Monday, April 30th, 2012
18

Piling on the Hate for LaGuardia

We have spent a lot of time talking about New York City's airports (down to our obsession with how to get to JFK from Williamsburg). Our experts' surprising summation here was that LaGuardia was secretly the most pleasing airport in New York: "You know what the problems are, but it’s quiet in the evenings, has a cool mural and is still the easiest to reach, all other things being equal. Ultimately, the approach up the East River, with Manhattan out the left side window, is one of the most beautiful in the world, every time." Yeah sure, while that is true, I also particularly like the 50% of LaGuardia landing flight paths with a 45-degree last-minute port-side turn that causes the person behind you to scream. I particularly despise going to LaGuardia, and generally refuse: it's like waiting for a shuttle at the side of the road in Latvia. So here we are with the Travel and Leisure American airport rankings, sigh, where LaGuardia is ranked the very worst airport in the US of A. Yeah, let's be honest, it just sucks. And JFK and Newark took fourth- and fifth-worst, but that's crazy, don't be talking smack about my JFK. That ranking is only so low because 1. frequency of use creates enmity and 2. Travel and Leisure is read by people who are too wealthy to have done the LIRR to AirTrain magic.

18 Comments / Post A Comment

Joey Stern@facebook (#232,849)

Why is the photo of JFK?

Really, tho, nothing beats the sheer unmitigated hell of LAX.

Mr. Business Man (#170,094)

@Subway Suicide@twitter This, 1000x. Flew through there twice on the vacation I just got back from and it's just a remarkably hateful shithole. Getting from the domestic terminal to the international terminal required massing in a giant blob of people in the middle of a terminal, going down two escalators, walking out onto the tarmac in the rain, boarding a bus that wove its way across runways and between parked aircraft, getting off at a different terminal, then walking probably a half-mile uphill(????) through vacant white corridors to what turned out to be a completely featureless departures area with no stores or facilities and seating for less than half of the people waiting to board planes there.

gumplr (#66)

Also O'HARE, for the pretzel smell.

Darkhorse for best airport: MCCARRAN.

it's like waiting for a shuttle at the side of the road in Latvia.

DUDE. You are in soooooo much trouble with me right now.

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

it's like waiting for a shuttle at the side of the road in Latvia.

This reminded me of the time I went to Istanbul, stayed in Laleli, went up to my seedy hotel room late at night, took a peak out the window to see what all the commotion was about, and saw a table in the middle of the road with a couple of guys sitting on chairs behind it. Behind them was a beat up van. There were people dropping off people and packages. The next morning I head straight to the table, ask some friendly lady what was going on there, she turns stone faced and says she does not speak English. I go up to some guy who answers me, then when I ask what they are doing, no English. From what I gathered asking other people, this is some frequent route between Istanbul and Moldova. That was one beat up old van. To this day, the chipping maroon paint, the duct tape around windows, and the cramming of people and packages is vividly stuck in my mind. I kind of regret not hopping on for what was sure to be an interesting ride.

BadUncle (#153)

LaGarbage makes Fresno's airport seem luxurious.

Brian (#115)

Actually the Latvia thing is what I love about LGA. I'm not a terribly calm flyer, but something about LGA made me realize it's really just a bus with wings. Get on, shut up.

There's no airport hell worse than the cab line at Marine Air Terminal. You can arrive on time and then lose 45 minutes on the wait.

And here I thought The Awl was a safe place for Latvians.

Shame.

collier (#13,548)

Aw, I like LaGuardia! It's a little dingy, sure, but it's so chill. And, yes, it's easier to get to Williamsburg from there. It's the only comparatively low-key airport I've ever been in *from which you can actually get to other places* without taking sixteen RJs, a hang glider, and a donkey ride to the next major hub.

But fuck a bunch of ATL. That place is the worst. I'll deliberately look for a connection in sodding DFW just to avoid the miserable cacophonous hell pit that is Hartsfield. Check-in kiosk to boading area is like traveling some kind of sadistic Rube Goldberg human-griding machine populated only by shouty people and untethered toddlers, and is so needlessly labyrinthine you should get a reward of cheese just for reaching your goddamn gate. HAAAAATE.

zidaane (#373)

You can still see traces of cigarette smoke stains in the ceiling tile at LGA. That's worth some nostalgia, right?

There is nothing redeeming about JFK, except for the not-in-use Saarinen terminal. LGA is at least geographically convenient to most parts of NYC, unlike JFK.

mishaps (#5,779)

The Delta terminal at JFK is located directly over a Hellmouth.

freetzy (#7,018)

Seattle description: "Readers also felt Seattle’s airport lacked spa facilities, a common complaint but perhaps more pointed in this overly caffeinated and wired city."

Who doesn't want to take arrive early for a flight so as to have time to take a schvitz?

Neopythia (#353)

The worst airport I've ever encoutered is Chicago Midway and this includes flying around Eastern Europe in the early 90's and Mexico.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Phoenix? So apparently the reek of Cinnabons that permeates every corner of that dump is considered a plus?

I am a big fan of LGA simply because it's so quick to get to from Williamsburg/Greenpoint. O'Hare is pretty rad too because the subway goes STRAIGHT INTO THE AIRPORT! I was so blown away by that.

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