Getting to NYC from LAX — A Red Eye Review

Here it goes… Another NYC trip. This trip was dual purpose. I had a photography project I was commissioned to do and my partner was working in the area this weekend. A little work/life balance to say the least.

I Ubered to LAX because I’ve taken the Metro rail from Long Beach before which consists of walking to the rail stop, catching the Blue Line to the Green line and then taking a bus from the Green line to my terminal. It takes about 2 full hours. Therefore I decided to Uber instead.

The worse part of this genius idea was that I had chosen a red-eye after I told myself to never do it again last time. I guess sometimes it takes a few times to learn.

Its cool… I can take it. I used to pull all-nighters when I was in college … I can do this.

I got on my flight from LAX to PHX (Phoenix Sky Harbor International airport) for my layover. My layover is about 1.5 hours. I had time to grab a snack at the American Admirals Club lounge and relax before my flight.

My flight was an hour delayed. This is fine because I’m all set in the lounge. Theres plenty of food and beverages for a while. My flight was originally set to board at 9:35pm but the new departure time is 10:35pm.

As the clock approached 9:30pm, I get an alert on my phone. It read “Time change flight to board at 9:35pm.” I freak out and dart out of the lounge and into my gate. They’re already boarding.

I get on the plane and automatically begin to get comfortable since this is a red-eye, with a landing time of 5am.

Fortunately for me, I contacted the Comfort Inn and rented a room for the day, by the hour. I was set to be there from 7am-3pm, just enough time for me to get into the city and sleep for a while.

I tossed and turned most of the flight. Sitting-up is just not that comfortable… If anything, this confirms it, I HATE COACH but most importantly I hate red-eyes.

We land at 5am just in time for the rain to stop which is great because I have to walk several blocks to the Comfort Inn.

Getting from JFK to the City Center:

The JFK air-train Map

I get off the plane and follow the signs to the Air Train which is near the exit of the airport. I get on the train and head to Jamaica station. From Jamaica station you can catch a faster train (the Long Island Rail Road or LIRR) which is about $6 and 20 minutes, but it takes you to a part of town where I would have to catch the local train anyways… So I bought an MTA rail pass and decided to take the E train into the city.

As I get to the subway there are signs everywhere that say, the E train is out of service (in this area) this weekend. This means Ill have to take the J train (the only working train at this moment) through Brooklyn and transfer to the N train in the city to get uptown. Then exit the train station and walk a few blocks to get to the Comfort Inn, where my sweet sweet bed is waiting for its warm body.

It took two hours. I was exhausted from not sleeping all night. I couldn’t wait to get into my room and sleep the day away!

This is not the full map of the MTA in NYC… Upper Manhattan is missing but if you want to use it to get from JFK to Mid and Lower Manhattan you can =)

The Comfort Inn day rentals:

Certain hotels are aware that people will pay by the hour just to get some shut-eye before their hotel lets them check-in.

That’s what was going on here. The Comfort Inn rented by the hour.

My hotel for tonight, The Jane Hotel wouldn’t let me check-in before 3pm. Therefore it worked out.

I walk in, check-in and my room is not ready. They tell me my room will not be ready until 10am but I can wait in the lobby until it is. I hated my life at this moment. I am exhausted. I’m falling asleep in the lobby and I felt homeless. I’m sure I looked homeless with all that skank from the plane.

As much as I wanted to hate my experience at the Comfort Inn, the receptionist tried her hardest to get my room ready quickly. At about 9am she gave me a key and I was ready to go. I slept from about 9:30am to 3pm… The best part: they let me check out late because the room wasn’t ready when I arrived.


Let me break it down for you:

  • LAX to JFK flight $200 because I cancelled a trip to JFK earlier this year… My penalty was a $200 charge as long as the flight was the same price.
  • Cheap red-eye flight… not worth it… red-eyes suck.
  • Comfort Inn for the day $99 — Cheap for NYC… Or I could have slept on the sidewalk for free… Options, you know???
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