Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

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coalcracker
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Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am

I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall.

My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover.

It looks like we can take an Uber for about 50 bucks and 30 minutes. I haven’t explored the options of public transport or perhaps a shuttle.

Anyone have any experiences or disaster stories with an itinerary such as this?

I assume I will have to collect my bags at LaGuardia and take them along? Then recheck at JFK?

I’m also wondering what would happen if there is traffic or another problem on the inter airport transfer such that I miss the second flight.
Last edited by coalcracker on Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Marylander1
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by Marylander1 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:09 am

I've done this successfully, but I arranged 22 hours in the intermediate city to minimize risk I'd miss the outbound flight. I'd look up the on-time performance of the arriving flight. And with only a few hours to spare, I'd strongly recommend buying TSA Pre or some other accelerated security screening scheme to reduce the risk of a slow process at the second airport.

Marylander1

livesoft
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:10 am

I flew into Heathrow and switched to Gatwick. The helicopter ride was a most interesting experience and the only helicopter I've flown in so far.

The LGA to JFK transfer is a hassle but should not have any special problems or anxiety-inducing features. At least they are both on the same island.
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Topic Author
coalcracker
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by coalcracker » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:19 am

Marylander1 wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:09 am
I've done this successfully, but I arranged 22 hours in the intermediate city to minimize risk I'd miss the outbound flight. I'd look up the on-time performance of the arriving flight. And with only a few hours to spare, I'd strongly recommend buying TSA Pre or some other accelerated security screening scheme to reduce the risk of a slow process at the second airport.

Marylander1
For reasons that elude me, we don’t need to change airports on the outbound flight to Europe. I’m a little less worried about missing the short domestic flight from JFK to our home city. There are numerous nonstop flights on any given day.

Iorek
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by Iorek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:22 am

I would not expect it to be 30 mins to transfer between them even though that might seem reasonable on paper. I suggest more like 1.5-2 hrs. Figure maybe an hour to deplane, collect luggage and clear immigration/customs and you are arriving 1.5 hrs or so ahead of your next flight. Not bad but not tons of extra time.

There is a bus that runs between the two airports for $17, but that will probably add some time (esp if you just miss one).

Personally that connection would stress me out too much but ymmv.

bikesandbeers
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by bikesandbeers » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:28 am

I Did Gatwick to Heathrow on a bus. I had some very heavy luggage to carry but otherwise the transfer went fine.
I think it was around d 5 hours between flights.

As others noted, getting through immigration/ customs and back through TSA is your biggest risk. Getting Global Entry
TSA pre can help, but that is another 100 bucks and take time.

At some point you wonder how you value time/money and the risk vs just flying through 1 airport

ModifiedDuration
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by ModifiedDuration » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 am

If the transfer between LaGuardia and JFK is happening Monday through Friday or on the weekend and exactly what time of day it will be happening will make a big difference in what the travel time between airports will be.

A weekday afternoon would be bad enough, but doing this around 7:30 or 8:30 on a weekday morning or 5:00 or 6:00 on a weekday afternoon would be a real mess.

By the way, TSA Precheck won’t help you getting back into the US, as Precheck is only for domestic flights.

But, if you have Global Entry, that would speed things up when you land at LaGuardia and also when you go through security at JFK, as Global Entry includes Precheck.
Last edited by ModifiedDuration on Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

rooms222
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by rooms222 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:50 am

Some airlines, such as Delta offer a free voucher for the transfer. https://www.theflightdeal.com/2013/03/0 ... c-flights/

BeneIRA
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by BeneIRA » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:10 am

Take the NYC Airporter. It’s the official transfer and it’s cheaper than Uber. I did and it was seamless.

stan1
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by stan1 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:10 am

coalcracker wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am
I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall.

My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover.
What airport are you going through US customs at and what day of the week/time do you land at LGA?

When you say "we" how many? Are there young children or anyone with mobility issues?

How much are you saving with this routing?

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:38 am

I have done the LGA—>JFK and JFK—>LGA connections, and I refuse to do them again. Not only is it cumbersome and adds time to your connection, but it greatly increases the risk that something will go wrong. Been there....

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Stinky
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Stinky » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:04 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:38 am
I have done the LGA—>JFK and JFK—>LGA connections, and I refuse to do them again. Not only is it cumbersome and adds time to your connection, but it greatly increases the risk that something will go wrong. Been there....
+1

4.5 hours sounds like a ton of time to change between two airports on the same island. But there are many "points of failure" (late arrival into LGA, slow baggage arrival, difficulties in getting onto ground transportation, traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic, check in at JFK) that could derail your plans.

If I were a betting person, I'd say that there's a better-than-even chance that you'll be OK. But there's a greater-than-trivial chance you'll have a problem, which is difficult to recover from if you're at JFK and the plane is gone.

Did I mention that traffic could be a problem?
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Artful Dodger
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Artful Dodger » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:16 am

coalcracker wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am
I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall.

My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover.

It looks like we can take an Uber for about 50 bucks and 30 minutes. I haven’t explored the options of public transport or perhaps a shuttle.

Anyone have any experiences or disaster stories with an itinerary such as this?

I assume I will have to collect my bags at LaGuardia and take them along? Then recheck at JFK?

I’m also wondering what would happen if there is traffic or another problem on the inter airport transfer such that I miss the second flight.
We did this transfer last April, except on our outbound, flying to Greece, via Heathrow. The same 4 and a half hours layover. I stressed some as well, but it couldn't have been easier. The bags were waiting when we arrived at baggage. I considered the bus, but worried about delayed departure, so just took a taxi. Our taxi ride took 30 minutes ($50). From deplaning at LaGuardia to arrival at JFK was about an hour, so we had three and a half hours to kill at JFK before our flight out. I think the taxi ride was early afternoon, so that helped; we weren't fighting rush hour traffic.

Could anything have gone wrong? Sure. I checked traffic on google a couple of times before, and travel time was usually showing 30-45 minutes. But, bags could have been delayed, I could have got messy traffic and a 2 hour trip, and still arrived 2 hour before departure. If the incoming flight was seriously delayed, that could have affected as well. But, then, the airline would have responsibility to get you on another flight.

Based on my experience, I'd do it again.

Yes, as noted, you will collect bags at LGA, take them with you, then re check them at JFK, and go through security again.

livesoft
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:18 am

One could also get a hotel near the airport (either one) and stay overnight and do something in the city. See a show, visit friends, whatever.
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:21 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:10 am
I flew into Heathrow and switched to Gatwick. The helicopter ride was a most interesting experience and the only helicopter I've flown in so far.

The LGA to JFK transfer is a hassle but should not have any special problems or anxiety-inducing features. At least they are both on the same island.
Actually both airports are in Queens, a peninsula.
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livesoft
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:28 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:21 am
Actually both airports are in Queens, a peninsula.
Indeed. And what island is Queens located on?
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cherijoh
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:40 am

coalcracker wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am
I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall.

My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover.

It looks like we can take an Uber for about 50 bucks and 30 minutes. I haven’t explored the options of public transport or perhaps a shuttle.

Anyone have any experiences or disaster stories with an itinerary such as this?

I assume I will have to collect my bags at LaGuardia and take them along? Then recheck at JFK?

I’m also wondering what would happen if there is traffic or another problem on the inter airport transfer such that I miss the second flight.
Have you looked at other options such as taking a TGV train and flying out of Marseille? I flew into MRS this spring via JFK. Here is a link I found helpful in planning my transportation in France. The train is a little over 3 hrs and 1st class is available on the TVG trains.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:00 am

Of course I have no info on the flight the OP is considering from Nice to LGA, but a search of flights shows options that include flying into JFK, sometimes at a lower price point than LGA.


ModifiedDuration
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by ModifiedDuration » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:25 am

livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:28 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:21 am
Actually both airports are in Queens, a peninsula.
Indeed. And what island is Queens located on?
That would be Long Island.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:40 am

OP doesn't say how much he would save.

For me it would have to be a BIG savings, at least a couple hundred bucks.

I did this once Heathrow to Gatwick many years ago. There was a bus and I think we did not go outside of security. I wouldn't do it again, unless, unless, it was a really BIG savings.

There's always a risk of missing a connecting flight. The more steps in the process the more likely you will have problems.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:54 am

coalcracker wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:59 am
I’m looking at one flight stops to Europe (Nice, France) for the fall.

My best option on the way back, considering price and time, is a flight through New York City which includes an airport change. We would land in LaGuardia and then transfer by land to JFK. There is a 4 hour 30 minute layover.

It looks like we can take an Uber for about 50 bucks and 30 minutes. I haven’t explored the options of public transport or perhaps a shuttle.

Anyone have any experiences or disaster stories with an itinerary such as this?

I assume I will have to collect my bags at LaGuardia and take them along? Then recheck at JFK?

I’m also wondering what would happen if there is traffic or another problem on the inter airport transfer such that I miss the second flight.
Don't forget clearing immigration and customs. It seems likely you will be landing during the peak period for arriving flights from Europe and that's assuming no bad weather in greater NY area (which can create a backlog in Immigration if earlier planes were slowed down due to bad weather).

EDITED to Add: I have Global Entry which helps a lot provided the the majority of the kiosks are working - which isn't always the case.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Bfwolf » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:58 pm

While a bit of a pain, if the savings are significant, go for it. Don’t let the worry warts scare you away. 4.5 hours is an eternity. What’s the worst case scenario for travel between the 2 airports? 1.5 hours? So if you’d accept a 3 hour layover at a single airport, 4.5 for both will be fine. You could still miss the connection if your first flight is tremendously late or your luggage doesn’t show up or the immigration line is 3 hours long but those are the same risks you’d run with a connection at a single airport. If you do miss the flight, the airline will get you home. But I’d put your odds of missing it very low.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:09 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:58 pm
If you do miss the flight, the airline will get you home.
This is true only if booked on one through ticket (it sounds like that's the case, but this is important enough to flag). If you're booking the domestic flight separately - even on the same airline - then you might need to leave yourself more room, because in that case the airline has zero obligation to re-accommodate you should you show up late for the connecting flight.

Also, OP did you flip the direction? The only flights from Nice are to Newark and JFK. Actually I'm not aware of any flights from Europe to LaGuardia (unless maybe you're changing planes first in Canada).

If doing this transfer on the outbound, 4-1/2 hours is plenty. If you're indeed doing this on the way back, you need to account for immigration, so it's a bit tighter. I think it's ok as along as it's one ticket.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Iorek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:24 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:58 pm
While a bit of a pain, if the savings are significant, go for it. Don’t let the worry warts scare you away. 4.5 hours is an eternity. What’s the worst case scenario for travel between the 2 airports? 1.5 hours? So if you’d accept a 3 hour layover at a single airport, 4.5 for both will be fine. You could still miss the connection if your first flight is tremendously late or your luggage doesn’t show up or the immigration line is 3 hours long but those are the same risks you’d run with a connection at a single airport. If you do miss the flight, the airline will get you home. But I’d put your odds of missing it very low.
I think it’s definitely one of those things that is up to people’s preference— not unreasonable to avoid it or to do it.

But it’s not the same as a 1.5 layover at a single airport because OP has to collect their luggage and recheck it and reclear security— while they wouldn’t have to do any of those with a normal layover. It’s possible that luggage might go missing and take an extra day to get home under either scenario but in a 2 airport scenario that might also mean you miss the second flight by the time it is sorted out.
Last edited by Iorek on Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:29 pm

ModifiedDuration wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:25 am
livesoft wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:28 am
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:21 am
Actually both airports are in Queens, a peninsula.
Indeed. And what island is Queens located on?
That would be Long Island.
Actually for us native NY’ers, it’s Lawn Guyland. :)
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HereToLearn
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:05 pm

If I am reading this correctly, you will not need to clear customs at LGA, but you will still need to allot some time to claim luggage.

The biggest variable here is the current and endless LGA construction. It has been a disaster recently. Were it not for the construction, four & a half hours should be more than enough time, assuming your domestic flight lands on time.

Hopefully the title of this article will not offend: https://gothamist.com/2019/08/09/laguar ... GbA_B3Naec

Uber drivers have all been relegated to a holding pen. Four lanes of traffic converge to one, creating complete gridlock in to, out of, and around the small airport. As the above-liked article states, passengers have been abandoning taxis and walking the last stretch of the journey into the airport.

Here is a list of the 45 Peak Travel days for this summer. No word yet on Peak Travel days for fall:https://www.panynj.gov/press-room/press ... ne_id=3145

Can you fly through Newark instead?

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:09 am

Iorek wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:24 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:58 pm
While a bit of a pain, if the savings are significant, go for it. Don’t let the worry warts scare you away. 4.5 hours is an eternity. What’s the worst case scenario for travel between the 2 airports? 1.5 hours? So if you’d accept a 3 hour layover at a single airport, 4.5 for both will be fine. You could still miss the connection if your first flight is tremendously late or your luggage doesn’t show up or the immigration line is 3 hours long but those are the same risks you’d run with a connection at a single airport. If you do miss the flight, the airline will get you home. But I’d put your odds of missing it very low.
I think it’s definitely one of those things that is up to people’s preference— not unreasonable to avoid it or to do it.

But it’s not the same as a 1.5 layover at a single airport because OP has to collect their luggage and recheck it and reclear security— while they wouldn’t have to do any of those with a normal layover. It’s possible that luggage might go missing and take an extra day to get home under either scenario but in a 2 airport scenario that might also mean you miss the second flight by the time it is sorted out.
At a single airport, they'd have to collect their luggage and recheck it too since they're going from international to domestic and they have to clear customs. They'd just be able to recheck at the connecting flights area while still airside. Depending on the airport and airlines flown, I've often found that you still have to go through security again going from international to domestic, so even that might not be "extra" with a layover transfer.

In any case, if it's all on a single ticket, 4.5 hours is plenty of time. Yes, it's extra work, and I wouldn't do it for $75 in savings. But for a few hundred bucks I would.

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by bstewie » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:13 am

I used to travel extensively for work, 4.5h is tight IMO for the transfer. If everything goes according to plan it will be a non-event, but you have no guarantee your first leg is on time. A number of other small hiccups could stack up that make this a stressful situation. How much is the reward for the risk of a really bad ending to a great vacation?

flyingaway
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by flyingaway » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:56 am

We just did this a week ago with their shuttle bus, very nice van. About 30 minutes in travel, and 20 minutes waiting.

stan1
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by stan1 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:21 am

I think OP might have the itinerary reversed. Delta has a flight from NCE to JFK that sounds like what is being described, so they would be clearing customs at JFK then onward to LGA (or arriving at LGA with transfer to JFK for an outbound international flight). There are no scheduled flights between LGA and Europe. It sounds like they are trying to do a two leg trip not a three leg trip which would otherwise be required between NCE and most US airports. Agree the airport shuttle van or would be a good option with a few people if its operating when needed (it has limited hours during the day and runs once per hour). Otherwise taxi/Uber. Rail transit would not be a good choice.

One other option: check the price on the La Compagnie business class seats between NCE and EWR (but they too have limited service).

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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:38 am

I've done the transfer several times when using miles to go to Europe from Chicago. I had no problems and took the shuttle. If you have a lot of bags, that does add to the hassle. If you have a few people an Uber may be no more expensive. I think the shuttle was $17 last time.

02nz
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by 02nz » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:58 am

For almost any flight you can use Flightstats to pull up the recent on-time performance data, e.g., for Delta flight 413 from Nice to JFK: https://www.flightstats.com/v2/flight-o ... 13/NCE/JFK

This particular flight has a poor on-time record. Again, if it's on one ticket you're protected, but if buying the domestic segment separately and especially without Global Entry, I wouldn't take that chance.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Experience with “change airport” itinerary(LGA to JFK)?

Post by Rob5TCP » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:44 am

This article on traffic / delays in & out of Laquardia should
give you an indication of potential problems
(with videos)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/s ... spartandhp

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