Best Way to Get To West Point

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by buff81, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    What is the best airport to fly in to to get to West Point. If NYC, which airport would you recommend? I also see that there is the Stewart-Newburgh airport that is nearby. If flying in to NYC, what are some of the ways that the cadets get to the Academy? Getting to West Point seems to be a little more difficult that Annapolis and Colorado Springs! Just wanted to get some feedback from some of you who have done this before.
     
  2. Go_Army

    Go_Army Member

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    I was looking into the same question earlier today since I'd be coming from California. It looks like Newark NJ might be a good choice. There's more direct flights and good fares - plus it appears to be faster drive to the academy than the two NYC airports.

    Newburgh would require a connection or two (from CA) and the fares were more than double!
     
  3. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    If you can afford the fare, Newburgh is by far the easiest airport...less than 20 min to the academy. However, flights are limited and it's expensive. White Plains (HPN) has several flights and is more reasonable. The locals say Newark is a better drive than White Plains. The NYC airports are a nerve-wracking drive if you aren't used to it, but then you have the option of taking the train to the Garrison station, then a cab to WP.
     
  4. Momof2cadets

    Momof2cadets Founding Member

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    I have to disagree about Newark being a better drive than White Plains. I guess that could be true if you take the interstate/parkway. If you go the "back way" over Bear Mountain it is a scenic drive that only takes about 40 minutes. Trusty GPS will always route you that way by choice... Newark is about 90 minutes. After 5 years my choices, in order, are:
    1. Stewart/Newburgh (hate that Airtran dropped the destination and prices jumped sky high)
    2. White Plains
    3. Newark

    Sometimes Newark wins just because of the # of flights available in and out. I would add that I have only been on time out of Newark about 10-15% of the time over the years...

    As far as cadets getting to and from the academy, there are contract busses available to all the airports except White Plains during leave times. For individuals traveling they usually take the train or arrange a car service or ride from a friend/sponsor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Look at the cost of renting a car as well as air fare. If you don't mind driving - you can also fly into Albany or Hartford and the car rental will be much cheaper.

    I have known folks to fly into Philadelphia and drive up. It is a three hour drive from Philly - not a bad one either, pretty easy. Car rentals out of Philly are much cheaper than the NYC airports.

    Then again if you fly into JFK, La Guardia or Newark you can take the Metro North train up to Garrison. Call Enterprise and they will meet you at the train station with your car. Quick trip across the river - 20 minutes and you are there.

    There is also a bus out of the Port Authority in NYC that will drop you at Thayer Gate.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    As far as Stewart International goes - the Port Authority has taken it over. They are trying to drum up business by marketing it as NYC's fourth airport (after JFK, LGA and Newark).
    It is currently served by jetblue, delta, northwest and usairways. Typically it is better for regional flights than cross country flights.
     
  7. sweettooth

    sweettooth Parent

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    My son will be arriving for his over night visit on his own so he won't be renting a car.. Do you think arriving at newark airport and then taking a shuttle bus or train to the port authority and the bus to Thayer Gate is the easiest route for him? I thought this would avoid the taxi ride across the river to campus. If the Metro train is the better solution where can he get on it? Also, he will be arriving from the West so his arrival time into the airports will be around 4:30pm and later. Should we have him try to get into Highland Falls later that same night and stay at a local hotel or arrange for NYC relatives to put him up for the night and take the early bus or train to the Academy the next morning? We could fly him into laguardia if transportation is easier from there (tickets ar a little pricier I think).
     
  8. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    My opinion...
    If he is coming in that late in the day I would have him stay with NYC relatives and take an early train or bus out to West Point. The few decent hotels in Highland Falls are not close to Thayer Gate so he would need to walk or call a taxi. The taxi company is not in Highland Falls so it can cost more for them to come get him and take him to post.

    If he takes the Metro-North he will need to catch it at Grand Central Station. In the middle of Grand Central there is an information booth where he can find out which track the train is on. You buy tickets at any of the machines located around the station. It is pretty easy.

    I didn't know about the Port Authority bus so JustAMom will have to give you details about that.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I agree wtih WaMom68 - have the relatives put him up for the night and get him to Grand Central Terminal for the train, then taxi from the train station to Thayer gate.

    The bus company is Short Lines. They don't run as often as the train and may not be able to get him there early enough in the morning.
     
  10. sweettooth

    sweettooth Parent

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    thx WAMom68 and JustAMom. I'll either do as you suggest or fly him into Stewart Newburgh and have him take a taxi to the Thayer Hotel (expensive I know) and return on the train to NYC for a weekend visit before returning home from one of the nyc airports.
     
  11. mom43boyz

    mom43boyz Member

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    I have a nightmare story for you.

    When DS went for SLS, he flew into Newark and rode the bus that WP sent for the SLS participants. I flew in a few days later to LaGuardia and arrived at 11:00 pm. We had pre-arranged (and PRE-PAID) for a shuttle to pick us up at the airport and drive us to Grand Central Station as we were going to spend the night in Highland Falls. Well...the nightmare part of the trip is that the shuttle was VERY late picking us up (even though we were told they monitor flights and would pick us up within 15 minutes of arrival). The picked us up after an hour and 20 minutes. At that time, the shuttle van was full of people the driver had picked up from other airports. He took 20 minutes after picking us up to map his route for drop-offs. As he dropped each rider off at various locations around the city, he then negotiated his price with each person (they had not pre-paid apparently), which took at least five minutes at each stop. He dropped us off at Grand Central at 2:10 a.m. (we were the last people he dropped off and the only one's to have pre-paid! Grrr - I guarantee you he did not receive a tip.) The kicker of it is that the last train runs from Grand Central at 1:50 am - 20 minutes before the driver dropped us off there. We had pre-paid our hotel at Highland Falls also, so staying in the city wasn't really an option, as we had planned to return to the city the next day for touring and couldn't take all our luggage on the tours! Also, hotel rooms in the city are really expensive. Sooo...we paid almost $200 bucks for a cab to drive us to Highland Falls; the city cab driver said "No problem", but then got lost THREE times before finding Peekskill. At Peekskill, he finally said he didn't know at all how to get to Highland Falls, and called a Peekskill cab company to come pick us up from there and deliver us to Highland Falls. The Peekskill cab took another half hour to arrive, and we FINALLy got to our room after 5:00 am.

    Later that morning, we had arranged a cab to take us back to Peekskill to catch the train back to the city and they never showed up (we were told often while we were in Highland Falls that the cab companies aren't very reliable and that you should never pre-book or pre-pay for a cab). They've already got your money that way and don't really care if you are happy. We received great advice to just call the cab when you get there (And cabs were also waiting at the train station when the trains arrive, which we would have been quicker to take advantage of if we hadn't pre-paid with another company). That way the cab companies are still anxious to earn your money.

    Overall, the trip was great, but getting to/from the airport and train station was a nightmare. I'll never do that again. Either don't pre-book, or don't bother, and just rent a car when you get there.

    Sorry for the long post - I get a little animated when I talk about that trip!
     
  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    WOW, that was a nightmare!
    Thanks for all of the good info on the many different ways to get to the Academy. Am researching flights for the overnight visit. I did not know that there was an airport in White Plains. Surprisingly, flying in to Newburgh is the cheapest for us! The Thayer is rather expensive. Is it worth the convenience or does anyone have any other recommendations for nice but more reasonable accommodations?
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    IMO - no. It is a beautiful hotel. But I am cheap :wink:
    There are several hotels in Highland Falls - including the Econo Lodge. There is also the Holiday Inn Express in Ft Montgomery about 5 miles away. Even Newburgh isn't very far, except maybe in the winter....

    IF you are Military - Active Duty or Retired - you are eligible to stay in the 5 Star Inn, Army Lodging. This is a bargain and if you are eligible try here first. Let me know if you need details.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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  15. cgmom2011

    cgmom2011 New Member

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    Getting to West Point can be very difficult. If cost and flight availability are not a huge concern - then flying into Stewart Airport is a good option and if someone is flying in for a specific program, WP will often have a shuttle or send someone to run a pick up. Also, there are several hotels available in Newburgh. My son's (2009) preference is LaGuardia Airport. He gets a subway (or walks) to Penn Station and gets a train to Garrison and then takes a cab to WP. He reverses the trip to get to the airport. For those who don't know, Garrison is just across the Hudson River from WP and when school is in session a ferry runs between the two for the cadets. LaGuardia seems to offer the best prices and range of flights. MY son has flown from JFK also but getting to/from Penn Station is more complicated. Many people like Newark but we have never found an easy way for a cadet by themselves to get to/from it other than by cab. Once at WP - there is a great bus service to the airports offered during leave times that cadets can choose to use for very reasonable cost.
     
  16. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    ^^Just to clarify...If using the Metro-North train to get to Garrison it leaves from Grand Central Station, not Penn Station.

    Here is another link with very useful information:
    http://www.west-point.org/parent/plebe-net/links.htm
    If you look under the heading "Travel" and then under "Airport Info & Ground Transportation Options" you will find the options for getting from the airports to West Point.

    In October I visited my son but did not rent a car. I flew into JFK, took the shuttle bus (http://www.nyairportservice.com/) from there to Grand Central, then took the train out to Garrison. My friends picked me up at the train station. You can take the subway from JFK to Grand Central but I felt it would be too confusing for me. Taking the bus was easy. I reversed the route on the way home.
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    WaMom68 - You have awesome friends!! :yay: :jump1:
     
  18. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I know! :wink:
     

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