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Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

Buffalo, New York
posts: 785
reviews: 13
Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

My original booking gave me 3 hours to connect from JFK to BUF. Of course, Delta changed the flight only giving me 2 hrs to connect. As I am old and arthritic I know I can't do this and many other TA advisors noted that 3 hrs is better. Delta changed it. Now I have about 5 hrs connect time BUT I leave from LaGuardia. The representative says there is transportation, I just ask at the gate. She made it sound so easy. There are no other flights that night and putting me on another airline is not an option. My question is: Is this doable? Is it going to be simple?

A tiny rant--I only fly once a year. I book my flights carefully with my limitations in mind. Why can airlines cancel flights willy-nilly? There, I'm done....

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 48,047
reviews: 62
1. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

From the JFK web site these are options to get from JFK to La Guardia:

ice Contact Travel Time

ETS Air Shuttle (718) 221-5341 45–60 minutes

All County Express (800) 914-4223 45–60 minutes

NYC Airporter (718) 777-5111 45-60 minutes

Taxi (metered) Go to Uniformed Taxi Dispatcher 30 minutes

Private Limousine/Van Service Go to Welcome Center in Airport Baggage Claim Area 30 minute

The times are estimates without much traffic.

Since you have 5 hrs. it will probably be OK

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,408
reviews: 23
2. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

"Is this doable? Is it going to be simple?" - There are shuttles between JFK and La Guardia with a journey time of around 1 hour so with a 5 hour connection window it should be doable although this might depend on whether your flight is on time and also whether it's an international arrival which will require you to clear Immigration & Customs.

Bearing in mind you'll also have to collect luggage it's not what I would consider easy and airport changes like this are best avoided if possible.


San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 48,047
reviews: 62
3. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

True! It will depend on if you are coming from overseas or from a USA location??

Changing airports is always a pain but 5hrs. is better than the original 2.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 27,022
reviews: 74
4. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

Are they going to pay for your connection between airports?

Maybe another option would be to ditch the Delta flight and take the last Jet blue flight of the day to BUF from JFK. Whilst I realise that you will have to pay for the flight yourself it only gets in 50 minutes later than the Delta flight from LGA.

Then you would not have the hassle of changing airports. Just a thought. Good luck with your trip.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,292
reviews: 378
5. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

These are the only two possible options? If Delta made the change, you should have the option to accept or decline the change. You declined the option for 2 hours? 5 hours should be enough for your new option, but I'd rather have even just 2 hours to connect at BUF, since then my bags would be transferred for me (even if you're arriving on an international flight-- rather critical information-- you'd only have to get the bags from the baggage carousel to the transfer desk after Customs, and you could use a cart). Wouldn't that be more physically demanding than transferring at JFK? If you go to LGA, I'm pretty certain you'd have to get your bags to LGA yourself, and check-in with Delta there. And if you miss that connecting flight, you'd be S.O.L. I once took the bus from LGA to JFK to make an international connection, and had to take my bags myself. I had lots of time and was meeting a friend who lived in NYC.

Have you considered keeping the JFK connection, but requesting assistance to get from gate to date? Even if you have to pay for this, I think it would be worthwhile. Make sure a wheelchair is requested (and confirm that when you are landing, so they can notify gate personnel). Doesn't mean you absolutely need one, but it'd be quicker than walking. They may even have a golf cart ready for you. At least you could ask.

Airlines often change schedules, hence the advice for people here to regularly check their schedules, but they don't just do it "willy-nilly." I've had it happen twice in many, many years of flying. You say that your flight was canceled? How far in advance?

Edited: 12:24 pm, September 14, 2013
Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,292
reviews: 378
6. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

p.s. If you go to LGA, I'd pay for skycaps (porters) to help you with your bags, and take a taxi, not a bus. Might not be cheaper than, as suggested above, taking JetBlue from JFK. You'd have to check in with JetBlue at JFK, but then you could go to your gate and relax. Confirm with Delta what happens if you miss your connecting flight (whether at JFK or LGA). Would they put you up overnight or route you to BUF perhaps with a stop elsewhere? They are responsible for getting you to BUF if you connect directly at JFK (though if the delay is due to factors not their responsibility-- such as Immigration-- they may not pay for a hotel), but if you connect at LGA, I'm not sure.

Edited: 12:30 pm, September 14, 2013
Buffalo, New York
posts: 785
reviews: 13
7. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

I should have said that it is an international arrival. I'll be coming from Venice.

I talked to my daughter and she has used both ETS and NYC shuttles. She got on the JFK website and told me that there are ground transportation desks in every terminal so I should be able to do this.

When I calm down I am going to call Delta. Not that it will do any good. I think this has all been handled dismissively by the airline with today's, "Oh, there's shuttles" to not even telling me verbally that I had to change airports, and the 2 hour connect time is legal.

Thanks all. For the 500th time, I could not survive without you people. I mean it.

posts: 4,344
reviews: 40
8. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

I'm sorry; you must have checked your new flight details. You didn't ask Delta for flight info before you accepted the new schedule? Transportation--yeah, it is easy. These are 2 very big airports and they have lots of agents to ask for assistance. All you have to do is look it up. I hope you have a good transfer. We use a car service, Kew (718-846-6666) if you want to have a bit of pampering vs bus or taxi. Enjoy!

PS--I bet you'd survive without any of us--but there are oodles of good sources here!

Edited: 6:16 pm, September 14, 2013
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 27,690
reviews: 18
9. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

As someone who lives between JFK and LGA I would not worry about a 5 hour connection. I would ignore the shuttles and take either a yellow cab ( from the line) or a car service. Kew is fine. ( hey Kyshel, how did you find a local car service that doesn't advertise, they are one that I use a lot)

However, the 2 hour connection should work, Delta has a shuttle that transfers you from terminal to terminal ( if needed) without your leaving the security zone. I'd try for the 2 hour and then if something goes wrong, you can always run to LGA.

10. Re: Airport change at JFK. Is it as easy as they say?

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