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Travel Hack: LaGuardia Terminal C Fast Curbside Check In

June 5, 2023
Osman Dadi
Speed through check-in and security when flying from LaGuardia Terminal C with Delta using the curbside check-in hack!

Flying From LaGuardia Terminal C with Delta, you can get expedited Drop Off, Check In, Baggage Check, and Security and be done in a blink of an eye. I discovered this Curbside check in facility purely by accident earlier this year when flying from LGA Terminal C with Delta. Running late for an early morning flight, I saw an employee curbside checking another passenger in. I tried my luck, and within 3 minutes, I was checked in with my bags tagged. I then headed to the SkyPriority security and was through in the blink of an eye. All in, from my place in Manhattan to being through security, it was 35 minutes.

Fast Curbside check in
Fast Curbside check in can make the process a breeze

Since then, I have tried it a couple more times, and it has been equally quick. In total, every time I have used this facility, it has taken me between 10 to 15 minutes to do everything!

Who Can Use Curbside Drop-Off and Check In

This facility is for anyone flying Delta from terminal C that is taking a taxi or driving to the airport and has the following credentials.

  • SkyPriorty
  • TSA precheck or CLEAR or the ability to use expedited security.

How to Get To the Curbside Check In

Finding the curbside check-in is relatively easy once you know what you are looking for. As you approach the LaGuardia Terminal C ramps, instruct the driver to stay in the left lane around the bend and head left at the fork where it says “Curb Drop Off.”

The fast curbside check in is manned by contract staff.

The ramp makes a sharp horseshoe bend to the left, and at this point, the roadway splits into two. The right side is the regular Check-In; however, the left side goes to the Curbside Drop Off, which is where you need to be. You can get dropped off very quickly as you go left (the left most of the three lanes) at this fork.

The inside check-in area of the fast curbside check-in
The inside check-in area of the fast curbside check-in

Bear in mind if nothing to check in and have mobile boarding, proceed upstairs up the escalator and head to security.

Escalators from the fast curbside check in get you to security much quicker than normal.
Escalators from the fast curbside check in get you to security much quicker than normal.

Curbside Checked Baggage Drop Off & Boarding Passes

First appearances can be deceptive since contracted employees, not Delta employees, man the curbside check-in. This can be a little confusing since they’re not wearing Delta uniforms. Also, there is no labeling of any services, which is disappointing.

However, for the most part, this location performs the same regular check In services that you’ll find inside the terminal – Baggage check-in and issuing boarding passes. 

I have used this facility twice. Once at 5:00 am on a Friday and the next time at 10:00 am also on a Friday. In both cases, I was second in line and was done within five minutes of arriving. The process was extremely fast and efficient, and I was on my way in a heartbeat.

Clearing Security at LaGuardia Terminal C 

Once you have your boarding passes, getting to security is so easy. From the curbside Check-In, you enter the Terminal Building (just to the left of the Check-In Desk). Then take the escalator up to the second level, turn right, and cross the bridge (crossing the Departures Drop Off).

The escalator leads you to a bridge that deposits you in front of security.
The escalator leads you to a bridge that deposits you in front of security.

At the end of the bridge, you arrive right at the front of the security entry at LaGuardia Terminal C. The position is super convenient if you hold TSA Pre-Check, CLEAR, or SkyPriority since you come quite literally to the entrance for all of these queues.

The bridge with the entrance to security in the distance.
The bridge with the entrance to security in the distance.

In my experience, SkyPriority is usually under a 5-minute wait time from here. 

The bridge delvers you straight to the heart of security.
The bridge delivers you straight to the heart of security.

Why This Works So Well

The reason this procedure works so well is due to the very unique due to the layout of the terminal. Security is on the second level, but the escalators are on the two sides (away from the Drop Off and also from the Check-In). 

Often the traditional way leaves far away from the entry to security.

You usually check in at one of many lanes (or Sky Priority to the far left side), then travel up escalators to either side and enter at the corners. This is far away from the actual security entry in the middle.

This method saves you time by allowing you to check in Curbside, then go up directly to security. Taking advantage of the bridge which connects across the Departures drop off and directly across to the Security entrance.

Once through security you can head to the Sky Club or Gate

I estimate this process saves somewhere between 15-25 minutes because it cuts out a significant amount of walking inside the terminal and queueing!

Final Thoughts

So far, I’ve done this twice and haven’t seen any downsides to the process. Check-In at the curbside facility has taken less than two minutes each time. Then I’ve got to security within the next three minutes. Often, I have been through security within 10-15 minutes of arriving at the curbside Check-In.

Fast curbside check in entrance during daytime
Fast curbside check in entrance during daytime

I guess if you get stuck behind someone at the Curbside check-in, that could be an issue. However, the process could get bogged down and become an issue. However, using this going forward, I would not leave it too late.

Perhaps if enough people read this, we’ll see more congestion. However, for now, I’m loving this convenient option at Delta’s new Terminal C.