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JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 9:51 pm

For the second time this year I flew through JFK. Once again we had more than 02 hours GMC delay (= delay while taxying due to ramp/rwy congestion).
We left the gate a 19:15 and our DL767 was authorized for take-off at 21:10!, with the result that everyone of course missed their connex in BRU. This airport is really to avoid, next week I will fly out of EWR. What do you think of this airport?. OK there's a lot of outbound traffic to Europe in the evening, but is it every day like this?
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Matt D
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 9:56 pm

I also think that JFK is terrible, but not for the reasons you mention as I've never transited through there.

My issue with JFK is the lack of suitable photography spots and the prevailing paranoid Gestapo like "security" there that gives that airport all the warmth, character, and friendliness of Auschwitz.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:01 pm

I don't think that's typical. I've never had problems in my 20-plus times out of JFK. Sure, the 1700 rush to Europe can mean a delay, but I've never had 2 hours.

On the plus side, it's a joy to fly out during the day, when there are no delays.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:15 pm

Yes evening rush hour at all NYC area airports is dreadful, especially for departures, but that's life. Try to take a earlier flight if you can.

I agree with Boeing 757/767, JFK is the best NYC metro area airport. If you think JFK is bad, just try going to LGA and EWR. EWR is another mess, especially with Continental tying up alot of the runways, due it's hub presence.

I also agree with Matt D, JFK sucks for spotting. They design terminals with no viewing access and security is very tight - which is a necessary evil at JFK.

JFK is not a great airport, but it has made significant progress in the past couple of years.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:19 pm

Hi !

I have made very good experience with JFK. In 1999 me and a friend arrive from LAX about 45 Min. late and we had to catch our connecting Flight to BRU. No problem, they picked us up at our arrival gate and drive us to the depature gate, this was a very good service. Also our luggage was on the flight to BRU. They manage it in about 20 Min.

Greetings from Germany

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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 10:25 pm

Forget the delays. JFK is so diverse with air traffic. You can walk 100 years and see 20 foreign heavies. It is my favorite airport with IAH in a close second.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Wed Sep 05, 2001 11:53 pm

Can't wait 'til they're done with all the construction... and does anyone know where the airtrain will wind up in New York? I've heard it won't run all the way into Manhattan--and the subway connection to JFK at present is awful.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:37 am

The airtrain is coming online early 2002. The reason why JFK is gertting better is because NYC Mayor Rudy Guliani threated the Port Authority that he will not renew it's lease because they allowed JFK and LGA to deteroirate. While EWR was getting all the major renovation work. Finally those bastards moved their tails. If it wasn't for the mayor you'd still would be flying out of that decreped 1960s international terminal. It would've been more worse than DTW. The commute their from Manhatten on Harlem River Drive, Grand Centeral Parkway and the Van Wick is bad enough but I don't feel like waling through a terminal transplanted out of a thrid world conutry. Look for JFK to be a world class airport in 2008 when all the construction is completely done.

RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:50 am

Your mistaken.

Airtrain's projected completion is early 2003. I know, because I worked for the PA at JFK this summer.

Drive on the Van Wyck. When all lanes are open, (on Saturdays and Sundays and after 5pm weekdays), the Van Wyck flows very smoothly. Even when the far left lane is closed, congestion only adds about 7 minutes to the drive.

As for delays, JFK is metro. New York's most on-time airport. Most delays during the 6-8pm rush are less than an hour and often

Terminal 4 is brand-new and has been well-received by its passengers, managers, and owners.

The only problems are Terminal 2 and 3 and Terminal 7 (untill its roadway expansion is completed in about 5 months).

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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:54 am

T 4 is great. It's got a great view of the TWA Terminal from the side windows and has a great view of the airfield. I just wish there were more resteraunts and shops.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 1:53 am

As a native to the New York metro area, I'd have to agree that JFK tends to be more of a mess than EWR. If I'm flying domestically, I tend to choose flights out of EWR rather than JFK simply because I'd have to leave over an hour extra to get to JFK than I would to get to EWR. EWR is actually the busiest airport of the 3 in the NYC area and I usually have no problems with flight delays out of EWR. Granted, if I'm flying domestically, I tend to take early flights when the congestion at the airport is at a minimum. All the airports are trying to improve...maybe someday JFK will actually be easy to get to and fully refurbished. Until then, I guess all we need is patience.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:51 am

VirginA340 - T4 is really nice inside, but where exactly is there a great view of the airstrip - in terminals where a ticket is needed or in the air lounges upstairs?

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Thu Sep 06, 2001 3:06 am

A couple of quick points, Mayor Giulianni has nothing to do with what the Port Authority does. The Port Authority is a Bi- State agency with both Governors of NY and NJ having control, each has to approve PA projects.

Mayor Giulianni made alot of comments about the Port Authority, but he's just being annoying. He commented that he wanted LGA and JFK to be owned by the City and handed over to a private operator like BAA, the only problem is that the Port Authority's lease with the City for JFK and LGA does not expire untill 2015. The Mayor leaves offices this November, so he won't be around when that time comes. Second Governor Pataki is the one who was instrumental in the redevelopment of JFK, as former Governor Whitman was for the redevelopment of EWR and the Port of Newark/Elizabeth.

Governor Pataki does not want JFK or LGA to be controlled by the City because if that happens the PA would lose a significant source of revenue, revenue that NY State draws on to help fund other non airport and non Port Authority projects like the new Farley Penn Station or East side access to Grand Central for LIRR customers. These are multi year multi Billion dollar projects for which NY State relies heavily on the Port Authority to help fund. If the PA were too lose the revenue from LGA and JFK the State would lose the significant amount of aide they receive from the PA for their own pet projects.

The Mayor wanted that money JFK and LGA brought in for the City, but that's not going to happen because the money JFK and LGA bring are too important to the State. Also local opposition from residents near the airports has killed the Mayor's dream of taking over JFK and LGA because of the residents opposition to turining the airports over to a private operator. Right now nothing happens at the airports without the Governor's approval, if a private operator came in they could do what they wanted in and around the airport without residents being able to stop them.

With Port Authority control there are people who have to answer to local residents, no politician running for office in the City or State would want to be accused of being anti-enviroment or anti- family by allowing a private operator build new runways or new jet fuel farms next to peoples homes schools etc.. That's the main reason there is no direct link from JFK to Manhattan, there's an old LIRR right of way that runs very close to JFK that could have easily been restored to allow a direct one seat ride from NY to JFK. However locals killed that plan through the City council ,the Airtrain in development now is a compromise for local NIMBYS who fought against a rail line being run through their yards. The new Airtrain is a light rail to Jamaica station in Queens which is elevated over the Van Wyck expressway, it does not encroach on residential neighborhoods. From Jamiaca travelers will have to change to a LIRR train for the trip to Manhattan.

The Mayor had alot of dreams, he also wanted the city to take back control of the Subways and busses. However the State MTA is not going to give up control, the State took over the Subways and buses in NYC during the City's fiscal crisis. What your really dealing with when you hear the Mayor shoot his mouth off about wanting this or that from the Port Authority is his frustration with the Governor of NY. The Mayor and Governor are both Republicans, but they do not get along due to the fact that when Pataki was running against incumbent Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo Mayor Giulianni endorsed and campigned for Cuomo (a Democrat) not Pataki ( a fellow Republican). The Mayor was not loyal to his party and has paid the price because Pataki beat Cuomo in a landslide

The City is way different compared to 10 years ago, and much of that has to do with Mayor Giulianni. But Governor Pataki is a much better politician, and a more likable individual. Much of NYC's success lies with the Governor too, and the Governor is much more informed and active in transportation in NY State. He's redeveloped the Up State airports and brought in low fare carriers like Jet Blue and WN to lower fares, he's also expanding the MTA.

The Port Authority has done many things to help NY City and State , the Port Authority loaned the State MTA the money to build the Verrazano Bridge and at the insistance of former NY Governor (Rockefeller?..) the Port Authority built and operated the World Trade Center. The PA just announced last month that they would lease the World Trade center for 99 years to a private developer for $3 billion cash up front, I can't imagine what the NY skyline would look like if the PA had not built the World Trade Center.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 7:29 am

My hats off to George Pataki. The last time I heard the Mayor bash PA was over the poor snow removal during the last snow storm. He claimed that he had a letter from Delta criticicing the snow removal and the PA's responce to it. He said "It's like the City Helicpter went from Manhatten to JFK; But instead we flew over this frozen tundra that was JFK" Or something like that. But I do praise his efforts that he along with the governor spent over a week with TWA 800 families helping them after they were victim of the airline's abominable treatment towards them in July of 96.

To someone commenting over the view of th airstrip. I was a ticketed pax with Swissair a few months back. I guess it's not open after all to just everyone. Never thought of that. Sorry.

But the view of the TWA terminal can be see by anyone through the windows on the same floor as the shopping leve. As you enter the airport lower level go upstairs and go to your left towards the windows. You'll have a great veiw of the TWA Terminal. I took as many panoramic pics as I could. In it were 3 TWA 757s and a 767-300. Quite sad to see it so empty but after yesterdays's rain fall it looked so clean and bright due to the rainbow in the background. It's too bad TWA's existance won't be that bright ;-(
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RE: JFK Was Great Last Month!

Thu Sep 06, 2001 7:58 am

i flew united from LAX to JFK and back last month and I had to say it was great at their terminal! No lines, very short taxiing time, etc. I was impressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 8:03 am

>>We left the gate a 19:15 <<<

thats why. thats right during the daily peak. JFK is only busy once a day, and its around then.

EWR can be just as bad.

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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 9:53 am

STT757; If the WTC wasn't there then NYC would be just one big boring skyline. Your panoramic pic of NYC would be boring as it would include The Statue of Liberty the Empire State Building looking small and way too far away and only include about 10% of Ellis Island. (If your that lucky) The WTC is great. Atleast I don't have to wait for two hours just to go to the observation deck like I do with the Empire State Building plus I can actually see NY Harbor and the planes taking off from EWR and JFK on a great day.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 10:00 am

That time where Giulianni was flying around in his helicopter taking pictures of JFK's snow covered runways was hilarious, the PA had a press conference to debuke the Mayor. One of the things they pointed out was that the city needed the Port Authority to de-ice the helicopters (including the Mayors) during that storm, the Mayor didn't mention the fact that the City asked the Port Authority to bring di-icing equipment (which could have gone to JFK or LGA to help) to Floyd Bennet field and elsewhere like the Manahattan heliports so the City's helicopter fleet (including the one the Mayor was flying around in when he was taking pictures of JFK's runways)could fly.

Delta officials were mad as heck at the Mayor for making public their "private letter" about their dis-pleasure with the Port Authority's handling of snow removal, of course they should be.
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 10:01 am


All New York airports are busy and La Guardia is the worst. I think that New York area need antoher airport. Maybe in Long Island?

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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 10:16 am

If you flew yesterday (4 Sep), I know a Severe Weather Avoidance Plan was in effect for EWR and LGA until at least the early afternoon. That may have been more of a factor than just general taxi delays.

You can thank mother nature and the boys in Herndon for those kinds of delays...


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RE: JFK Is Terrible To Matt D

Thu Sep 06, 2001 10:54 am

I agree with you completely on the security guards at JFK. Just yesterday, I went out there to take some pics (I did get a full roll) but I was hassled many times about taking pictures. One of the best places is the top level of the 4 level parking garage at Terminal 3, but you have to watch out for those people who ride in the cars. Another great place is to go through security in Delta terminal, and then ride the moving walkway where many planes can be seen.
Also, while at Delta, the more Eastern terminal, you can acutally stand down on the ground, and there is an entrance to the taxiway, with only a crossing gate where you can get great pics of many airliners ( because you get a clear view of 13R (I believe) and the Delta/ BWIA/ Jamaica Airlines/ NWA etc...

BTW - When my friend and I went out, we took the other terminal shuttle bus, and it was empty, and we got some great pics of AA's 767 etc.. as well as Polar Air Cargo while on the bus.

IF you're looking for some good pics, go to LGA, stand in front or near RWY 4, and you can get RWY22 landings coming at you, and usually they continue all the way down the runway, so there's some more good pics, or go to Ikea in NJ to the food court where some great pics can be obtained.

Do you have anymore places around these airports that should be known?
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RE: JFK Is Terrible

Thu Sep 06, 2001 11:26 am

OK folks.....JFK is the least congested of the three NYC area airports. LGA (and SEA) lead the nation in delays,
as of the last count. LaGuardia's problem is that many
East-West flights connecting through midwest hubs
begin their day at LGA and get stuck on the tarmac,
in line waiting for takeoff. LGA is easily the worst of
the three airports. However, it is damn convenient,
being only 20 minutes and $17-$20 from midtown.

Newark is also a delay prone airport, not because of
Continental's presence there as some idiot mentioned
in a previous post, but due to the fact that the
entire New York air traffic corridor is one of the busiest, if not THE busiest in the world. Newark has complicated
traffic patterns owing to many residential areas that
surround it and antiquated equipment navigating flights into and out of it.

Newark's delays are well known. There is little room
to grow there, but almost all airlines flying out of it
pad their schedules to compensate for longer than
normal taxi times and billions are being pumped into
Newark to make it a better facility. Of the three, it
is the easiest to use.

JFK is busy from 5:00 to 10:30-11:00pm because of
the flights to Europe. It is quieter most other times
of the day, has the most room to expand, and is
being rebuilt with new and modern terminals that at
some point, will be the envy of some of America's
finest airports.

I agree that all three NY area major airports are
inadequate when it comes to facilities but this is
New York. Don't expect an easy ride.


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