New York has three big airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and La Guardia Airport (LGA). I flew to Newark Airport from Porto with United Airlines in a 8-hour flight. I tell you my experience of flying with United Airlines on another blog post (click here to see).
Although the Newark Airport is in the state of New Jersey, it’s widely used by everyone who wants to visit New York due to being close to midtown Manhattan. After we landed and disembarked from the plane, we found out that this airport is big because we walked a lot inside until the immigration zone. We walked in several corridors, some escalators until we reached an area where there were two signs: “US Citizens, Canadian Citizens and US Residents” and another with “Visitors, Global Entry Crew & Diplomats”. The queue was long… We were waiting for about 1 hour, until an agent sent us to automatic machines to scan the passport, validate our data, take pictures and fingerprints. After that, we waited in a smaller queue for the immigration booths in order to have an interview with the agent.
The immigration interview
An immigration interview is made for each family or for each CBP-6059B form. Like I explain in this post, during the flight is necessary to fill a form with some information about the travelers. When the agent called us, the first thing I said after the “good afternoon” was to tell him that my boyfriend was traveling with us. He immediately signaled him to come and join us (I had already read that they usually let people pass by together in these cases). From there we did the interview together.
Our interview was really easy… I guess we were lucky with the immigration agent who interviewed us because I read lots of stories of people who got stuck there. The agent asked us if he could ask the questions in english. For us, talking in english wasn’t a problem so we said yes. Then he asked us some questions like:
- how many days we were planning to stay,
- where were we going to stay,
- the reason of the travel,
- if it was the first time in the USA.
We showed him our passports, the ESTA authorization (I will tell you about this application in another post), the travel itinerary and the travel insurance. At the end of the interview, he stamped our passports (yeahhhh one more stamp!) and asked us to deliver the CBP-6059B forms. Interview ended successfully!
The baggage claim 🛄
Right after the interview, we had to go to the baggage claim area. We lost a lot of time in the queue of the immigration area so the bags were there waiting for us (all bags! thank god!). We took our bags and followed the signs to the airport exit.
Airport to our hotel in Manhattan
And now the complication started. We were planning to catch a Lyft 🚕 from the airport to the hotel but for that we needed to have wifi signal on our phones. I had read that inside the airport we had access to 30 minutes of free internet. At home, I had already downloaded the app, applied a discount code so, when at I was at the airport, I would only need to call the driver. (The discount code I used was NEWUSER10 which gives $5 discount in two travels). However we had a little problem. My phone wasn’t able to connect to the airports internet, so my dad and my boyfriend tried to connect. They were successful and we called the Lyft driver. We called a Lyft Plus because we had four big suitcases that a normal Lyft couldn’t handle.
The driver was a little dangerous because he was typing on his phone while driving but, a lot of time later because of the traffic, we arrived at the hotel all alive. It was around 18:30h.
All four of us were very happy to be fulfilling the dream 🌟 of being in New York! Really, really tired because of the long flight and for being awake for many hours. We made the check-in at the hotel, stored our bags 👜 in our rooms and left to start exploring New York!