In the last month, I have been dealing with some family business that required me to fly to New York City a couple of times. That meant dealing with America’s worst major airport, LaGuardia.
As if that overcrowded, poorly air-conditioned hellhole wasn’t bad enough, it has been made worse by construction at every turn. The authorities may be creating a better LaGuardia experience for the future, but in the present, it is an absolute minefield of a mess.
The simple act of getting from the arrival terminal to a rental car now involves first taking a bus to a drop-off area where you get out and drag your luggage through another terminal before you get to your car company’s shuttle. Both the bus and the shuttle have to squeeze through twists and turns, orange cones and concrete barriers, yellow cabs and Uber pickups, and enough other obstacles to make it seem you’re in one of those airbag commercials with the crash dummies.
Total time from deplaning to arriving at the car rental agency’s counter can exceed 45 minutes during the busiest times, which, of course, were whenever I was there. At least I got in and out of town before the US Open started right down the road from LaGuardia, making the trip to and from even worse.
I can’t help but wonder how much quicker the reconstruction of the airport would have been if they had just shut it down, torn it down completely, allowed no flights in or out, and simply rebuilt it with crews working around the clock. Yes, it would have been inconvenient to force all of that air traffic to divert to JFK or Newark or Islip (the three nearest airports to LaGuardia), but it’s not exactly convenient now.
I could never have imagined the LaGuardia experience getting worse, but it has, and will continue to diminish until….who knows when?