Flying time is 3 hours from New York, 2 hours 30 minutes from Chicago, 1 hour 40 minutes from Dallas, and 4 hours 20 minutes from Los Angeles. Book early for popular times such as Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. www.tsa.gov.
The major gateway to New Orleans is Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), 15 miles west of the city in Kenner. There's an airport exit off Interstate 10. Plan for about 30–45 minutes travel time from downtown New Orleans to the airport (longer at rush hour). An alternative route is Airline Drive, which will take you directly to the airport from Tulane Avenue or the Earhart Expressway. Be prepared for stoplights and possible congestion.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. 504/303–7500; www.flymsy.com.
Shuttle-bus service to and from the airport and downtown hotels is available through Airport Shuttle New Orleans, the official ground transportation of Louis Armstrong International Airport. You can purchase tickets at the Airport Shuttle desk across from baggage claim areas 1, 5, 9, and 12. To return to the airport, call 24 hours ahead of your scheduled departure. The cost one way to the CBD is $20 per person, and the trip takes about 40 minutes.
Jefferson Transit also runs a bus between the airport, the CBD, and Mid-City, although it goes to the CBD on weekdays only. The trip costs $2 ($1.50 from Carrollton and Tulane avenues)—exact change is easier—and takes about 45 minutes. From the airport, you can catch the E2 Aiport line on the second level near the Delta counter in the median (look for the sign and a bench). Airport-bound buses leave every 30–35 minutes from Loyola and Tulane avenues, next to the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library, and from the corner of Tulane and Carrollton avenues. The last bus leaves at 6:52 from Tulane and Loyola, 9:49 pm from Tulane and Carrollton.
Airport Shuttle New Orleans. 504/522–3500; 866/596–2699; www.airportshuttleneworleans.com.
Jefferson Transit. 504/818–1077; www.jeffersontransit.org/e2airport.php.
A cab ride to or from the airport and Uptown or downtown costs $33 for up to two passengers. For groups of three or more, the rate is $14 per person. Pickup is on the lower level, outside the baggage-claim area. There may be an additional charge for extra baggage.