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I just read on a website that you could wait two to four hours in line checking in a LGAirport in New York. Is this true?

I just read on a website that you could wait two to four hours in line checking in a LGAirport in New York. Is this true?

Old Feb 5th, 2003, 02:02 PM
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I just read on a website that you could wait two to four hours in line checking in a LGAirport in New York. Is this true?

I read that you could wait two to four hours waiting to check in ,at LGA. This is concerning me. I'm flying out in July at 9:30 on a Saturday morning. What time should I leave so, that I won't miss my flight. I'm staying at the Belvedere in Midtown. Thankyou!
Trisha is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 03:38 PM
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Hi Trisha,
I too am planning a trip to NY in July with my 14 year old son. We have already begun the process of researching and asking questions and "worrying about a July trip". I too would be interested to know about the waits at LGA airport because that is where we will be coming in and going out of. More power to those who plan ahead. Regardless of what some may think or say, "registration" is not why people don't post to this site.
SR is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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My experience although not in LaGuardia is that if you are in line to get through Security and then onto the gate, and you're at the back of the line, passengers boarding for the flights that have earlier departures are asked to step out of line (passengers for the flight will be paged). The flights are called out, and those passengers then move to the head of the security line - in Boston, its a separate line for late arriving passengers. I would think that LaGuardia and other airports probably have a similar procedure.

General rule of thumb is to be at the airport 2 hours prior to departure for a domestic flight and 3 hours prior to departure for an international flight, about an hour less for both types of flights if you already have a seat assignment and you don't need to check your luggage.
leslie is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Trisha, just to relieve some of your anxiety, if you can, you might consider staying at a hotel closer to LaGuardia. Travel time to LaGuardia will vary depending on whether you are traveling during a weekday or on the weekend. You should leave yourself plenty of time to get to LaGuardia if you're traveling on a weekday, because you might get caught in rush hour traffic.
leslie is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 04:34 PM
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Trisha, why are you frettin over something 6 months away? Who knows if LGA will even be around in 6 months. What airline are you flyin? If you're on USAIR you can checkin online 12 hours prior to flight time, that is of course as of today. Delta plans on doin away with their ticketing/checkin counters all together, forcing passengers to use the checkin kiosks, curbside checkin or online checkin. The airlines are trimmin the fat all over the place so the same may apply to the others in future. One more thing I might add, if you bought your ticket for July, honey your flight/s will undergo at least 2 schedule changes. Checkin times for domestic flights are 90-120 minutes to allot sufficient time to load the aircraft with luggage and go through intense security. If LGA has a long checkin time, JFK and EWR can only be worse. So much for all those folks who declared "oh I don't mind standing in lines for 12 hours if it fights terrorism and ensures safety."
Dr_Phill is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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Trisha, have you considered Newark? We did have a bad experience there last Sat. The story we were told on Continental airlines there was a virus that affected all airlines throughout the U.S. The lines were long and awful. They only had several windows open with computers. They were taking people by time. The only problem was our flight was 9:10 a.m. and we were called at 9:30 a.m. when we arrived at the window the flight had left all ready. It was a nightmare. We finally left at 12:00 on a later flight. Things just happen sometimes. I think Newark Liberty is less congested than LGA. Good luck. Just get there early is all I can say.
diann is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:12 PM
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Trisha, I too am a plan ahead type person, BUT I do agree with Howard - there is no way to know how long you will wait for check in at LGA (or any other airport) in July. Howard has been posting here for awhile and has given some very helpful NYC advice in the past; I don't think he was trying to be nasty and your reply was less than polite. As far as check in at LGA, you might walk right up and check in, or there could be something as unpredictable and simple as a computer glitch and you could wait in line. Also, somebody suggested staying closer to the airport(!) to relieve your anxiety - don't do that, your location is fine, a cab can get you to LGA early on a Saturday morning in a timely manner. Plan to get to the airport 2 hours (at most) in advance, have all your ID, tickets, etc. in order, get in line and you should be fine. By the way - if you get there TOO early you'll only find a closed ticket counter! I was in a check-in line at JFK that was running behind and the airport personnel made a great effort to get people whose flights were almost ready to board up to the front and checked in - they don't want you to miss the plane any more than you do. If the flight times and price are what you want, I would book the flight and start thinking about the other parts of your trip, New York is a great city and there's a lot to do, have fun planning your itinerary. Have a great time and enjoy your visit.
Margie is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:22 PM
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Dr.Phil, it's not like I'm sitting around biting my fingernails about LGA in July. I just happen to read about the 5 worse airports in America and LGA was number one because, they stated that
people wait two to fours hours to check in. I wanted to clarify if that was true by asking people if they have this type of experience at LGA and if it's typical. It's pertinent to my travel plans because, I can still make changes of airports or hotel. That's all. I didn't intend on defending my question or mean to sound like I'm hysterical or anything.I realize Howard probably didn't mean to sound critical either.
Trisha is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:35 PM
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trisha - and what if you do change airports -- and then the airport has a security alert, or a screening machine breaks down? You'll be in worse shape. You cannot (shouldn't anyway) make flight decisions based upon average check-in times. What is happening now has really no bearing on what will happen in July.
janis is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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I flew out of LGA on 01/05 on a 7:00am flight on AA - and yes the lines were long.
They were long on curbside, at the ticket counters, and at the security checks.

However, that flight was shortly after the new security proceedures were started. I would agree with others that things can be TOTALLY differnt in July, and you should not worry about it now - post again in June.

Additionally, I too would not change my flights because of potential long lines - LGA is Manhattan's most convienent airport. Nor would I stay near the airport - That is the stupidest idea. The hotels near the airport are rexpensive for what they are, not particularly nice, and there is nothing around the airport hotels.
You are leaving on a summer Sat. morning - so traffic there will not be traffic. It will take about 30 mins to get there.
I will say, though, that from speaking to others, morning flights from LGA seem to be the times when the airport is crowded - Less so in the early afternoon .
It will also make a differnce if you need to check luggage or you or just carry-on ; eaiser if you carry-on.
As others have stated, many of the airlines now have online check-in and printing your own boarding passes. You can go to an internet cafe, late on Friday nite, and check-in and get your own boarding pass. Or you can do self-check-in with the machines at the airport.
Anyway, don't sweat it. If you need to leave @ 7am, then you do. Problem solved, end of discussion.
Anthony is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Thankyou , Your posts make alot of sense. Whether I'm asking this question too early or not, doesn't matter, I learned alot from asking it. Thanks again!
Trisha is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 07:12 AM
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So, if I'm leaving from LaGuardia next Tuesday morning on a 10:30 flight, how early should I get a taxi from midtown West to head for La Guardia? This second guessing of airport screening is tough. And now, I have one small airport telling me to tape my suitcase key to the suitcase so they can use it to inspect my bag in THEIR inspection area (or not) and they will then bring my key back to me before the flight leaves. Good grief!
eliztrav is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 07:22 AM
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LGA has apparently been much better in terms of check-in times and also on-time departures and arrival since 9/11. It was terrible before that. I can't speak to what changes may have happened since TSA took over security a month or so ago but I flew from there twice this fall - once on an early weekday morning and once on an early afternoon Saturday. The weekday check-in time was about 45 minutes in total including security and on Saturday it took me less than 15 minutes.
Owen_ONeill is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 08:21 AM
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Thanks, Owen. So, arrival at LGA an hour ahead of the flight would do it. That's what the carrier says, butyou never know & it is nice to hear experiences others have had.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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Two to four hours to check in at LGA? I've never experienced that and I fly a LOT for work! Are you sure you didn't hear "two to four hours delay"? That seems a lot more likely. That's about the average flight delay I used to experience there. It got so bad that I started to only fly out of JFK and EWR. But supposedly the delays have gone WAY down since 9/11 since less people are flying.

For check-in, I'd allow 1.5-2 hours if you have to check luggage and 1-1.5 if you don't.
suzanne is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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Can someone just answer the spirit of this question? The reason we even have these questions published on this forum is so that others with similar interests can see the Q&A's. We are flying into and later out of LGA next week, and I too would like to know if checking in at 11 for a 1 pm flight is adequate, excessivly early, or cutting it close.
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Barring anything highly unusual, two hours is all you'll need.

By the way, a 10:30 am flight on a Tuesday is a good flight. Airports are, generally, less crowded then.

Once again, there are no guarantees.
JackOneill is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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I've flown out of LGA a number of times over the last few months. The longest it took me to jump through the hoops was one hour and twenty minutes. However the shortest time was one hour. If you are not travelling during rush hour it will take 20-30 minutes to get there by taxi from most of Manhattan. I think you would be fine leaving your hotel 2 hours before the flight, but if you want to play if very safe, you can leave 2.5 hours before your flight, if you have bags to check.

Howard, I'm with you about not planning this stuff now for a July trip.
newyorker is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:09 PM
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We flew out of LGA 2 weeks ago on a Thursday morning. We arrived at 5:50 for a 7:15 am flight and by the time we made it to the gate they started boarding. Just so you know, there were tremendously long lines to other gates. It was incredibly congested and chaotic, I hadn't seen it so bad since immediately after 9/11.

We fly out again next week from LGA and I'm planning on getting there an hour and a half ahead of time.
nina is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Just wanted to add that we used e-tickets from the kiosks and didn't check any luggage. If we had paper tickets and checked luggage, we might not have made the flight!
nina is offline  

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