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New York and Washington Airports

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Jan 4th, 2014, 06:40 AM
  #1
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New York and Washington Airports

I've been to Washington several times but never flown in or out. I believe there are two airports. What's the difference and why choose one over the other ?

I've been to New York several times and if I remember correctly I've used LaGuardia and JFK. I believe LaGuardia is a lot closer to Midtown (taxi). Correct?
When I've changed planes at LaGuardia there always seems to be delays. Why?
Is there any reason to choose any other airport for NY?

Thanks.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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DCA, Reagan National, is just across the river from downtown. Very convenient but not usually the lowest fares.
IAD, Dulles, is about 30 miles west of the city in Virginia. Often cheaper fares but more time and expense to get to the city.
BWI, Baltimore Washington, is about 30 miles northeast, in 'Maryland. Like Dulles re cost and convenience.

JFK is the international airport and Laguardia serves the domestic market. They both suffer delays because they share the same congested airspace and weather conditions. All airports seem to have delays in late afternoon more than earlier in the day.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 07:23 AM
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kayd, that was impressive!

I would only add that Dulles is also Washington's airport for overseas flights.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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For overseas flights I would choose BWI over Dulles. BWI has an Amtrak stop which makes it easy to get to without a car or having someone drop you off.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Yes, kayd, well done! I would add that you can take Metro (public transportation) very easily to and from DCA--the stop is right inside the airport and it's not a long ride to the center of DC or to Alexandria.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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Actually there are 3 airports for NYC - LGA, JFK and EWR in Jersey.

For east midtown LGA is slightly closer than JRK - for west side you might consider EWR. Both JFK and EWR are international airports - but with a lot of domestic flights - esp for farther destinations. LGA is domestic only - mostly shorter flights and fewer long distance.

In deciding which to use I would look at timing and cost of flights. All 3 airports typically have many flight delays - usually more later in the afternoon/evening - just because there are so many flights in limited airspace and runways.

IMHO I always assume all flights to all airports will be delayed - since it seems to happen most of the time.

If you tell us your hotel and how much luggage you will have people can make recos for airports.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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JFK is not just for international flights. When I lived closer I sued to use it all the time for domestic flights, either long haul non-stop to the West coast, or anywhere JetBlue flies as it's their main hub.

Flights to/from LGA are limited by regulation to less than 1500 miles, with the single exception being Denver I think one day per week, so you just can't get non-stops from LGA beyond that radius. The thing I do like about LGA is very frequent service to many points, eg hourly flights to Boston, DC, Chicago, Dallas, and many flights all across Florida.

JFK + LGA share the congested NYC airspace with several other airports, namely EWR, but also Teterboro and White Plains (HPN), so delays anywhere in the region can multiply.

If you are flying into NY to visit Manhattan, EWR is actually the easiest option using public transportation. The EWR AirTrain to NJ Transit trains right into NY Penn station, or various direct bus options as well.

To me the choice of airport, either for NYC or DC area is dictated by a combination fare, airline, and specific destination - downtown, suburbs, rental car or not, etc. There is no one-size fits all choice. EWR has a lot of international carriers and destinations via United, so for me it ranks right up there with JFK for long haul use, especially now that UAL/CO are merged.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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In DC, the hassle of getting into the city from Dulles or BWI (aka the schlep) is significantly greater than doing so from DCA, so the fare difference would have to be equally significant to justify it.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 10:41 AM
  #9
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Actually, after looking at schedules and prices, the best flights for us seem to be LGA to New York and DCA from Washington.

Thanks for the very detailed info.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 10:57 AM
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LGA because of its shorter runways cannot accommodate larger planes, which is why it has few, if any, transcontinental flights. I also believe LGA has limited international flights e.g. Canada.

LGA is also the cheapest cab into Manhattan.

From any NYC airport, if your body and mind can take it, try to get one of the earliest flights out before the congestion begins.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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Nice guess, but factually incorrect IMD. True, the runways are much shorter than EWR/JFK, but that's not what is preventing any airline from flying >1500 miles. LGA can and does easily accommodate aircraft such as the 757 & 737's that many airlines use cross country. It is statutory limitation not runway length that limits the distance of flights into LGA.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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It appears that Myer will be flying into DCA, clearly the most convenient airport for D.C. But for those who may be reading this thread at some time in the future, I would recommend IAD over BWI if you are renting a car. The route from IAD to D.C. is almost all on a dedicated airport-only highway, so you avoid a lot of traffic for most of the way. On the other hand, the route from BWI is on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway which can get absolutely gridlocked at times.

In a few years, the Silver Line Metro between D.C. and IAD will be open and then perhaps we can recommend a good public transportation option. (There's the 5A bus now, but it's not always convenient.)
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Jan 4th, 2014, 01:40 PM
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I have rented a car at both IAD and BWI. I don't drive into Washington. The last time I went into and out of Washington, my DD took me in to Union Station to pick up a laptop I had left on a train. The Amtrak fare for 1 adult from BWI to WAS is $11 to $15. You can rent a car in Union Station if you want to drive out of the city.
If the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is jammed, try either US 1 or US 50 depending on what part of the city you want to go to.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 04:03 PM
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DCA scares me, very short runway. If you fly into BWI there is a shuttle that will take you to the amtrak staion to Union Station. It is not far but not in the airport.
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Jan 4th, 2014, 06:58 PM
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The B-W Parkway is not the only route from BWI to Washington; many people drive over to I-95 which has a higher speed limit and more lanes. A great deal may depend on exactly where in Washington your final destination is.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 01:51 AM
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I agree with Dukey. It depends on where you are going. One might even say that one's choice of airport depends on where one is going. It would take a lot of savings, a lot, to make me arrive at BWI at 3 PM if I were going to, say, Tyson's Corner.

flpab, it isn't short runways at DCA that sometimes makes landing a bit "adventurous". It is the need, especially when landing to the south, to stay out of restricted areas. They fly along the river, twisting and turning all the way. If you fly it a lot, you can guess where you are by the wiggles, but if there is a stiff cross-wind or updrafts, you may sometimes wish you were with Tomfuller on Amtrak.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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Ackislander, stood by the Washington Monument last trip and watched those planes landing! Remember when one landed in the Potomac in the freezing water? Key West is another scary landing!
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Jan 5th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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LGA coming in over Riker's Island and the water does not engender confidence.

I think they are extending the runways at LGA to comply with new Federal regs.

Riker's Island gives new meaning to long-term parking.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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That "landing" in the Potomac was not a crash on landing, but a failure to gain enough lift on takeoff during a snowstorm. Inadequate de-icing and bad decisions were the culprits.
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Jan 5th, 2014, 09:43 AM
  #20
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I think what I wrote got changed in the translation.

After reviewing flights, etc it appears that for what we want to do we'll land in LGA (New York), train to Washington and leave from DCA (Washington) to return home.

Now for hotels.
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