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We reexamine the Gouy phase in ballistic Airy beams (AiBs). A physical interpretation of our analysis is derived in terms of the local phase velocity and the Poynting vector streamlines. Recent experiments employing AiBs are consistent with our results. We provide an approach which potentially applies to any finite-energy paraxial wave field that lacks a beam axis.doi:10.1364/oe.20.023553 pmid:23188318 fatcat:ijyd3w33svfxrcg6ys2pwo7rc4