I have a great idea! Let’s build an airport in the middle of an overdeveloped area where it’s bounded by a 10-lane freeway on one side, and a river on the other! Then, let’s build four different terminals in four separate buildings and leave them entirely disconnected from each other, except by an unreliable city bus! Then, let’s completely overload it with gates so we have to pad the length of every flight to include the time it will inevitably wait to take off! Then, let’s have the nerve to call this airport “convenient,” because it’s slightly closer to the city center than the region’s other two airports!
36% of all flights at LaGuardia were delayed last year. So, there’s better than a one-in-three chance that any flight there will be delayed. I’ve been on the wrong side of those odds every single time. This is not an exaggeration: I have flown in and out of LaGuardia ten times since 2003, and I have never had a flight leave from LaGuardia or arrive at LaGuardia on time.
After the first time, I figured it was just a fluke.
After the second time, I chalked it up to delays elsewhere in the country.
After the third time, I called it bad luck.
After the fourth time, I started to see a trend developing.
After the fifth time, when I lost an entire day of my Florida vacation, I swore I would never fly out of LaGuardia again.
After the sixth time, when my flight from Florida was cancelled and I was forced to sit in the middle seat of an exit row in front of a screaming baby, I swore I would never fly out of LaGuardia again.
After the seventh time, when I had to run through Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in a dash worthy of a Catch Me If You Can-like soundtrack (sans Tom Hanks chasing after me) to make a connection, I swore I would never fly out of LaGuardia again.
After the eighth time, when I nearly missed my sister’s high school graduation because of a cancelled flight and had to run in sweltering June heat with a heavy suitcase after being rebooked on another airline, I swore I would never fly out of LaGuardia again.
After the ninth time, when I was stuck at a bar in Logan Airport in Boston for an entire Sunday afternoon while a Red Sox game was on NESN, I was somewhat grateful, but I swore I would never fly out of LaGuardia again.
After the tenth time – Friday night, after a week of 14-hour workdays and serious sleep deprivation, I looked forward to a relaxing ski weekend in Vermont beginning with a nice drink at a bar with ice sculptures followed by a good night’s sleep – only to get stuck in a nearly-empty terminal for three hours and not get to my hotel until 2:00 in the morning – I SWORE I WOULD NEVER FLY OUT OF LAGUARDIA AGAIN.
I mean it this time. Really, I do.