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View Full Version : Is flying out of NY terrifying for a small town family?


moopdog
02-19-2005, 09:34 AM
We can either A) drive an 1.25 hours to our local airport (Scranton PA) and take a flight that has a stop in Atlanta and pay $208 per person. OR

We can drive to New York, which I think is about 2.5 hours (but we would plan on 3.5 hours in case we get lost ha ha). And take a nonstop flight that is $142 per person.

Both scenarios give us decent flight times and are on Delta. We are very familiar with the Scranton airport... but have never driven into NY.

We'll have 3 kids with us, and I don't know if we want to take them into a NY airport (they're huge, right?) or will sacrifice and get on and off planes. I also don't know which of the two airports is closest and easiest to get in and out of (so far I've been looking into JFK).

So.... how bad is it getting in and out of JFK? Is it worth doing this to save money and to get a non-stop flight?

Really stuck on this one. And if you think we should fly out of NY... how do I convince him that he can do it (nervous about the NY traffic!).

Also, how much does it cost to park for a week at the airport?

TIA moopdog

BabkaGal
02-19-2005, 10:11 AM
Hi!

I'm a native New Yorker, so I hopefully have some of the answers you were looking for! There are 3 NYC-area airports:

Newark is in NJ (but a lot of NYers use it) and is pretty much 30 minutes west of Manhattan. This might be easy for you if you are coming from PA, since you won't have to cross the bridges to get to NY. They have a lot of flights, but I'm not sure how many to Florida.

LaGuardia is the local NYC airport, but it is actually in northern Queens. It is only about 23-30 minutes east of Manhattan, and it is the smallest NY airport. The runways are smaller so overseas planes can't take off or land there, which makes it nice for local (NY to FL) travel. Delta's Song flies out of here, as do Delta, USAir and American. If you can find a cheap flight from here, it is great (I fly out of here all the time).

JFK is a BIG airport, but it has a bunch of different terminals. It has a ton of international flights, but it also has a TON of flights to Florida. DEFINITELY check out the Jetblue website for fares...I try to only fly on Jetblue, and the terminal and planes are beautiful and brand new. JFK is a good 45 minutes east from Manhattan (and 20-30 minutes east of LaGuardia), and it can be slow during rush hours. But this is your best bet for number of flights! There is a lot of parking here, but I'm not sure on the prices.

Hope that helps! You may also want to check out the Philadelphia airport. To sum up: Newark is the closest, LaGuardia is the smallest and easiest to navigate, and JFK is the furthest away but has the most flights. Good luck! :flower:

--Babka Gal

Helene
02-19-2005, 10:13 AM
Hi Moopdog,

Funny you should post this, I just went through the exact same dilemma within the last two weeks. We live in Shenandoah, PA and I was leary whether the exta drive time and hassles would be worth the savings.

I decided that since you only live once, we'd try JFK. If it turns out to be a major hassle, we just won't do it again. But since our airfare, using SONG,totaled $540 R/T for a family of four, I'm going for it.

We don't leave until October, but we're considering 2 options. Either my BIL will play chauffer, which he's agreed to do, or we'll drive ourselves. Either way, we booked an 8am departure and a 7:30 return (arrive NYC @9:40 pm).
I'm hoping that we can avoid major traffic issues by arriving early into the city and departing later.

Also, If you're not familiar with SONG, you may want to give it a look. It's run by Delta, but has great in-flight entertainment options, comparable to Jetblue, but for much less $$ (at least for our travel dates in October)
flysong.com is the website.

The cheapest parking I found so far is through Avistar. With an online coupon it's 12.95/day. This particular lot has also recieved good reports on this forum. Last time we flew from Philly, we paid @9.00/day, so considering it's NY, $3 more/day doesn't seem too bad.

Good luck with your planning :flower: :flower: :flower:

Helene

BabkaGal
02-19-2005, 10:19 AM
Hi again!

Okay, I decided to procrastinate a bit more today, and I just looked at Delta's Song from Newark to Orlando...it looks like the typical price each way is about $114. Hope that helps! :cool1:

--BabkaGal

Jamesbyr
02-19-2005, 10:34 AM
I agree with the above. Long-term parking at JFK at the airport lot is $10 a day. I have no personal experience with it, except to note that you have to allow some time to get from the lots to the terminal. The new Air Train serves the long-term lot.

moopdog
02-19-2005, 12:19 PM
So far, I've found out that flying out of Newark will not save us enough to justify the hassle - same with Philly. Flying out of Laguardia is the only way I'll consider going the NY route, and that's on Delta Song $142 RT per person. Pretty good rate! Otherwise, we're sticking with our Scranton airport.

I wish I had someone to drive us there and pick us up, but don't expect any volunteers from my family!! I don't know if after paying for parking, it would be worth the car ride, and stomach ulcers, ha ha. I will still look into it in the meantime.

Thanks to all of you! :flower:

stahshee
02-20-2005, 05:58 PM
I was thinking about flying out of ny. I am in cooperstown Ny it is about 3 and a half hr drive maybe four. I will save my family 500 to fly out of ny. My question is WHERE DO I PARK MY CAR? pleas help :confused3

strmtroopr96
02-20-2005, 08:29 PM
I was thinking about flying out of ny. I am in cooperstown Ny it is about 3 and a half hr drive maybe four. I will save my family 500 to fly out of ny. My question is WHERE DO I PARK MY CAR? pleas help


Hi there! :wave: I live not far from you in the Herkimer area and am also thinking of flying out of NYC if I can find some good deals. I think I am going to just have someone drive us down though as we have family outside the city. If you were to fly out of this area, where do you normally fly from? We try to go out of Syracuse but they have been price lately. :sad2: Last fall, we got a good deal out of Rochester on Airtran. Longer drive but cheaper by a couple hundred dollars even though we even added an extra person! Rebecca :earsgirl:

canwegosoon
02-20-2005, 11:05 PM
Don't for get to factor in the cost of driving, the tolls(and they are expensive), and the parking on the NYC flights. I used to fly out of JFK and took a Limo service. Make sure your "Shotgun" rider can read quickly as you are trying to find which terminal to go to...not the time to have one of those "what did that sign say"!!!

Princess Dot
02-21-2005, 08:39 AM
I just wanted to add that I have parked in long term parking at JFK and it really is easy to use. As someone posted there is the new Airtrain that takes you from the parking lot to the terminals (very similar to the monorail at the Orlando airport) I thought everything was well marked and simple and safe to get around, and I was flying by myself! As for the cost, I think it was $10 a day but you can check out their website for the exact info. My family has also used Avistar and they were happy with that too. But for both you really need to make sure you have enough time so that you are not rushing.

Good luck!

stahshee
02-21-2005, 11:11 AM
I really want to make sure my car is protected! I am thinking of flying spirt it will save me 500 for my family. Other wise I will fly out of alb or syracuse and it will cost my family of 6 1200. I need car parking info. :cheer2:

billisa&2boys
02-21-2005, 12:20 PM
We are also from NE PA and flew out of LGA in October. We got roundtrip tickets on Delta Song for $121, so it was worth the drive and the adventure of trying a different airport. We also used Avistar for longterm parking and with the coupon for 6 days it was around $70.00. The Avistar shuttle takes you right to the Delta terminal so it is very easy. The Avistar is about 2 blocks away from the airport and was very manageable. We just LOVED Delta Song. We have a 13 year old and a 5 year old and the TV's with the movies and channels for music trivia etc...were just great. The flight went by so fast without any whining from the younger troops. The staff was great as well. The pilot let our youngest tour the cockpit and get on the PA and talk to us. We would do it again in a heartbeat!!! Have fun!!! :flower:

stahshee
02-21-2005, 04:57 PM
I am starting to think about flying out of lag . What is avis star? :rotfl:

NYDisneyMom
02-21-2005, 05:18 PM
We can either A) drive an 1.25 hours to our local airport (Scranton PA) and take a flight that has a stop in Atlanta and pay $208 per person. OR

We can drive to New York, which I think is about 2.5 hours (but we would plan on 3.5 hours in case we get lost ha ha). And take a nonstop flight that is $142 per person.

Both scenarios give us decent flight times and are on Delta. We are very familiar with the Scranton airport... but have never driven into NY.

We'll have 3 kids with us, and I don't know if we want to take them into a NY airport (they're huge, right?) or will sacrifice and get on and off planes. I also don't know which of the two airports is closest and easiest to get in and out of (so far I've been looking into JFK).

So.... how bad is it getting in and out of JFK? Is it worth doing this to save money and to get a non-stop flight?

Really stuck on this one. And if you think we should fly out of NY... how do I convince him that he can do it (nervous about the NY traffic!).

Also, how much does it cost to park for a week at the airport?

TIA moopdog

Personally, for the extra $300 I'd stick with your local PA airport. I don't think it's worth the long drive, the stress, and the inconvience of driving to LaGuardia (horrible airport). Plus you'd be paying for parking on top of it!! NYC traffic is a nightmare..so if you're not in the airport by 7:00 a.m., forget it. I just think it's not the way you want to start a vacation..especially with little kids.

crzy4dsny
02-21-2005, 05:26 PM
Avistar is a privately owned parking lot. It is about 3 min. away from the airport. You park your car there and they take you to your terminal in a shuttle bus. When you arrive back at the airport you call them from an airport phone and they come and pick you up.

I used them once and didn't have any problems at all. If needed I would use them again.

ducklite
02-23-2005, 12:16 PM
It's going to take longer then 3 1/2 hours. From Scranton to JFK is 3 1/2 hours with NO traffic and NO getting lost.

I'd plan on five hours.

I wouldn't fly out of LGA if the other option was to hitchhike.

Tolls from Scranton to JFK are going to run you about $35 r/t.

Anne

Lewisc
02-23-2005, 01:22 PM
Anne--OP said she is 1.5 hours from Scranton and 2.5 hours from NYC.

Moopdog--Excatly where are you coming from. Newark would be a lot better than LGA. In the length of time you'd have to allow to get from the GW Bridge to LGA you could cover a lot of miles on I 80. How far is either PHL or PIT from where you are?

NotUrsula
02-23-2005, 08:27 PM
Well, if you're talking LGA, I'd say it could be scary for ANY family; those runways are SHORT, and the close-up view of the East River and Flushing Sound is not to be forgotten.

punkin
02-24-2005, 12:53 PM
What is Flushing sound? I always thought it was Jamaica Bay.

Twende
02-24-2005, 01:41 PM
If you have to park your car at the airport you might want to check into a Park'N Fly program at an ariport motel.

We compared prices of using an off airport parking area with transport to airport and a near airport motel that allows you to park your car there for up to two weeks and gives you a room for the night and breakfast and we found the prices very similar.

Just another idea to add to your confusion! :rotfl:

magsmom
02-24-2005, 05:52 PM
Are you going through Atlanta? Are you changing planes in Atlanta? Now ... that is a HUGE airport! They were in major construction last August. That is Delta's major hub. I would take my chances flying from NYC.

stahshee
02-24-2005, 06:04 PM
how do you find out about the park and fly program at laguardia? What hotel?

Twende
02-24-2005, 06:22 PM
I started with looking what it would cost me to leave my car at the airport! Wow! did that add up fast. Next I researched the off site parking places that offered free transport to the airport. Prices were better than the airport long term lot.

From there I went to my airport's web site and looked to see what motels were there.
Later I found this web site: http://www.parksleepfly.com/

I called a number of motels and found the best rates were quoted over the phone to me.

For almost the exact same price as parking at the off site place, we can spend the night at a hotel and get transported to the airport early for our flight. Amazingly the motel with the best price also offers a rather nice breakfast buffet for free. I just hope it opens early enough for us to eat and get to the airport early. :)

NYDisneyMom
02-24-2005, 06:44 PM
I called a number of motels and found the best rates were quoted over the phone to me.

For almost the exact same price as parking at the off site place, we can spend the night at a hotel and get transported to the airport early for our flight. Amazingly the motel with the best price also offers a rather nice breakfast buffet for free. I just hope it opens early enough for us to eat and get to the airport early. :)


A motel?? Near LaGuardia?!! :earseek: That's a scary thought, IMO.

Twende
02-24-2005, 08:10 PM
No I am actually flying out of the Cleveland airport. :rotfl:

But I assume most major airports have some kind of motel associated with it.

NotUrsula
02-26-2005, 12:53 AM
Sorry, my mistake, I meant to say Flushing Bay. LGA airport sits in the middle of a triangle created by Flushing Bay to the SE, Bowery Bay to the NW, and Rikers Island directly to the N. JFK airport is on Jamaica Bay, but JFK has much longer runways; you don't get nearly so much of that "OMG we're going in!" feeling.

If you look at the MTA bus map for Queens and zoom on LGA, you'll see how it is laid out in relation to the water. You both land and take off directly over water (you may also fly very closely over the Riker's Island Bridge, depending on the direction.) http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/busqns.pdf

Both of the runways at LGA are 7,000 ft. long, and they actually intersect, which means that the runways have to be alternated when both are in use. There are an awful lot of near misses and aborted landing approaches at LGA.

nygrl
02-26-2005, 07:27 AM
as someone else posted i say check a limo service. between gas agravation of driving and long term parking prices a limo might be the way to go. we live on long island and only fly jet blue to disney which means we have to go to jfk. there is nothing scary about it! we always take a limo we feel it starts the excitment of the vacation. have fun whatever you decide and dont be scared of ny airports there are pleanty of signs to let you know where to go. :wave2:

NoodlesTheRabbit
02-26-2005, 09:26 AM
Moopdog, we live in NEPA too. We always travel to WDW through Boscov's travel. The chartered flight leaves from Avoca...it is a nonstop flight on a Southwest plane to Orlando. We LOVE it. They are so popular, I think they have a flight a week from February through July. The biggest thing to consider for this would be the cost. I forget our total cost! I did get the AAA discount and only booked the room and airfare. This might be something you could look into!

DVCTiff
02-26-2005, 01:52 PM
My 2 cents:

1) LGA parking has always been the most expensive part of our one-week trips since cheaper long-term parking is never available when we get there.

2) I have ended up in tears at least once maneuvering around LGA to get to the parking (and I do not cry easily).

3) For those of you near Cooperstown, NY: are you sure there aren't better flights out of Albany? I would think that would be the best route. Or we now have Independence flying out of Stewart-Newburgh (though they are not non-stop flights).

4) To anyone coming from PA, I would highly recommend Newark over coming through NY which cannot be worth the time, expense and aggravation. IMHO, it's worth an extra $100 to NOT have to do it. Plus the parking's cheaper at Newark. We flew Continental to MCO from Newark on our honeymoon and it was great.

As far as my own ressies go, I'm flying out of JFK (2 hour drive) on Song and using Avistar for parking (first time).

Good luck everybody!