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Getting to San Diego - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Getting to San Diego [Sep. 7th, 2003|11:33 am]
On Friday it was time to wave goodbye to New York, and head west to San Diego.

We decided to allow 2 hours for the trip to the airport, as things weren't all that ideal on the way out. JFK is currently having lots of money spent on it, and not a moment too soon. Currently though, your options for getting there are taxi, bus or subway+bus. We opted to take the subway.

The line out to the airport splits in two just before the airport, and again just after. So, you have to get the right destination train. Kind of like catching a district line train on the south of the circle line. Only, without any signs. Or maps. Or announcements that you can hear. Or visible station names. Or....

So, we caught an A train for one stop, which was as long as it took to figure out it was the wrong one. Then we waited while lots of A trains to the same place went pasted, as did a few C trains (the local service on the same track). We though we'd seen something about engineering works on the far end of the A line while at the airport, but no posters to this effect could be seen anywhere. The multitude of armed police on the station didn't know either. So, we opted to catch an A train to the branch point, and hope for the best.

Eventually, the guard announced something about trains to JFK and similar, but myself and Alex interpreted it in two different ways. Luckily we were in the same carrage as the conductor, so we could ask him. Apparently, due to engineering works, we had to change at the branch point, and wait for a shuttle train.

We waited. And waited. And waited. Along with a large number of other people. After about 30 minutes, the shuttle train appeared, and took us 3 stops along to the airport.

I say the airport, but I lie. Actually, it takes you to the very far end of the long stay carpark. To a station that's half destroyed. To a station with a shiny new railway station above it (the "Air Train"), which shows no indication of when it might open, despite looking finished and lots of trains loitering on it. Instead, we had to wait 15 minutes for the appropriate bus, then be driven all the way across the airport.

Finally, you get to the terminal, and it's a dump. Not enough signs (as with the rest of New York), building work half done and not being done, a suprisingly small number of shops etc

All in all, you don't leave New York with a very good impression. I don't think I'll be back until all the building works have been done at the airport, or maybe not even then.

Flight to LA was fine - half full so we had lots of space. Got into LAX early, and even managed to get our connecting flight changed, so we could catch the earlier one. So, 11 hours after leaving downtown Manhatten, we arrived in San Diego.