As an American Airlines flight from Washington D.C. approached Louis Armstrong International Airport New Orleans passengers expected the usual trudge through the aging and poor maintained old terminal. That all changed when the Captain announced they would be the first passengers to arrive at the new terminal.
"The pilot made an announcement on the plane that we had clearance to be the first inaugural plane landing at the new airport, it was really cool, exciting," Chris Katel and his wife Kelly were among the first passengers stream off their jet and through the new terminal to baggage claim.
The Katels got to see all the new restaurants and shops as they made their way into the terminal space. "The food offerings were surprising," Kelly Katel remarked. "They've got some really great choices."
"MoFo restaurant, City Greens we saw--which are great!" Chris Katel exclaimed. "Emeril's--it's good stuff!"
The consensus among locals was pride that New Orleans finally has a first class airport. Passenger Mike Rodrigue, left New Orleans through the old terminal and beamed as he observed the new terminal for the first time: "It's first class for the great city. You travel all over the country and it's been frustrating to come in and out of our airport."
Speaking of the old terminal, Rodrigue said: "It needed a facelift, or a new one, so we're excited!"
The new terminal puts a whole new spin on what passengers arriving for the first time will view as the 'front door' to New Orleans.