To the (LaGuardia) airport, quick!
November 13, 2008 7:05 PM   Subscribe

What's the quickest way to get to LGA from the New York convention center for a 6:30pm flight on a weekday?

I'm flying into and out of LGA on Wednesday, and need to know the best way to get from there to the convention center and back again. I get in around ten, so I'm not so worried about that way, but going back seems to set me smack dab in the middle of rush hour.

I'm willing to try any reasonable transportation method, and my expenses will be paid (within reason, I'm sure), so the means is pretty open. I'm not afraid of the subway. I'm looking for quick here, because I don't really want to have to leave at 3 to get there in time. I'm also not sure of the security situation at LGA, and what times are bad or good.

I won't have any luggage apart from something like a briefcase, and can check in ahead of time (get tickets for both ways in the morning).

So, how do I get there, and what time will I have to leave? (General directions for the other way also appreciated)
posted by that girl to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
the fastest way to get there at that time from javits is by helicopter, but that's pretty. 3-4 is a bad time to catch a cab because many are going back to their garages to end/start shifts, and car services will pick you up on request and cost about the same, so i would just do that. ask the convention center for recommendations, they'll have companies they do regular business with or recommend that will probably have cars nearby.
posted by lia at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2008

err, i meant that's pretty $$$. about $150, i think, but it gets you there in less than ten minutes. cabs and car services will be about $50 or so plus tip and take about 40 minutes or so.
posted by lia at 7:33 PM on November 13, 2008

I'd say taxi. The WSJ tested this with JFK airport and the taxi won.
posted by mattbucher at 7:38 PM on November 13, 2008

Car a car and have him pick you up at 4:30. I would cross town at 34th street and take the FDR north to the Triborough (RFK) Bridge to LGA. ANy car service will do. 212-777-7777. Flying in and out fo Newark to the West Side is easier. If I was concerned about cross town traffic, You could take the subway (E?) up and across to the East Side to the Citibank building and have the car pick you up there.

Ask the cabbie who drives you from the airport to the convention center if he would meet you at a specific time and place and take you back. He may want the guaranteed ride and do it for a flat fee.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:40 PM on November 13, 2008

Actually, US Helicopter is having a $99 sale this month, which makes it not much more expensive than a car — but they don't service LaGuardia, only JFK and Newark.
posted by nicwolff at 7:46 PM on November 13, 2008

You do mean the Javits Center, right? This might be moot but if there are a number of large convention-y hotels in midtown, and I've been to many conferences that weren't at Javits. Worth double-checking if you have any doubts.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:16 PM on November 13, 2008

Taxi is almost certainly the best method. I did this from approximately ten blocks north of the Javits Center on Monday in the wee hours and it took me less than half an hour. In the afternoon, the time will be longer, but there are three or four ways your driver can get there, so you ought to be OK leaving an hour or so. If you're really worried, leave more time, but don't even bother with a car service for LGA--they are often more hassle than they are worth.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:13 PM on November 13, 2008

I'd also go with taxi. Allow 45 mins, 9 times out of 10 it takes me less than a half hour.
posted by clark at 3:37 AM on November 14, 2008

Best answer: My own opinion only: DON'T dial 777-7777 -- they are the most annoyingly unreliable car service (They've changed their name from the old Tel Aviv to something else,
Dial7" I think, but they still *suck* and are just as likely to show up half an hour late as not at all. And be rude about it.)

Carmel -- 212-666-6666. Give yourself at least an hour to make the trip. It's a rush hour, so they probably won't take a coupon, but maybe -- check the Carmel Limo website to print out a coupon worth 3-5 bucks off.

A ride from Javits to LGA is likely to cost you around $40-45 (depending on whether there's a toll, ie, which bridge you use).

I fly once every two weeks, at least, and rely on Carmel like they worked for me. They *never* let me down.

A taxi will be hard to get and cost even more, and public trans to LGA is a joke unless you have 2 hours for the bus. The cost of a car service is, in NYC, almost always worth it if you value your time at more than a buck an hour. Certainly for LGA (JFK and EWR at least have decent public trans options). Just remember -- book your car service ride several days in advance if possible.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:53 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

That said, if helicopter trips to JFK are really 99 bucks right now, I know how I'm going to Kennedy next week!
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:55 AM on November 14, 2008

One decent way is to take the N/W trains out to Astoria Boulevard, then flag down a gypsy or yellow cab from there to the airport -- that way you beat the worst rush hour traffic out of Manhattan, then just cruise through relatively-less-hellish Queens in the cab.

I second that you shouldn't take that bus. I used to take it to work, and it's not uncommon to have to wait 30 mins+ at rush hour for one to even show up, due to traffic in Harlem. On the other hand, the bus is so unreliable that cabs are constantly frequenting that bus stop. As a bonus, you can almost always find some desperate looking person with luggage to split it with. (I've used this technique a few times to get to LaGuardia for about $8.)

Also, check your flight status before you go! Most flights leave LaGuardia late, and you'll probably have more time than you bargained for. (I've never flown out of LaGuardia without being delayed less than 1 hr by air traffic problems.)
posted by zvs at 5:16 AM on November 14, 2008

I would take a yellow cab from the Javits Center to Penn Station (this is the diciest part, time-wise, if you get stuck in rush-hour traffic), get on the LIRR to Woodside Station in Queens (about ten minutes or so), and then get a car service from there to La Guardia. If you know what time your LIRR train is scheduled to arrive at Woodside, you could call the car service in Queens ahead of time and have them have a car waiting for you at the LIRR train station. Check the MTA website for departure times on the LIRR going from Penn Station to Woodside.
posted by lassie at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2008

Seconding fourcheesemac; I have had nothing but problems with Dial7, and Carmel has been light-years better as a replacement (for rides between EWR and North Jersey, mostly).
posted by schustafa at 6:30 AM on November 14, 2008

ZVS has it. N or W to Astoria Boulevard, then take a cab from there. There are always gypsy cabs--really just cars, they don't have the distinctive yellow and medallion number on top--waiting there for exactly this reason. Just head down to the street from the subway--it's actually elevated, not underground, at that stop--then just make like you're looking for a taxi, and you'll find one.

I live in midtown and this is the way I always go to LGA. It's way better than a taxi or car service, and it's slightly better than the Penn Station method, because the subways run more frequently than the trains.
posted by lockedroomguy at 10:34 AM on November 14, 2008

For what it's worth, I caught a 6PM flight out of LGA last night, in the rain, and it left exactly on time despite arrival delays on the other end. Carmel service from downtown to LGA took exactly an hour at 4PM.

But don't count on the plane being late. The one time you do is the one time it will leave on time.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:29 PM on November 14, 2008

Seconding Carmel. They have never let me down. Sometimes cheaper even than a cab.
And as a Westsider, I will warn you, the bulk of the trip at rush hour will be getting over to the East Side. (Just warning you so you don't panic thinking you've only gone 10 blocks and surely you will never make it.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:18 PM on November 14, 2008

fourcheesemac, the problem with the chopper to JFK is that it lands at Delta's terminal 3, so if you're not flying Delta you have to leave the terminal, take the AirTrain to your terminal, and then go through security there.
posted by nicwolff at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2008

Response by poster: I ended up taking a cab there and called Carmel for a ride back, both worked out and were approximately the same cost, and the ride back may have even been shorter than the ride in.
posted by that girl at 5:44 AM on November 21, 2008

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