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Overheated Travelers Get Ice Cream for Their Trouble During LaGuardia Airport’s Air Conditioning Meltdown

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On the morning of Monday, May 11, travelers going through Delta Terminal C at New York City’s LaGuardia airport were subjected to even less fresh air than normal when the terminal’s air conditioning system stopped blowing cool air through the building.

As travelers waited on an air conditioning repair on an unseasonably hot day, many were rightfully irritated.

“Also, shoutout to Laguardia’s Terminal C having no air conditioning,” Twitter user @WillEvans tweeted. “Remember when we thought the third world was off our shores? Nah.”

To keep travelers cool as they waited for their flights to board, airport employees handed out free ice cream, lemonade and other chilly treats. Old-fashioned fans were also set up throughout the terminal to at least keep the hot air circulating, Newsweek reported.

“Not a lot of air conditioning in #Laguardia airport anyone else get ice cream/ fans in their face?” @shefalikulkarni tweeted.

Delta workers were seen apologizing profusely to travelers during the air conditioning crisis, according to Newsweek.

The airline later released a statement to explain the incident. Delta had planned to service and upgrade its air conditioners that day, expecting the temperatures to be comfortable.

The average HVAC system lasts around 12 years, and these systems require regular air conditioning repair and maintenance to function properly — even though only 42% of central air users service this equipment annually. Delta had been upgrading its air conditioning systems to be more effective and energy-efficient, as new air conditioners are about 30 to 50% more energy-efficient than older models.

Since the weather was much warmer than anticipated, however, the air conditioning repair work caused much more grievance than the airline anticipated.

“Delta is currently making repairs to major elements of the air conditioning system in New York-La Guardia’s Terminal C as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the customer experience,” the statement read. “While we’d scheduled these repairs with the aim of implementing them before summer-like temperatures arrived, New York City weather has been unseasonably warm in recent days.”

This isn’t the first time LaGuardia’s Terminal C has faced air conditioning issues. Last May, when the air conditioning went down at one of the terminal’s security checkpoints, some TSA agents actually went home after they became too overheated to work. One female passenger fainted as a result of the “sauna-like” conditions, as well.

Have you ever been stuck at an airport when the air conditioners have broken down? Have any other questions for us about air conditioning services? Let us know in the comments below.

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