7 On Your Side Investigates parking troubles at the new LaGuardia Airport

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you had trouble parking over the long holiday weekend at the new LaGuardia Airport, you weren't alone.

Despite $8 billion being spent on much needed improvements, visitors faced long wait times, only to be turned away at some of the parking garages when they learned they were full over the Presidents Day weekend.

"I'm really lucky I didn't miss my flight," said Jim McWilliam of Westchester.
When he headed out of LGA last Friday for a quick work trip, he encountered a long line to get into the new parking terminal B. After waiting for 45 minutes, he found out at the parking garage entrance that the lot was full. He's one of many travelers who took to social media to voice their frustrations.

"What was I going to do, I just sat there," McWilliam said. "Everyone was super nice but just the situation of getting to the parking lot was so ridiculous."

The airport posted on social media all weekend long about the parking shortages. The same thing happened around the new year and at Thanksgiving.

"I just envision that it's a nightmare in the future unless they do something about that," said McWilliam.

The airport has been encouraging people to take public transportation to the airport and to reserve your parking space online ahead time. Even though right now, they aren't taking any new reservations until March 3.
7 On Your Side Investigates wanted to know if it's due to an increase in travelers, fewer people taking mass transit or fewer parking spaces available after the reconstruction of the airport.

Over the past 24 hours, a spokesperson for the Port Authority hasn't answered our questions. Including the main one - are there more or fewer parking spaces available?

A spokesperson sent a statement saying:

"We strongly encourage anyone visiting LGA to use public transportation, including the free Q70 bus during peak travel times. Parking at LaGuardia over the Presidents Day Weekend was at or near capacity for much of the weekend due to higher holiday travel numbers. For passengers planning to park, pre-booking is strongly encouraged via our website, which notes the current capacity and parking availability for all garages. The total transformation of LaGuardia - declared by UNESCO as the best new airport in the world - has created vastly improved operations and access for taxis and other for-hire vehicles and is bringing new and more modern parking facilities to the airport. These are important elements in our constant effort to ensure the best possible customer experience for LaGuardia customers."

Air travel still hasn't reached pre pandemic levels yet. We will keep you updated when the Port Authority responds with the answers we requested.

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