Sometimes when traveling I think I’ll save some time and energy, but in this case my choice was a total bust. There are so many articles that tell you HOW TO get from one airport to the city center or from one airport to another, but unfortunately I’ve got a story about how NOT to get from one place to another! This may not pertain to most of you, but if it helps even one other person from making the mistake that I made, I’d be pleased.
I needed to get from JFK International Airport to EWR Newark International Airport. Strange but true. It’s not often we transit from one airport to another, I know. After doing some research I opted for a company called ETS Airport Shuttle that offers direct shuttle service between the airports without going through NYC. Even though it cost $34, I thought I’d save time and also the stress of transiting through NYC and then getting out to EWR.
I called ETS a few times while doing my initial research, and each time the women who answered the phone were helpful and seemed to know what they were talking about. I was told the shuttle service ran every hour on the half hour and that no reservation was needed as I could pay when I landed at JFK.
My flight landed at 2:30 PM at JFK so I figured if I hustled and my bags came out quickly I could easily clear customs and catch the 3:30 PM shuttle service. Initially my plan went well. By 3 PM I had paid for the shuttle and was told it would come at 3:30 PM. The shuttle showed up 40 minutes late. Their system is that the shuttle driver comes into the terminal to get you, so this takes quite a bit of time. And we still had to stop at another terminal before leaving JFK, so this added even more time to our late departure.
But wait, it gets worse. The van, which seated eight people, was full. The van was old, in bad shape, and each time we hit a bump I thought we’d lose our transmission. The driver drove in the carpool lane and drove slowly so that all the cars were speeding by us in the lane next to us. And he was nodding off! Yup, the driver was having a hard time staying awake.
I was in the last seat in the van and there were three guys in the front seats. Guys can be pretty stoic in these situations, but at one point one of the guys said to the driver, “Are you awake?” We were all glad the passenger spoke up because I think by then we had all seen that the driver was nodding off but no one wanted to say anything.
When we all finally got out of the van at EWR there was so much nervous glad-we-made-it energy that we had to talk amongst ourselves for a few minutes to debrief from the trip and driver experience! Then we went our separate ways.
From the time I paid for my ETS shuttle ticket, this trip from JFK to EWR took just under three hours. Taking public transportation into NYC and then a train out to Newark Airport would likely have taken the same amount of time, or less. Surely it would have cost a lot less than $34 and maybe I’d have a few less gray hairs, too!
I wouldn’t use ETS again, and if you ever need to transit between airports in the greater New York area, I’d suggest you cross ETS off your options list as well.
Do you have questions about travel, about hotels, or about packing? Email me, Shelli, with your Ask Anything and watch for it in a future post!