, of course, JFK and LaGuardia are by far the busiest; in 2013 they shuttled a combined 77 million travelers -- or about 25% of the US population -- through their doors.

If you want to get your hands on $500,000, and think you can improve two of the most delayed airports in the country, start drawing now!

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.

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