This article is a sequel to one I wrote a few years ago. The good news is that there are a couple of things that have improved over the years. The bad news is that most of the things that create “Airport Insanity” for me haven’t changed. Some problems have even gotten worse!
Here is “Robert’s Report Card” of the four major airports in the Tri-State area:
Kennedy Airport (JFK) = B
The thing that perplexes me most about this overcrowded airport is this: If there are eight terminals, why are only six being used? If terminals three and six were opened and operational, the Airport Insanity would be greatly diminished at JFK.
Many times, the wait at Terminals 1 and 4 are two hours for an international flight because the plane has landed and can’t get a gate secured. This “No Gate” problem is also pervasive at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The good news is that the JFK Travel Plaza has four good restaurants, a car wash and free wifi. The abundance of cell phone lots for FHV drivers around JFK is also good and very much appreciated.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) = D
It’s no secret that this airport is a major challenge to navigate. Why? Because it is “fully functional,” while undergoing major construction.
One major plus about LGA is the free parking at Terminal B for FHV vehicles. Although I applaud attempts to improve traffic flow for Uber, Lyft and Black Car drivers, the attempts are failing miserably. Traffic in and out of Terminal B is comparable to Times Square at morning and evening rush hours. On a recent trip to LGA, it took nearly an hour just to get out of Parking Lot B from the FHV lot.
The good news is that you can easily drive from Terminal D to Terminal C without having to circle the entire airport.
When the construction is over, traffic should flow better. In theory anyway. I guess we shall see.
Newark Airport (EWR) = C
This airport has the best layout for a centralized parking lot. It makes sense that there is one central parking lot for all three terminals. What I don’t understand is why you can’t drive directly from Terminal A to Terminal B, and then from Terminal B to Terminal C? You have to drive all the way around the airport if you have to get to Terminal B, after dropping at Terminal A. This makes no sense at all!
Another thing that infuriates and perplexes me is, why do they shut down the Terminal C parking lot at least once a week. Every single time these knuckleheads shut it down, I walk through the Terminal C parking lot garage and see between 10 and 20 empty parking spaces. This truly drives me nuts!
Philadelphia Airport (PHL) = A
This airport wins the prize for being simple to navigate and for making it convenient for FHVs. It is very easy to park in the short-term lot and the walk to the terminals is not too far.
The cell phone lot has an outdoor lighted billboard showing when and where flights are landing. This is really a great help!
The one negative: This airport does not have EZ Pass.
In conclusion: There may still be problems at these major airports, but some things are improving. I only hope they will continue to improve.