Why Is There No Terminal Three at JFK?

TWA terminal replaced Terminal Three, Worldport, at JFK airport

As I traveled through JFK Airport on the AirTrain, I was surprised to hear the announcement of “terminal one, terminal two, terminal four, and terminal five.” I couldn’t help but wonder where terminal three was. My mind raced with the possibility that I had missed something or my stop, but it turns out that there was no terminal three at all.

It was a shock to learn that JFK Terminal Three, also known as Worldport, had been destroyed in 2012. On November 22nd of that year, the decision was made to raze the terminal in the name of progress, despite public protest. This was a particularly unfortunate outcome, as Terminal Three was known for its unique, classic-looking architecture, which had been featured in numerous films such as Live and Let Die and Pan Am. Its flying saucer shape was a memorable feature, and its absence is now only remembered through the TWA terminal, which has been turned into a hotel adjacent to JetBlue.

So why was Terminal Three destroyed, and why was it not simply renumbered like the other terminals? It’s possible that it was a matter of tribute, similar to a baseball player’s retired number. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that Terminal Three, or Worldport, was once a beloved and iconic part of JFK Airport, and its absence is still felt by many. If you’re ever traveling through the airport and notice that one terminal is missing, now you know the reason why. Despite its destruction, the legacy of Terminal Three lives on through the TWA terminal and the memories of those who were fortunate enough to experience it.

But the destruction of Terminal Three was not the only change that JFK Airport has undergone over the years. In the name of progress, many terminals have been renovated and updated to meet the changing needs of travelers. Terminal One, for example, was completely renovated in 2011 to provide a more modern and convenient experience for passengers. Terminal Four underwent a major expansion in 2013, adding new gates and amenities to better serve the growing number of travelers passing through the airport.

Despite these changes, JFK Airport has managed to maintain its iconic status as a hub of international travel. It is home to numerous airlines and serves as a gateway to destinations all over the world. Its diverse array of terminal options and amenities makes it an attractive choice for travelers, and its reputation as a premier airport continues to grow.

So next time you’re on the JFK AirTrain and notice that one terminal is missing, take a moment to remember the history of Terminal Three and the impact it had on the airport. And as you explore the renovated and expanded terminals that now make up JFK Airport, take pride in the progress and evolution of this iconic travel destination.