I’ll actually be *connecting* in Tampa!

This will be a first for me. Given that I live in Tampa, I’ve never actually made a connection here. It’s not like there are even any practical connections on United, given that they only fly to Washington, Chicago, and Denver from Tampa.

So in a couple of weekends I have a mileage run booked out of Tampa. It’s just a quick trip to Seattle via Chicago and San Francisco. I was quite looking forward to it as I wasn’t on the usual 9AM flight out of Tampa, but instead on a noon flight which would allow me to sleep in. Now I have something in New York the day before, so I’ll need to fly up there and back down the following morning.

Now most would probably just cancel their other trip, but that’s no fun to me. Instead I just booked a flight from New York JFK to Washington to Tampa that morning, leaving me about 50 minutes before my flight to Chicago to start my mileage run. It’s always the same crew, so I guess I’ll be joining them for a Washington to Chicago via Tampa trip.

The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the 6AM flight out of JFK. Yuck!

While I’m at it, I can’t decide how to fly on the outbound. I could either do JetBlue to JFK or Delta (operated by Northwest) to LGA. While I’d get a first class upgrade, meal, lounge access, and miles on Delta, I hate flying into LGA (because of the added cost of getting into the city) and the Northwest planes really suck, with no entertainment of any sort. With JetBlue I don’t get miles, lounge access, or a meal, but at least I’ll be entertained and go to JFK, which is more convenient for me.

Comments

  1. M60 bus from LGA to 125th St and the 4, 5, or 6 subway. Unless you’re in a super hurry or going to somewhere really near JFK or Penn Station, it’s cheap and functional.

  2. I must agree with Gary on the convenience factor. Isn’t the big draw for LGA its closer proximity to the city? Regardless, I would (almost) never book a flight to LGA, and I would certainly (almost) never book a flight that couldn’t be upgraded. I’d go with Delta to JFK without thinking twice.

  3. You can also take a cheap $5-10 cab ride or a bus ride (pain) to the subway…”Jackson Heights / Roosevelt Avenue / Broadway” stop.

    Although I do agree that JFK is much much easier!

    What about CO to EWR? Trains are easy there too.

  4. Both JFK and LGA are equally (in)convenient for me. You can hit up both with equal amounts of inconvenience on public transportation.

  5. Are we going to see you on the Today Show? 🙂

    I think LGA is much easier than JFK. I’ve never had to wait more than 10 minutes for an M60.

  6. Or take the Q33 from LGA to the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave stop, then the E train…

    I find that JFK “feels” easier, even if by elapsed time, the AirTrain and first few stops of the E train take about as long as the Q33. I’ve encountered similar travel times from LGA and JFK to Manhattan, but LGA is cheaper than the JFK options.
    Q33 + E train=2.25 (transer for free)
    AirTrain + E train=5 + 2.25 = 7.75

    Given the choice, I still pick JFK, but maybe that’s also clouded by the fact that I’m generally going SFO-NYC 😉

  7. Don’t diss the bus. I find the LGA bus to subway faster than airtrain to subway. The advice above is good, though for my destinations, I’ll take the first M60/Q33 I see. On the m60, I’ll transfer to the n/w at Astoria Blvd (right before the triborough bridge).
    On the Q33, I transfer at Jackson heights/Roosevelt Ave and take the e,f, or v.
    Either way is a reliable 60-75 minutes to midtown.

  8. The train from JFK is more reliable than the bus from LGA. And it gets you into mid-town rather than uptown with another 20+ minute subway ride to get to where you want to be (unless Harlem is your destination, assuming the M60 route).

    And, especially on the weekends, JFK is better because you can grab a CityTicket on the LIRR and be in mid-town in ~23 minutes from leaving Jamaica Station on the train.

  9. LGA is definitely my preferred airport.

    Especially if you’re headed to the Eastside, then imo, the M60 to the subway takes less time and is way cheaper than the AirTrain/LIRR combo..

    I’ve taken the Q33 to the subway but have had bad luck on connections that made the ride seem unbelievably long.

    Another option is the NY Airport Express Bus, for @ $12 or so O/W you can hop a relatively quick bus to either Grand Central, Bryant Park, Port Authority and some other locations.

  10. @Josh

    I lost a chunk of my foot in DEN a few years back, and every single time I see DEN as a connecting city on United.bomb I avoid it, as it brings back traumatic memories of the RCC East agents telling me to limp to the RCC West in DEN to receive medical attention.

  11. LUCKY,

    THANKS FOR THE REPLY!

    Most of my flight have to connect in DEN,maybe United.com think I’m so obsessed of having to fly in to DEN all the time.
    I think you and I in this blog here fly the most since January 1, so far I have just over 20k EQM and another MR again this Thursday and guess what… it’s DEN again…

    JOSH

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