My New York Trip Day #9: The Journey Home

Since I counted the first day of my New York trip as the one where I left home, I think it’s only fair to count the day’s journey back home as well.  It was certainly an interesting one.

My flight to Toronto was scheduled at 6:05am at La Guardia airport.  First, the cab driver didn’t know what ‘WestJet’ was or which terminal the airline was out of so we spent a ridiculous amount of time looking for it because he wouldn’t accept that it wasn’t in Terminal B.  (For the record, it’s located out of Terminal D because they’ve partnered with Delta.)  Once there, I looked around and saw a lot of people sitting around with no WestJet employees in sight.  Westjet’s service is generally seen as superior to Air Canada (who are comically terrible) but man, I really was not happy with the service.  No employees were there so I went to the desk to check the little sign which said that employees are there from 3:00am until 12:00am or something.  It was 3:00am by the time I got there because for international flights you have to check your baggage in 90 minutes ahead of time.  Fast forward half an hour later and three employees finally show up, taking their sweet time getting organized, with absolutely no sense of urgency.

That pretty much sums up the rest of my experience at La Guardia airport.

After the late employees finally decided they would graciously allow us to check our baggage, I went to where everyone was supposed to go through security only to find out…security doesn’t ‘open’ until 4:30am!  Isn’t that just great?  At an international airport (an INTERNATIONAL airport), things are not done on a 24 hour schedule.  La Guardia is officially worse than most gas stations and convenience stores, which are open 24/7 in most major cities.  Of course the TSA was there at 4:00am but didn’t start with passengers until exactly 4:30am.  Not a minute early because that would require ambition.  They were the usual amount of rude and decided to pat down a woman whose clothes were so tight that she definitely wasn’t hiding anything they couldn’t detect on the full body scanner that everyone was forced to go through.  It was very hard not to roll my eyes but I didn’t exactly want to get extra special attention from the creepy lady doing the pat downs so I resisted the urge.

Also, why does nothing open at La Guardia until 5:00am?  This is an international airport, is it not?  Even Edmonton International Airport, a relatively small airport, is much better at keeping at least some food kiosks open than La Guardia.  In New York City.  I just cannot comprehend why an airport this large is not open on a 24/7 schedule.

So once I finally, finally landed in Edmonton I was faced with the ridiculous parking fees (which were definitely higher than what was posted).  When I finally got out I was faced with the four hour drive home, which was a cakewalk compared to dealing with the perpetually rude staff at both La Guardia and Pearson airports.

Needless to say, I am not impressed with WestJet.  The sad thing is?  Air Canada is worse.  Canadians have pretty much no choice when they fly anywhere and the two main companies have a stranglehold on the market.  I think it’s time for some more competition in the market.  Or at least another airline that attempts to treat its paying customers like human beings.

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