We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is located 15 miles west of New Orleans in the largest city of Jefferson Parish, Kenner. While it’s an international airport, MSY largely serves domestic routes, though its international destinations include Toronto, Cancun, Panama City and Punta Cana. Nonetheless, it’s considered one of the fastest-growing airports in America. New Orleans International Airport features one main passenger terminal, split into East and West, with four concourses. Public transportation runs between New Orleans and MSY on the Airport-Downtown Express E-2 route. Most people grab a cab or rent a car from the Consolidated Rental Car Facility, located on-site. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout the airport.
While MSY doesn’t have the number of options of your larger international airports, what it does have is a variety of restaurants that are New Orleans-inspired. One such restaurant is West Beignet (pre-security), for your last chance to grab a powdered pastry on your way out of town. Dooky Chase (pre-security) has been a longstanding New Orleans restaurant, with its airport location featuring local staples like gumbo, po’ boys, and shrimp and grits. Another renowned New Orleans establishment, Zatarain’s Kitchen (Concourse B), also has an airport location that features local staples like jambalaya, red beans and rice, and a variety of po’ boy sandwiches. Other MSY restaurants with a local connection include the Praline Connection (Concourse B) and Copeland’s Gourmet Food (Concourse C) for New Orleans comfort food and Lucky Dogs (Concourse C) for hot dogs.
Otherwise, if you have time before your flight, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is within a few minutes of a number of local restaurants, such as Cajun Persuasion Seafood Market & Poboys, Kenner Seafood and Harbor Seafood & Oyster Bar.
Many of the restaurants mentioned above are also your best spots for a drink. Dooky Chase features a cocktail menu with many classic New Orleans drinks, such as the French 75, as well as their own take on a gourmet Bloody Mary. Other places continue the local trend, such as Ye Olde College Inn (Concourse B), another longtime New Orleans restaurant with a full bar including a number of draft beers. You can try one of the local beers, Abita, at WOW Café (Concourse D), a fast-casual grill and bar, and the Atrium Bar (Concourse C), which is more of your staple airport bar.
Many of the shops at MSY have local flair, such as Jazz Essence and Perlis Clothing. If you’re traveling with kids, New Orleans International Airport’s website features games and puzzles that you can print out ahead of time. Otherwise, if you have time to kill before your flight, there are a number of nearby green spaces, such as Lafreniere Park, which is just a few miles away, or many of New Orleans’s top attractions are accessible in less than 30 minutes.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has one airline lounge, Delta Sky Club, which is located in Terminal D.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.