My Memories From Our First Post 9/11 Trip To New York

The events of 9/11 changed everything. There were all of the lives lost on that day, which we should never forget. There were also dramatic effects of that loss on everyone who was still around who lost a loved one, a friend, a co-worker, a schoolmate. For those who lived or used to live in New York, New Jersey and even Connecticut, if you didn’t have a direct connection to the event, you knew someone who did.

Sharon’s already talked about where we were that day and what we were doing. That will no doubt forever be the most surreal experience of my lifetime. However, it was shortly after that when I realized how much everything about everyday life, and travel,  had forever changed.

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Southwest Ending All Non-Stop Flights Between New York City & Orlando

Southwest Airlines will soon no longer have any non-stop flights between Orlando and New York City.

None at all.

I was as surprised as anyone when I figured out this news. Yep, “figured it out” because there was no official announcement by Southwest – instead you had to put together the pieces from several different moves they’ve made over the past months.

I’ll go over the changes and then what are the remaining options.

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Now That Southwest Is Leaving Newark, What Are Your Options?

One of the bombshell announcements from the Southwest Airlines earning call was that starting November 3, 2019, they would stop flights from Newark Airport and consolidate flights to the New York area to LaGuardia Airport. Now, I don’t know if anyone other than those who have lived in New Jersey knows the difference between getting a flight from Newark or a flight from LaGuardia. First of all, there’s the getting to and from the airport. Many people in New Jersey can take public transportation to Newark Airport with NJ Transit to the AirTrain. If not, they can drive there and only have to pay a moderate toll on the Turnpike or Parkway. When I lived there 20 years ago, we could drive there on HWY 1&9 and didn’t have to pay a thing besides the airport parking fee. The good old days. But New Jersey residents getting to LaGuardia would be kind of crazy – it’s not close, it would take at least two trains, and there’s a lot of traffic if you decided to drive it. So not really a realistic alternative.

I’m sure that the NJ residents who were accustomed to flying on Southwest weren’t happy with the news, so I decided to look at where Southwest flies from Newark and what options are still available. (Spoiler Alert: I hope you don’t mind flying on United)

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Flying JetBlue From NYC? No More Lounge Access For You

One of things that made flying to/from New York on JetBlue so nice was if you had an American Express Platinum card, you had access to an airport lounge regardless of whether you flew out of JFK, LaGuardia or Newark airport. If you had a Priority Pass card from any of the different sources available to get a membership, you could also use a lounge at Newark airport.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, you no longer have easy access to a lounge from JetBlue gates at any of the New York Airports.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened:

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Review Of Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Newark Airport

NOTE: Shortly after my last visit to the Air Canada lounge, they left the Priority Pass lounge network. 

Newark Airport – the place that stayed retro until it was cool again. Parts of Newark Airport look like you’re walking back into the late 1960s. I give them credit that they’re trying to refurbish the airport but most of the money has been spent by United to upgrade their base at Terminal C. The other two terminals have been left as a memorial to what airports used to look like.

Home to what must be the worst layout for a TSA checkpoint, terminal A is split into three bays, each consisting of several gates in a circular layout located at the end of a long hallway connecting the spokes to the main terminal. Each spoke has its own TSA checkpoint and there’s no way to go between spokes without leaving the secure area and going through screening again. So basically once you’re at your gate area, you’re stuck.

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Those flying from gates A10-18, home to Air Canada, JetBlue and Southwest, have few options once clearing security. You can sit at the gate or get food from Currito Cantina (Note from Sharon: I checked and nope, it’s not Burrito Cantina, with a B. It’s Currito, with a C. WTH is a currito?), grab a Boars Head sandwich or Ben & Jerry’s. The gate area is not the most relaxing of places to spend time, since it’s usually crowded, and that’s when there aren’t any delayed flights. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having to spend time around a bunch of people from Jersey when their plane is delayed. The phone conversations you’ll hear sound like outtakes from The Sopranos. (Remember, I grew up there so I can say that) 🙂

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However, there’s one more option of where to wait for your flight – the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.

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