by john on December 6, 2002

There is nothing worse than being stuck in an airport after being away for five days. Well, maybe there is – being stuck in an airport you weren’t even supposed to be in. In New Jersey. Definitely worse.

The weather in Manhattan has been cool and crisp and free of precipitation since I arrived on Saturday, of course luck would have it that the first snow storm of the year would be the one night I’m trying to leave. As I checked the status of my 7:00 PM flight throughout the day it became more and more obvious that I wasn’t going to be going anywhere tonight, at least out of La Guardia.

Due to WEATHER, SNOW and WEATHER, SN/LOW CIGS/VIS, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving La Guardia Airport, New York, NY (LGA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 8 hours and 20 minutes with some arriving flights receiving as much as 16 hours and 39 minutes delay. To see if you may be affected, select your departure airport and check “Delays by Destination”.

I checked. I was affected. My 7:00 flight was canceled but I was able to get on an earlier flight that was still set to go. I couldn’t get a car from our office in the Empire State Building so I tried to hail a cab. Apparently hailing a cab in the first snow storm of the year in midtown Manhattan is not a winning endeavor. However, after 20 minutes of standing halfway in the sloppy street and having most cabbies slow down only enough to not spray me too badly, I finally managed to get someone to pick me up. We managed to just get through the tolls when I learned that all flights home from La Guardia where canceled but there still was a late flight out of Newark that might work.

So we turned around, went back through the tolls (of course I have to pay for that) and get dropped off at Penn Station so I can take a train to Newark. $20 for a 6 block cab ride. I’ve been through Newark once and had told myself I’d never go back again. I had made good on that promise until yesterday. I don’t remember exactly what it was that caused me to dislike Newark so, but perhaps it has to do with the fact that it’s the only airport I’ve been in where you have to pay for the right to get to the terminal. You pay for the train from the city, then you pay for the train to the terminal. Nuts.

Five hours sitting at the gate, an hour to be de-iced, but other than that a normal flight home.

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