I finally took a Delta flight from JFK to LAX since Delta’s announcement of all LAX flights departing out of Terminal 4 as opposed to the normal Terminal 2 and 3 gates. I found my experience a bit confusing for the following reasons:
1. Poor Pre-Flight Communications – Prior to my flight to LAX, Delta did not notify that my JFK to LAX flight was departing from Terminal 4. If I was a first time Delta flyer (or anyone without a Delta Medallion profile), I would not have received the original Delta email telling me that all LAX flights were leaving from JFK’s Terminal 4 (or for some, read my previous post on Triangle Trip). Furthermore, I could have easily forgotten or never read the email.
2. Delta’s website lack information – On Delta.com’s flight status page, only the gate information was provided (Gate 22). Gate 22 resides in Terminal 4 was no where to be found. Delta is wrong to assume its passengers know where Gate 22 is at JFK. Regardless if I was a frequent flyer or a novice, there is no way I would have known to go to Terminal 4 for Gate B22. There is actually a Gate 22 at Terminal 2 where most of Delta departure gates are located. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall Delta displaying Terminal information for any its JFK flights which was somewhat OK since Terminal 2 and 3 are linked. Regardless, the website does not provide adequate information to its travelers.
3. Lack of signage outside the airport (JFK) – On my way to JFK Airport, the JFK Expressway does not have any signs stating Delta has departing flights from Terminal 4. The lack of signage led to my limo driver asking me several times if he was supposed to drop me off at Terminal 4 instead of Terminal 2 or 3. Delta should work with the Port of Authority of NY & NJ to address this issue ASAP.
4. Poor signage inside the airport (JFK) – Once I arrived into Terminal 4, I do not see Delta checkin agents/kiosks or any signs that tells me where Delta’s located. I can clearly locate ticketing/checkin counters of other airlines such as TAM, Virgin America, etc. Again, Delta needs to work with JFK airport management to address this issue.
Due to the lack of pre-flight communication, inadequate information on the website and signage at JFK, I could have missed my JFK to LAX flight because I would have ended up at Terminal 2 or 3. Taking the AirTrain from Terminal 2/3 to 4 could take 20 minutes as the connection between Terminal 2 and 3 and the AirTrain station can be quite challenging, especially those passengers with bags.