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According to this USA Today article, it appears that LaGuardia’s current 1,500 mile perimeter rule might be going away, which means the potential for long-haul flights from the airport to the West Coast and possibly even Europe.
As a frequent LaGuardia and American Airlines flyer myself, this would be amazing, since I personally hate JFK due to the inevitable traffic that can be crippling depending on the time of day. Yes, you can take the Long Island Railroad to the AirTrain, but it’s not convenient, and as someone who is chronically running late, I much prefer to fly out of LaGuardia and even Newark, which in my opinion is much quicker to get to from Downtown NYC.
To have transcontinental premium planes at LaGuardia would be huge game changer and I think American Airlines and Delta would have the most draw. However, I’m not sure they’d be so quick to take away those planes from JFK since that’s where all of the international feed is for both carriers and they’ve got the lounges and infrastructure for a truly premium experience. Plus they’ve built JFK (Delta especially with new Terminal 4) specifically for premium, so I don’t think they’d water down that experience to start flying out of LGA.
However, as more and more aircraft have lie-flat seats and if they could serve routes like Dublin, Ireland, they could run a couple wide bodies between the West Coast and LaGuardia, that could continue on to those pre-clearence cities outside the US, or premium US destinations like Miami or San Juan.
Here’s a list of the current airports outside at the US that have pre-clearence facilities:
- Calgary International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport
- Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
- Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
- Toronto Pearson International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Winnipeg International Airport
- Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport
- Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport, Bahamas
- Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas
- Bermuda – Bermuda International Airport
- Shannon Airport-Shannon, Ireland
- Dublin Airport, Dublin, Ireland
- Abu Dhabi International Airport
As far as LaGuardia airport itself, it’s in MAJOR need of a renovation and it is planned, but looks like it is already delayed, which is ironic since LaGuardia is one of the worst US airports for delays. Also, it’s important to note that LGA is also limited to planes as well due to runway length meaning that the largest plane they can see there is a 767, so don’t expect to see any 777’s or A330’s.
Overall, I think this could benefit American Airlines the most because they don’t have much regional output out of JFK so this could help beef up NYC, especially being able to link to some western cities like Las Vegas or Phoenix. I also think this could help Air Canada being able to use some slots for Vancouver, Edmonton, or Calgary.
Don’t expect LGA to become a big international hub anytime soon, but the lifting of the perimeter rule opens up more options for travelers, which is a good thing in my opinion! The good news is that if LaGuardia was to add some international flights, they already have an American Express Centurion lounge in place, which American Express Platinum members have access to.
What dream route would you like to see out of LGA if the perimeter rule is lifted? Ink Plus® Business Credit Card