A Spectacular Approach to LaGuardia Airport

We were coming in to land at LaGuardia Airport on a particularly sunny afternoon a few months ago when I looked out the window – I always get the window seat for precisely this reason – and saw this:

Approaching LaGuardia Airport1
New York City

It was such a spectacular view, I grabbed my cell phone and moved closer to avoid the sun’s glare on the window. (Thank goodness, there was no dust and no watermarks.)

Approaching LaGuardia Airport2

The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges cross the East River and connect the east side of Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Approaching LaGuardia Airport3

That patch of land in the foreground is Governor’s Island, a 172-acre island 800 yards south of Manhattan, which is on the left. To the north, is Brooklyn, one of New York’s five boroughs. (Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx are the other four.) 

Approaching LaGuardia Airport4
Governor’s Island

Here we’re almost flying over Governor’s Island, moving towards Manhattan’s southern tip.

Approaching LaGuardia Airport5

Over Buttermilk Channel, which separates Governor’s Island from Brooklyn, going towards the East River. Governor’s Island to your left, Brooklyn on your right.  Manhattan ahead. 

Approaching LaGuardia Airport7

Continuing over Brooklyn towards Queens. That’s the East River on the left, Manhattan is across the river.

Approaching LaGuardia Airport8

Getting closer to the airport; getting closer to land.

Approaching LaGuardia Airport9

Named for the former New York mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, LaGuardia Airport is located in East Elmhurst, Queens, and overlooks Flushing Bay. Whenever I fly in to LaGuardia, I always look out the window and watch the approach. Since the bay is so close, it looks like we’re heading straight for the water. Finally, the runway comes into view. I always say a prayer of gratitude for the pilot’s skill. (If you’ve landed at Laguardia, you know what I mean.)

New York City from LaGuardia approach

LaGuardia is the smallest of the three major airports (JFK International and Newark Liberty International are the other two) that service the New York City area. It also has no immigration or border control so if you’re flying in from Canada, for example, you clear immigration before your flight departs.

Have you ever landed at an airport that has a tricky or unusual approach?

Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday that Nancie of Budget Travelers Sandbox, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, Ruth at Tanama Tales, and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations.

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Also linking with The Weekly Postcard hosted by A Hole in my Shoe

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Be sure to head over to these linkups for more travel photos from around the world.


29 comments on “A Spectacular Approach to LaGuardia Airport

  1. Gorgeous photos, Marcia. What great views of New York City! I have landed at LaGuardia, so know what you mean. I’m not a big fan of take-offs and landings over water, so I say prayers of gratitude for my pilot’s skills often since my home base airport is San Francisco International. 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous day! I love landing at La Guardia or Newark on a clear sunny day. I flew into Tempelhof back in the late 80s, that was amazing!

  3. An excellent tour. I’ve never seen Governor’s Island before, from the ground or the air.

    Clear skies on approach rock, don’t they?

  4. We lived in Hong Kong many years ago and made lots of touchdowns at Kai Tak Airport, Kai Tak has been replaced now by a new , modern airport on Lantau Island but it was one of the most spectacular airports in the world to land in. As the plane came in to land you could see inside the living rooms of people living in the ramshackle high rise apartments near the airport. You could literally watch TV as you flew past along a narrow corridor between the buildings. It was always hair-raising.

  5. Wow, what a spectacular view of New York from the skies! I love Manhattan and if you are lucky enough to catch a clear day like that you may get some of the most extraordinary bird-eye pictures.

  6. I bet it was, Lyn!
    Wow, that must have been so noisy. When I lived near JFK, the sound of the planes would drown everything out when they went by.

  7. Your photos are so good! The city can be truly appreciated from the pics. At least, you got your “private” aerial tour. No need to pay for a helicopter or something like that.

  8. Thanks, Ruth! I took them with my iPhone. I was lucky though, everything came together that day.
    You’re right: no need to pay for a helicopter ride.

  9. An excellent tour. I’ve never seen Governor’s Island before, from the ground or the air.
    thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  10. Those are magnificent photos of the New York City skyline. It took my breath away and even more so that you took them with your smartphone. As for runways, La Guardia Airport is not one of my favorites either. But that view is spectacular.
    I opened my email and your blog popped up and I jumped on it to visit and say hello. Hope all’s well. So good to revisit with you here. Happy spring time to you! ????

  11. Hi and thank you, Elizabeth. So good to see you here! It’s been a while.
    The view definitely is spectacular, especially on a good day. It took my breath away too, so I was glad to have my phone.
    A very happy spring to you too!

  12. What great photos of the skyline, Marcia! I always try to go for window seats too and what views you got. I’ve never flown into La Guardia so I’ve never seen this perspective of NYC. I don’t remember what I saw flying into JFK. Great NYC day, indeed!

  13. Thanks, Mary. Glad you like them. Actually, I’ve been trying to remember the view from JFK – I don’t think it’s as spectacular as LGA. Then again, I can’t recall flying into JFK during the day.

  14. Hi Marcia,

    Amazing and breathtaking photos! I am impressed that they are so clear (well I think the weather helped a bit with this). Thank you for sharing. 🙂


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