NYC’s LaGuardia Airport has a new shortest route — and it’s just 101 miles

Jun 12, 2022

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During the pandemic, Spirit Airlines made headlines for flying the longest route from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The carrier began operating Saturday-only service between LGA and Los Angeles (LAX), a 2,469-mile transcon hop that took advantage of an exception to the airport’s 1,500-mile perimeter rule.

While LGA already gained a new longest route during the pandemic, the airport is about to get a new shortest flight, too.

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Beginning Sept. 6, Delta will start flying daily service to Hartford, Connecticut (BDL), as confirmed to TPG by a carrier spokesperson. At just 101 miles, the new service will be the airport’s shortest.

Delta Connection partner Endeavor Air will operate the 101-mile route using a CRJ-900 regional jet on up to three daily frequencies. The flight is blocked at roughly an hour in each direction, though the plane will likely spend more time taxiing and waiting for takeoff than it does in the air.

The new route will be 35 miles shorter than the airport’s current shortest flight, which is operated by Delta to Albany (ALB), the capital of New York.

(Map courtesy of Cirium)

Interestingly, United Airlines used to fly between Hartford and its Newark (EWR) hub, but that route was suspended in October 2018, according to Cirium schedules. US Airways flew a Dash 8 turboprop between LaGuardia and Hartford between October 2010 and March 2012, according to Cirium schedules.

Adding the new LGA service will connect Hartford with Delta’s New York City hub, giving flyers based in Connecticut’s capital plenty of one-stop connectivity through the airport’s new Terminal C. Delta currently flies from Hartford to three hubs: Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP).

It’s interesting that Delta is choosing to serve LaGuardia as opposed to its hub at nearby JFK, where it offers many more international flights.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Delta is cutting any LaGuardia service to support the new Hartford flying. LaGuardia is a slot-controlled airport, meaning that the number of daily departures and arrivals is capped. Delta needs to either acquire new slots or cut existing service to free up slots for the new Hartford flights.

For those looking to get between Hartford and New York City, flying will likely become the fastest option (on a perfect weather day). Amtrak offers three-hour trips between the cities, but most train service requires at least one transfer. Driving can take more than three hours.

Hartford’s Bradley International Airport has grown in popularity throughout the pandemic, largely thanks to new airline startup Breeze Airways.

The carrier, founded by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, plans to open a base at the airport, and the carrier’s new focus city already includes 11 nonstop destinations, including Las Vegas (LAS), Jacksonville (JAX) and Nashville (BNA).

In addition to service from Breeze and Delta, Hartford is also served by American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines — all of which offer plenty of nonstop connectivity across the country.

LaGuardia’s 10 shortest routes

Destination Distance (miles)
Hartford (BDL) 101
Albany (ALB) 136
Providence (PVD) 143
Worcester (ORH) 146
Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) 175
Boston (BOS) 185
Baltimore (BWI) 185
Syracuse (SYR) 198
Nantucket (ACK) 202
Washington/National (DCA) 214

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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