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“New” (post 2022) LaGuardia Airport (LGA) General Discussion

“New” (post 2022) LaGuardia Airport (LGA) General Discussion

Old Mar 28, 2023, 11:10 pm
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“New” (post 2022) LaGuardia Airport (LGA) General Discussion

I like the “new” LaGuardia Airport (LGA). It’s a testament to human ingenuity that the new airport was built on the same footprint as the old airport without any interruption of service. Yes, it was inconvenient and intensely annoying at times, particularly traffic, but it was never shutdown and flight delays were no more common than prior to construction. The comfort and aesthetics of the new LGA rival any airport.

LGA is not the one international airport for a large city, it fills its niche very well. The main criticism of some (bloggers) is that the distance from curb to gate is lengthy which is an absurd criticism. That distance is indeed longer than it was at the old decrepit-from-the-start airport but it’s MUCH shorter than many other major modern airports, domestic or international.

Some United and Star Alliance flyers/elites will have a choice of 3 lounges in close proximity to each other: Centurion Lounge, United Club, Air Canada Maple Leaf. Some American flyers/elites will have a choice of 2 lounges spaced moderately far apart (5-10 minute walk): Centurion Lounge, Admirals Club. I haven’t flown Delta (separate terminal) from the new LGA.

(I do kinda miss the tarps suspended from the old concourse ceilings with hoses emptying into garbage pails to collect water leaking from above. )

(Thank you dtsan for your helpful guidance for starting this thread.)
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Old Mar 29, 2023, 5:52 am
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I've not been to LGA beore so never experienced the old one but will be arriving to to LGA from ORD on AA before going to JFK so am interested in the ground experience from getting off the plane to collecting bags and how that links into (hopefully) easily getting transport between the two airports.
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Old Mar 29, 2023, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski
The main criticism of some (bloggers) is that the distance from curb to gate is lengthy which is an absurd criticism.
Although I don't object to your disagreeing with the criticism, it's absurd to characterize it as absurd. Some of us quite liked being able go get out of a taxi and to the gate in less then five minutes, even if we did have to avoid rain (or whatever that sludge was) that was dripping from the ceiling. And some of us don't like now having to go up and down a series of escalators and traipsing through a shopping mall that looks an awful lot like the M&M store in Times Square. It's not the end of the world, and I agree that the new terminal is impressive and the lounges much better, but still I had a fondness for the old (albeit depressing) LGA.
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Old Mar 29, 2023, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear
I've not been to LGA beore so never experienced the old one but will be arriving to to LGA from ORD on AA before going to JFK so am interested in the ground experience from getting off the plane to collecting bags and how that links into (hopefully) easily getting transport between the two airports.
From the arrival gate, you'll obviously follow the signs to baggage claim, which is a much longer walk than it used to be, now requiring you to go up two escalators (passed the AA Admirals Club, should you desire to pop in), across a bridge over the taxiway and through a food court, but as the OP points out, not longer compared to many other airport. You'll be directed to a door through which you exit the secured area, and then down an additional escalator down two levels to baggage claim. If you plan to take a taxi to JFK -- the easiest method -- then the taxi stand is on the same level as baggage claim, just outside the door. If you plan to take public transportation, all of the buses are one level below baggage claim, down an additional escalator. If you plan to take one of the shuttle buses, I believe that's also on the level below baggage claim. In any event, it's reasonably well marked.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by Blumie
… absurd to characterize it as absurd. … get out of a taxi and to the gate in less then five minutes, … avoid rain (or whatever that sludge was) that was dripping from the ceiling. … traipsing through a shopping mall that looks an awful lot like the M&M store in Times Square … a fondness for the old (albeit depressing) LGA.
“Absurd to characterize as absurd” seems to be an oxymoron or non sequitur, but I’m not an English professor so I really can’t comment definitively . The days of curb to gate in less than five minutes, as satisfying and as desirable as they were, are long gone. Ever since 9/11 and the TSA’s incessant hunt for more than 3.0 ounces of liquid or peanut butter, curb to gate times have increased dramatically. I’m a bit of a chocoholic, I would gladly trade traipsing through the M&M store for dodging sludge any day of the week . A fondness for something depressing … not sure what to make of that sentiment .

Serious question, if you were king of the hill and could wave a magic wand, would you bring back the old LGA airport instead of the new LGA airport? I would not. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would … other than the contractors who were paid to install the tarps and hoses.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by Blumie
Although I don't object to your disagreeing with the criticism, it's absurd to characterize it as absurd. Some of us quite liked being able go get out of a taxi and to the gate in less then five minutes, even if we did have to avoid rain (or whatever that sludge was) that was dripping from the ceiling. And some of us don't like now having to go up and down a series of escalators and traipsing through a shopping mall that looks an awful lot like the M&M store in Times Square. It's not the end of the world, and I agree that the new terminal is impressive and the lounges much better, but still I had a fondness for the old (albeit depressing) LGA.
I think it's also important to recognize that while everything was compressed from a curb to gate distance perspective, the aged design of the terminal meant that once you got on the plane you were subject to alleyway congestion, if not downright gridlock from an arrivals and departure perspective. Dual taxilanes, more and more flexible ramp entrances, etc. Those walking distances over the bridges allow the terminal ramp to "breathe."
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 1:47 pm
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I am in the "acceptance" phase of the new LGA and not as much into the debate anymore. I am not a fan, the airport in my mind has removed features I care about (convenience) and added features I don't care about (waterfall, shopping.) But what do I gain by still being annoyed by it - the changes could've certainly been a lot worse, I guess.

I have learned to cope as best as I can - take the shortcut through the mall (i.e., two hard lefts and not follow the main path) to get to the AA gates more quickly, for example.

I would love to see an analysis if this new alleyway space has measurably decreased taxi in/out times. Theoretically it sounds like it should help. In practice I don't think it will because of shifting bottlenecks day to day (and the true bottleneck is the runways.) Anecdotally I haven't seen block times get smaller. If someone did the analysis, I'd guess it saves 1-2 minutes on average per segment which is completely offset by the extra 10 minutes of walking round trip.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski
Serious question, if you were king of the hill and could wave a magic wand, would you bring back the old LGA airport instead of the new LGA airport? I would not. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would … other than the contractors who were paid to install the tarps and hoses.
I don't know if this would have been feasible at LGA, but MassPort (the Massachusetts version of the Port Authority) has done a great job at modernizing BOS without building a whole new airport. They have updated all of the terminal, and connected all of them, other than Terminal A (the DL terminal; it not like anyone flies then anyhow), airside. The airport feels new and modern without requiring traipsing (unless, like me, you decide to visit both the AA Admirals Club in Terminal B and the BA lounge in Terminal E on the same visit, but that's another story) or walking through a crummy mall. Still, particularly for those of us with PreCheck and Clear, you can get curbside to your gate (or vice versa) very quickly.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
I am in the "acceptance" phase of the new LGA and not as much into the debate anymore. I am not a fan, the airport in my mind has removed features I care about (convenience) and added features I don't care about (waterfall, shopping.) But what do I gain by still being annoyed by it - the changes could've certainly been a lot worse, I guess.

I have learned to cope as best as I can - take the shortcut through the mall (i.e., two hard lefts and not follow the main path) to get to the AA gates more quickly, for example.
Your position apparently is absurd, but I agree with you completely.
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Old Apr 2, 2023, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie
From the arrival gate, you'll obviously follow the signs to baggage claim, which is a much longer walk than it used to be, now requiring you to go up two escalators (passed the AA Admirals Club, should you desire to pop in), across a bridge over the taxiway and through a food court, but as the OP points out, not longer compared to many other airport. You'll be directed to a door through which you exit the secured area, and then down an additional escalator down two levels to baggage claim. If you plan to take a taxi to JFK -- the easiest method -- then the taxi stand is on the same level as baggage claim, just outside the door. If you plan to take public transportation, all of the buses are one level below baggage claim, down an additional escalator. If you plan to take one of the shuttle buses, I believe that's also on the level below baggage claim. In any event, it's reasonably well marked.
Agreed. Q70 (a free bus) to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue (the first stop after LaGuardia), then the E train to Jamaica and then the Airtrain from Jamaica to JFK. Mta.info has a trip planner. Road traffic can be horrendous so I’d consider mass transit.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
Road traffic can be horrendous so I’d consider mass transit.
Mass transit obviously is going to be cheaper when going from LGA to JFK, but it never will be faster, even when traffic is bad. It always seems like a nightmare when you're sitting in stop-and-go traffic in a taxi between the two, which is almost always the case, but it's still the most efficient way to go, at least time-wise.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie
Mass transit obviously is going to be cheaper when going from LGA to JFK, but it never will be faster, even when traffic is bad. It always seems like a nightmare when you're sitting in stop-and-go traffic in a taxi between the two, which is almost always the case, but it's still the most efficient way to go, at least time-wise.
In my experience:

Midtown Manhattan to LGA: 35-40 minutes, E train and Q70 bus, $2.75

Midtown Manhattan to LGA: One hour in a car, Friday afternoon, almost $100

Mass transit certainly can be faster than a car.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler
In my experience:

Midtown Manhattan to LGA: 35-40 minutes, E train and Q70 bus, $2.75

Midtown Manhattan to LGA: One hour in a car, Friday afternoon, almost $100

Mass transit certainly can be faster than a car.
But we’re not talking about midtown. We’re talking about traveling between LGA and JFK.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski
Serious question, if you were king of the hill and could wave a magic wand, would you bring back the old LGA airport instead of the new LGA airport? I would not. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would … other than the contractors who were paid to install the tarps and hoses.
Yeah, I was a fierce defender of the convenience of the old terminal. It was like having a super convenient little regional airport in the middle of the biggest city in the US, and I'm one of those folks who spends as little time at the airport as possible.

But I really don't miss the tarps and temporary ducts and vermin, or the need to physically step over people sitting on the floor to get to the gate every time I flew Southwest out of the old terminal. And the construction without interrupting service in such a tight space WAS a marvel of engineering and planning. I also think the architecture is downright masterful (if you ignore the bizarre decision to have moving walkways in the skybridges that only run a fraction of their length): Functionally, the skybridges to the concourses open up so much more maneuverability for the planes (I expect a lot less "we're holding short of the gate while another plane clears the alley" announcements), and aesthetically the terminal itself is attractive (even the bathroom tiling is nice) and I don't know if there is any airport anywhere with better views. When I was a kid I always got a kick out of the "Welcome to New York" sign out by the runway, and the big apples in the metalwork of the fences by the taxi lines. But holy crap is it a wonderful welcome to NY if you're lucky enough to step off of a late afternoon flight arriving at gates 11-31 at the new LGA, and be treated to a sunset behind the Manhattan skyline through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the skybridge. So I think I can live with a few extra minutes of escalators and walking.
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Old Apr 6, 2023, 4:42 pm
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Yeah what were they thinking about those moving walkways?!
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