Best airline for flying out of NYC

anonone's picture
Rank: Monkey | 60

I'll be starting my FT consulting gig here in a couple of weeks, and obviously want to soak up the periphery benefits of frequent travel. For traveling out of NYC, who do you guys recommend I travel with? American, Delta, United, US Air?

I've heard American has the best benefits (nicest lounges, best rewards programs, easiest customer service), but I know US Air has their major hub based out of LGA.

Thanks for the insight guys

Comments (22)

Aug 14, 2013

I thought Delta's the biggest at LGA... Why don't you just ask people at your firm? Your firm might also have a preferred airline, rental car company, hotel, etc.

Aug 14, 2013

Delta is the largest at JFK.

Aug 14, 2013

American is pretty good for LGA

Aug 14, 2013

JFK is a hub for American and Delta, Newark is a hub for United, LGA is the most convenient for in/out of Manhattan.

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Aug 14, 2013
7xEBITDA:

Delta is the largest at JFK.

I don't know about JFK, but they're definitely the largest at LGA (45% by # of flights). They made it a hub in 2011 and exchanged some slots with US Airways. UAL is still the biggest in the NYC region (JFK-LGA-NWR put together). The majority of NYC staff at my firm flies from LGA on Delta.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-11/delta-wins-approval-to-build-laguardia-hub-as-u-s-backs-flight-slot-trade.html

Aug 14, 2013

*sorry double post

Aug 14, 2013

Where are you flying to? If JetBlue goes to your destination I would take that. Or Virgin.

Aug 14, 2013

One thing worth mentioning is that while LGA is more convenient to Manhattan, especially mid-town, it can be a complete nightmare getting in and out of there. It is not uncommon to sit on the tarmac for extended periods of time waiting for ATC-related delays. Also, there are much more limited food options and spotty cell phone service.

Aug 14, 2013

Flying coach, I've had good experiences with Delta and Jet Blue. Jet Blue is really nice, but JFK is kinda their main hub and it's a hike from Manhattan/Jersey City.

A lot of the Delta flights out of LGA are out of the Marine Terminal which Delta redid 3-4 years ago with a really nice bar and a pretty nice general waiting area. It's not the Sky Club but it's waay better than your typical waiting area at the gate.

Aug 14, 2013

Delta. They really beefed up the number of direct flights to boonies out of both
LGA/JFK. Upgrade policy better than AA. Going to EWR for UA makes no sense unless you live in NJ.

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Aug 14, 2013

Another vote for Delta...& their new terminal at JFK is insane.

Aug 14, 2013

Forgot to mention JetBlue hub out of JFK. Terminal is good and flights have good legroom and Direct TV for entertainment. If it weren't for my UA mileage, I wouldn't have the need to trek from the city to EWR, although this airport is good when it comes to less crowds.

Aug 14, 2013

Looks like Delta is the winner, thanks guys

Aug 14, 2013

JetBlue, SouthWest, Frontier, etc. are for leisure travelers. Shouldn't be taken seriously for business travel.

Aug 15, 2013

LGA is one of the worst airports for delays in the summer. You are almost guaranteed 1hr delays if there is weather anywhere in the mid-atlantic

Aug 16, 2013

Fly out of JFK if you can. LGA is the biggest dump of an airport I've seen.

Aug 21, 2013

It depends on what your goal is. Comfort / convenience? Most rewards?

From your first post, you want to "soak up the periphery benefits of frequent travel" so I assume you're interested in maximizing your rewards. Consider Southwest, through either Newark or LGA. They have very generous status programs where you can make the first status after a couple of business travel purchases. When you accrue 110,000 points, you get the Companion Pass which means free tickets for your spouse/gf/bf for close to two years.

I used to fly United for about 6 months, and eventually got an international flight out of the miles I accrued during that time, but since I switched to Southwest, I obtained the Companion Pass and enough points for 6+ domestic flights, with my wife tagging along for free as a companion. Or I could have redeemed those points for about $1500 in gift cards.

Aug 21, 2013

My view as someone who was in the same position as you last year and have since flown 75k+ miles in a year:

- Do not consider Jet Blue or Southwest as some have mentioned. They are great airlines however they do not have the network coverage you need. It pays off to stick with one airline for all your flights because frequent flyer programs offer the best benefits to members of the higher elite tiers (usually requiring 50k+ miles flying a year). This means you want to find an airline that has direct flights to the greatest number of cities from NYC since you never know where you are going to be flying for your next project. In this regard, Delta and United are the best options.

- In terms of Delta vs United, I went with United primary because they offer better award availability and have a much better alliance network. Delta is notorious for having very few tickets at the lower award redemption cost level. Some of my colleagues on Delta frequently complain that they have to spend 40k points for a roundtrip ticket while I never had an issue getting a ticket at the 25k points level with United. Also, if you plan to fly internationally once a while then alliance coverage will be an important factor. Alliances allow you to earn and redeem points with foreign airlines and keep many of the benefits. This is significant because for international trips, I would always go with a foreign airline as most of them provide much better services. Delta is part of the SkyTeam which is really going downhill. United is part of the Star Alliance which is the largest and has the strongest bond. On the other hand, Delta has a better on-time rate.

- Whether you go with United or Delta, if you are an US citizen, apply for Global Entry (google it) like tonight! Once you have Global Entry, you can use the Pre-Check security lane - no Nude-O-Scope, no taking of shoe or belt, laptop stays in your bag, and most importantly I can usually get through security in approx. a minute and this includes waiting in the line! Yes Monday morning when airports are the busiest. There is a $100 application fee but it's well worth it for the extra 30 minutes sleep I get in the morning and a hassle free security check.

- I think a few people here mentioned that Southwest has a great frequent flyer program. Yes it allows you to earn points for free fights faster than with United/Delta frequent flyer programs. However, points isn't going to be the most important thing for you. You will be earning enough points for couple of round trips a year. Benefits is. You will be spending a lot of time flying for business so you want the ability to upgrade to better seats (for free) and flexibility in changing flights. For example, there were quite a few times where I could leave the client site early. As a higher status member with United, they would allow me to get a confirmed seat on an earlier flight at no additional charge. Southwest only allows free stand-by which is a lot less valuable as you are playing with luck.

Feb 18, 2016

Delta, Emirates and Air India Airlines are cheapest flights to New York. I love Emirates Airlines because it provides great service.

Thanks
eiliyah

Feb 27, 2016

LGA's A terminal, for Delta, does shuttle flights to Chicago, DC, and... Atlanta, I believe. There is never a security line, as there are only six gates. When I mean no security line, I mean 3 people going through security at any one point in time. They also have a very nice bar in the one gate waiting area, a nice diner/deli before security... It's incredible. I would take it over the sky club any time

Feb 27, 2016
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