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Airport Commute Time and Time to the Gate... SD, NYC, DAL...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
What are your thoughts on the following airports in terms of the time it takes to get to the airport from downtown and the time/distance it takes to get to your gate.


San Diego
NYC
Dallas
DC area
Austin
Atlanta

The only one I know well is Dallas, and I think it usually takes awhile to get to the airport, but I can often get to my gate in 5 minutes once I'm dropped off, which is fantastic.
Edited by Superfluous - 7/19/11 at 9:55pm
post #2 of 15
From what I remember, Austin is a pretty short and cheap ride from the airport to downtown. Don't remember how long it took to get to the gate.

DC Area:

Reagan National: Short metro ride from downtown. Pretty short walk to gate unless you are flying one of the smaller airlines -- walk to Terminal A takes forever.

Dulles International: Awful on both counts. Almost an hour's drive away from downtown. Gates set back from terminal by Saarinen's design, and requires a shuttle to get there.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser View Post

DC Area:

Reagan National: Short metro ride from downtown. Pretty short walk to gate unless you are flying one of the smaller airlines -- walk to Terminal A takes forever.

I often leave for Reagan from downtown DC an hour before the flight, and get to the gate with time to spare. I avoid Dulles.
post #4 of 15
Downtown Austin --> Airport takes ~20 minutes... MAYBE 40 during rush hour (depending on whether or not you take I-35 during rush hour).
To get to your gate, it's probably quicker than Dallas if you have your ticket/do not need to check in.

I found dallas to take ~20 minutes... no experience from downtown though.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. So DC is one I knew more about than others,

Still looking for input on NYC, Boston, ATL
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Romo View Post

Thanks guys. So DC is one I knew more about than others,

Still looking for input on NYC, Boston, ATL

Boston, from downtown (i.e. financial district), is probably 10 minutes, max. Maybe 15 in rush hour. How long it takes to get to the gate is a bit terminal dependent (just in terms of security setups). I'm on the road a couple of days a week, and I usually leave the house 1:05 before my flight. If I'm picking somebody up, I have them text me when the airplane lands and then I wait 5 minutes, leave for the airport, and usually get to baggage claim at the same time they do.

NYC generally sucks. I never time it right. I'd say you're an hour from central manhattan to the front of the security line.

San Diego really depends on where you are in SD. I have found the access roads somewhat lacking. The good news is that it's a really easy airport to get through once you're there.
post #7 of 15
NYC isn't as easy to sort out. There are three airports, and those airports have different setups, LGA has a few terminals that are not connected. Each has it's own baggage and security systems. JFK has 8. Those different terminals have different personalities, for lack of a better term. The experience at JFK is remarkably different traveling international or domestic. Newark has a monorail that travels between the terminals, that can take a while. Depending on carrier there are some terminals at LGA that I know I'll get through security quickly. I can leave home an hour and 15 minutes before a flight and not sweat it.

For me from the Upper East Side LGA is very easy to get to, even in busy traffic, 20-30 minutes. Newark is a pain in the ass. From Wall Street they may be almost equal. JFK is pretty far out. Traffic there can be difficult at any time of day. I once nearly missed a flight because I was stuck in a traffic jam at 1 AM a few miles for JFK.

Atlanta airport is close to downtown and easy to get to outside of rush hour. It has an underground train between terminals. Then each terminal is long and straight. You can get out of the train in one near gate 15 and your flight is leaving gate 83. Enormous airport, so not real fast to get to your gate unless you get lucky.
post #8 of 15
Last time I was in NYC on business, it took forever to get from Chinatown to LaGuardia at around four in the afternoon. I arrived at the airport five minutes after my flight was scheduled to leave. Fortunately, it was the shuttle, which was even later than I was. Next time I go to NYC on business, I'm seriously thinking of taking the Acela train, which stops at Penn Station.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser View Post

Last time I was in NYC on business, it took forever to get from Chinatown to LaGuardia at around four in the afternoon. I arrived at the airport five minutes after my flight was scheduled to leave. Fortunately, it was the shuttle, which was even later than I was. Next time I go to NYC on business, I'm seriously thinking of taking the Acela train, which stops at Penn Station.

Acela is the way to go. Once you add in security and travel time it is faster for NYC to BOS or DC.

If you fly out of LGA after 2 PM you can count on your flight being an hour late. Too many carriers, too few runways nearly guarantees it.
post #10 of 15
Just did Battery Park to LGA last week in the middle of the afternoon in like 30 minutes, $31 cab ride. Could've been in and done with TSA in 10 minutes or so.

LAX - well, wherever you're driving from. good luck with that. haha. I was down there today and both ticketing and the TSA are a nightmare if you fly with an American airline, Terminal 4 for AA and Terminal 7 for United both had good hour long lines for ticketing/checked baggage, but most of the self-check in machines are vacant or have no queues. Get your ticket or confirmation number jotted down and you could be in, bags checked, and to the gate at LAX in under 20 minutes. Otherwise, it could take like an hour and a half.

The nice thing about LAX and LGA is that they are pretty old airports and so the distance from TSA to gate is not too much to walk usually. I am used to these huge Asian mega-airports that park 747's up and down the rows and the terminals stretch for literally miles, both for when you're getting to a gate and when you're off and trying to get through immigration.
I was in the front of the plane today, had local citizenship immigration privileges so I stood behind like 2 people in line when I got there, and had priority baggage and so it popped out of the carousel the minute I walked up to it, but I swear I landed at 8:30 and it was 9:30 by the time I got outside and lit up a smoke, I have no idea where the hour went. Mostly walking, there was a monorail between terminals involved, but just tons of walking and walking. Then you have to endure some sort of horrid hour long bus ride or 'express' train ride to the city and drive through farmland - Narita, Incheon, new Hong Kong airports, they're all like that. A crush of like 1500 people at immigration every 10 minutes, miles of walking, hours of bus rides, it really sucks to be based in Asia.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

Just did Battery Park to LGA last week in the middle of the afternoon in like 30 minutes, $31 cab ride. Could've been in and done with TSA in 10 minutes or so.

LAX - well, wherever you're driving from. good luck with that. haha. I was down there today and both ticketing and the TSA are a nightmare if you fly with an American airline, Terminal 4 for AA and Terminal 7 for United both had good hour long lines for ticketing/checked baggage, but most of the self-check in machines are vacant or have no queues. Get your ticket or confirmation number jotted down and you could be in, bags checked, and to the gate at LAX in under 20 minutes. Otherwise, it could take like an hour and a half.

The nice thing about LAX and LGA is that they are pretty old airports and so the distance from TSA to gate is not too much to walk usually. I am used to these huge Asian mega-airports that park 747's up and down the rows and the terminals stretch for literally miles, both for when you're getting to a gate and when you're off and trying to get through immigration.
I was in the front of the plane today, had local citizenship immigration privileges so I stood behind like 2 people in line when I got there, and had priority baggage and so it popped out of the carousel the minute I walked up to it, but I swear I landed at 8:30 and it was 9:30 by the time I got outside and lit up a smoke, I have no idea where the hour went. Mostly walking, there was a monorail between terminals involved, but just tons of walking and walking. Then you have to endure some sort of horrid hour long bus ride or 'express' train ride to the city and drive through farmland - Narita, Incheon, new Hong Kong airports, they're all like that. A crush of like 1500 people at immigration every 10 minutes, miles of walking, hours of bus rides, it really sucks to be based in Asia.

That LGA time is incredible. From 86th and West End, by cab it takes me from 30 minutes up to an hour and a half depending on traffic. I sometimes just take the M4 bus just because it's usually not crowded and doesn't stop much once it gets out of Manhattan. In one case however, I was flying from New York to Dulles to Roanoke (the latter portion isn't very frequent), and a 45 min - 1 hour bus ride turned into 2 and a half hours. It was pretty close by the time I was in Dulles--nearly missed my scrawny little plane to Roanoke. I don't have experience commuting to Dulles, but I actually enjoy the airport itself. I often shop a bit at Brooks Brothers.
post #12 of 15
Atlanta varies a lot with traffic. I come in from Athens, about 90 miles away. It's a 90 minute drive, I usually give myself three and a half hours before the flight. Mostly I get there really early, but beats missing a flight due to traffic. They move you through security pretty quick, even on Thanksgiving I think I got through in about 15 minutes. Never gotten searched there either, they'll let you through without being too bitchy almost all the time. Getting between terminals is easy, you can walk or take the underground tram. It's all linear too. It can be a bit of a walk once you get into the terminal, the low numbers gates are a LONG way from the center where you start. Transfers aren't so bad either, because of the terminal setups.

You can get to the airport on MARTA, but it's a bit of a limited system in terms of access. Never tried it, but I hear it works well. Traffic in Atlanta is hideously variable, I missed a flight one time because the idiots decided to close three lanes on I-85 the Tuesday before Thanksgiving for construction. Queue up two hour traffic nightmare.

DC: depends where you're coming from. I was always coming from other places in Northern VA, so mostly flew out of Dulles. It used to be awful, they had these stupid shuttle buses to get the terminals and they were not efficient at all. Now they have an underground tram, which has made things a lot better. Still not quite as good as Atlanta, but traffic is lower. Seems to be getting better overall.

I've only been through Reagan once. Sort of an annoying setup, old airport, but security went super-quick and there aren't all that many gates total. No real problems, it's just old and ugly looking. Reagan has a Metro stop, Dulles does not, so there's a big advantage if you're coming from the city. They're supposed to be adding a line out to Dulles, but God only knows when that'll happen.

La Guardia is sort of stupid for transfers, none of the terminals are connected. You need to go outside, then take a shuttle. Was very annoying. I'm not from the area so can't say much more than that.
post #13 of 15
^ I always use MARTA t/from downtown Atlanta- quick, easy access and easy into the airport. I don't recall it ever being more than maybe 20 minutes downtown to ATL.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cary Grant View Post

^ I always use MARTA t/from downtown Atlanta- quick, easy access and easy into the airport. I don't recall it ever being more than maybe 20 minutes downtown to ATL.

25ish minutes. Really not hard to get to or from Hartsfield. I actually quite like it.
post #15 of 15
I know a lot of people from Athens park at the Doraville station and take MARTA in. They seem to like it, but my wife isn't a fan. She wants to just get in the car, rather than going from one form of mass transit to another. Oh well.
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