Saturday, December 13, 2008

LIRR Offers Airport Packages

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's AirTrain service to John F. Kennedy International Airport has been a boon to the Long Island Rail Road and its customers. The easy "up and over" transfer has proven to be an extremely convenient, affordable, reliable and time-competitive way for air travelers from Long Island and Manhattan to get to and from their flights. It has become my preferred ground transportation mode when I fly by myself out of JFK.

Now the LIRR is adding a second train-to-the-plane service. Correction: aggressively promoting a second service. Newsday reports that the LIRR will begin offering a discount package for travelers wanting to fly out of Long Island MacArthur Airport, just a short hop via a shuttle bus, from its Ronkonkoma station.
"The special ticket covers a one-way train trip to Ronkonkoma and a 1 1/2-mile shuttle ride to the Long Island MacArthur Airport. The fare is valid on both peak and nonpeak trains, and represents a savings of up to $4.50 each way."
Prices range from $7 ($6 for seniors) from nearby Central Islip, Brentwood, Deer Park and Wyandanch to $14 ($11 for seniors) from Penn Station, Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Flatbush Ave., Nostrand Ave. and East New York.

Although Ronkonkoma is approximately 50 miles from Penn Station by train, it is the only metropolitan New York Airport served by discounter Southwest Airlines. And, there are times when the 1:19 normal train schedule is actually faster than driving from Midtown Manhattan to JFK.

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