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Why you may need to leave earlier for your flight from MSY starting next week

Nov. 01, 2019
3 min read
Why you may need to leave earlier for your flight from MSY starting next week
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Getting to the new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) in New Orleans won't exactly be the "big easy" part of your journey. In fact, according to NOLA.com, traffic problems are likely going to plague the airport for at least four years.

While it currently takes between five and 10 minutes to reach the airport once you get off Interstate 10, it will likely take much longer when the new terminal opens next week on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Why? Because drivers coming from New Orleans and the nearby suburb of Metairie will have to get through three stoplights on Loyola Drive, which connects to the new terminal. It's an already congested road, but the location of the new terminal — even though it's closer in proximity to the interstate — will be even more packed now that drivers don't have a flyover.

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If you're coming from the west, such as Baton Rouge, the traffic won't be significantly better. You'll still have to exit at Loyola Drive on another persistently-gridlocked ramp, and then go through two more stoplights.

ITS Regional was hired by the city of Kenner, where the airport is located, to study the impact on the city. They measure traffic levels on a scale of A to H, and typically measure D or E during the day with an F-score during peak commuting hours. At F, "the intersection is over capacity," Carmelo Gutierrez, an employee at the firm, told Nola.com.

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Each additional light will only compound the problem, adding about two minutes on average for every stop. And we all know things can be much worse, depending on the time of day and even the weather.

Adnan Alrashed, owner of the nearby Discount Zone gas station, told Nola.com, "It will be a mess." He's been witnessing the traffic problems firsthand, as his store overlooks the airport.

The good news — or bad news, depending on how you look at it — is that flyovers that bypass these time-sucking stoplights are coming. The catch? They won't be complete until 2023 at the earliest.

In the interim, the best thing you can do, short of getting a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is to plan ahead. Give yourself more time than you think you'll need to get to the airport. Between traffic surrounding the airport and any additional holdups you might encounter on the way there, you could be facing a slower-than-normal journey.

It won't help you reach the terminal any faster, but if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can (and should!) put your $15 monthly Uber credits to good use here (up to $200 in Uber Cash for U.S. services; enrollment required), because at least saving money on your ride will soften the blow. Right? Right.

Related: Hail, yes! Your Uber credit just got easier to use

If you're planning a trip to New Orleans, let us be the first to tell you that you're absolutely going to love it — except, of course, for the traffic. Whether it's your first time — or you've been visiting for years — you'll thank yourself later if you check out our guide to everything you need to eat, see and do in the Crescent City.

Featured image by An aerial shot of the new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in September. Photo/Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023