On a recent business trip to New York, Joe Pullin of Novi, Mich., did something he would have considered unthinkable not long ago.

Rather than rush off the plane and into a cab headed into Manhattan, he lingered at the arrival gate at La Guardia Airport, stopping for a leisurely lunch at Bisoux, a French bistro, and using the iPad mounted on his table to order his meal, check his e-mail and pay the bill.

The upgrading at airports large and small could mitigate the deteriorating experience of air travel, said Curtis Fentress, an architect who has designed many large airports over the last 20 years.

Photo Credit: A business traveler kills time at the airport before a flight to Boston. Robert Donovan / Flickr