NYC Airports: What You Should Know Before Your Next Journey

NYC Airports: What You Should Know Before Your Next Journey

Airports 2024-03-13

The airspace over New York City is acknowledged as one of the most bustling in the globe. The airport system in the metropolitan area consists of three main transportation hubs – John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), and Newark Liberty International (EWR). Determining which airport to use for your upcoming journey hinges on your airline preference, connecting airport, and accommodation location, given that the airports are situated in Queens and New Jersey. Traveling across the city to reach an airport isn't a quick endeavor, and opting for convenience (like a taxi instead of public transport) can be costly. It may be advisable to customize your travel arrangements based on the nearest airport to you.

Find out the most suitable route from Manhattan to each airport, associated expenses, and other factors to weigh up when selecting between JFK, LGA, and EWR. Let's get to the point!

John F. Kennedy International Airport

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New York City's primary airport, John F. Kennedy International, is located in Queens. As the largest and busiest among the city's three major airports, it welcomes over 55 million passengers annually.

If you're residing in southern Brooklyn or eastern Queens, JFK will be the nearest airport for you. Renowned as New York's most popular gateway, many travelers prefer it due to the availability of lounges, shops, and dining choices.

Airlines & destinations

Over 70 airlines operate at JFK Airport, with a majority being international carriers, such as Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air France, Finnair, and EgyptAir, among others. Direct flights from JFK connect to various cities worldwide, from Buenos Aires to Reykjavik. In addition, prominent US airlines like American, Delta, and JetBlue utilize JFK as a central hub. Notably, JetBlue manages the entirety of Terminal 5 at the airport.

Airport amenities

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JFK Airport is currently undergoing a $19 billion renovation, set to be finished by 2030, that will introduce two new terminals. This project aims to modernize the existing terminals, potentially causing changes to operating hours at various restaurants and stores within the airport. Some popular dining options include Jikji Cafe in Terminal 1 for quick Asian-inspired dishes, Blue Point Brewing Company in Terminal 4 for a relaxed dining experience with beers, and an Artichoke Basille's Pizza outlet in Terminal 5.

In addition, JFK offers Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and lounges for Aer Lingus, Air France, Air India, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Emirates, and Lufthansa passengers as part of its facilities.

Getting to and from JFK

JFK can be easily reached via public transportation. The quickest way is to ride the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station in Manhattan or Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn to Jamaica. This travel option costs $5 off-peak and $7 during peak hours for a one-way trip. From Jamaica, you can then take the AirTrain to reach your terminal. The AirTrain fare is $8.25 for trips to or from Jamaica or Howard Beach stations, while it's free to ride between terminals.

Alternatively, although slower, taking the subway is a more budget friendly option. Pay $2.90 to ride the E, J, or Z train to Jamaica, and then transfer to the AirTrain to reach your terminal. Another option is to take the A train to Howard Beach and catch the AirTrain from there. Traveling from Manhattan to JFK via subway usually takes an hour or longer, depending on your starting point.

If you choose to take a taxi between JFK and Manhattan, the flat rate is $70 plus applicable taxes, tolls, and tip, with a $5 surcharge during peak hours. For those considering an Uber or Lyft into the city, drivers can be met at the designated pickup area outside of arrivals. Driving between JFK and Manhattan typically takes 30 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

LaGuardia Airport

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LaGuardia, the smallest among the three main airports in the NYC area, has been hailed as the most effective globally. Situated in Queens, approximately 10 miles north of JFK, it's most easily reached from Queens, Manhattan's Upper East Side, the Bronx, and northern Brooklyn.

Airlines & destinations

LGA is a well-loved choice among travelers flying within the country. Eight airlines – United, American, Delta, Air Canada, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, and JetBlue – offer direct flights to various cities in the United States, as well as to Canada, Aruba, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. LaGuardia serves as the exclusive stop in the New York City area for the Delta Shuttle service, connecting passengers to Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Airport amenities

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LaGuardia was previously criticized for its inadequate facilities, but following extensive renovations, it's now widely regarded as one of the best airports. Terminals B and C underwent significant transformations. Terminal B, which reopened in 2020, was even recognized as the top new airport globally at UNESCO's Prix Versailles awards. These terminals offer a variety of popular dining options, such as Shake Shack, Bubby's, Dos Toros Taqueria, Zaro's Family Bakery, and other beloved New York eateries. In addition, Terminal C is home to the Delta lounge, the sole airline lounge at LGA.

In contrast, Terminal A, also known as the Marine Air Terminal, is more celebrated for its historical and artistic significance rather than its amenities. This unique art deco structure, which was originally used for seaplanes, features a stunning WPA mural in its rotunda. Only Spirit and Frontier airlines operate out of Terminal A.

Getting to and from LGA

LaGuardia Airport doesn't have a subway or train station, so reaching it via public transportation involves a bus journey. Initially, you can take an E, F, M, R train to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue or the 7 train to 74th St-Broadway, then transfer to the free Q70-SBS LaGuardia Link bus, which makes stops at terminals B and C. For Terminal A, a complimentary shuttle service is available if required. For those traveling to or from uptown Manhattan, the M60-SBS bus that stops at Harlem's 125th Street outside the 4, 5, 6 line station at Lexington Avenue is the recommended route. The cost for a one-way trip is $2.90.

If opting for a taxi to Manhattan from the airport (or vice versa), expect to pay around $30 to $45 plus tolls and tip. During rush hours, the meter fare may rise considerably beyond this range. Similarly, Uber and Lyft fares tend to surge during peak periods. At LaGuardia Airport, there are specified pickup locations for rideshare services at each terminal.

Newark Liberty International Airport

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Newark Liberty International Airport accommodates approximately 44 million travelers annually. While the western side offers the most convenient access, getting to and from EWR to areas, such as Queens and Brooklyn, can be costly and time-intensive.

Airlines & destinations

Over 30 airlines operate at EWR, with over a dozen being international carriers. United considers the airport a key hub, alongside other airlines like American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, British Airways, Emirates, Spirit, and TAP Air Portugal. Direct flights are available from EWR to cities, such as San Juan, London, Tokyo, Dubai, and Berlin.

Airport amenities

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Each terminal at the airport features a dining area, and many travelers believe that the food court in Terminal C is the finest. You can choose to enjoy an Italian deli sandwich from Casiano's, dim sum from Wabi Sabi, or ramen from Kaedama while passing the time before your flight. In the newly refurbished Terminal A, you have the option to indulge in a traditional NYC bagel from Ess-a-Bagel or an organic chocolate chip cookie from the beloved Jersey bakery, Bang Cookies.

EWR is home to lounges from airlines, such as United, British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Getting to and from EWR

NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines offer transportation service between midtown Manhattan and Newark Airport Station, providing access to EWR via the AirTrain. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes and is priced at $15.75 each way. The Coach USA Newark Airport Express bus also operates between midtown Manhattan and all EWR terminals, priced at $33 for a round trip or $18.70 for a one-way ticket. The trip typically takes around an hour with minimal traffic.

Traveling by taxi between EWR and NYC can vary between 30 minutes to two hours depending on traffic conditions, with costs ranging from $50 to $70 for a ride into Manhattan, and more for destinations in the outer boroughs. Taxi fares from the city to EWR typically start at $70.

When choosing rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft, be mindful of surge pricing. While cabs can be found at the taxi stand, rideshare drivers will pick you up from the passenger pickup area.

Effortless airport parking solutions: choose convenience with us –!

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Along with our ultimate travel guide, we would like to share an additional valuable suggestion. This advice will prove beneficial for individuals who opt for air travel.

If you get to the airport by car, you always need to find a good parking space for your vehicle to leave for the period of a trip. In most cases, airports have special on-site parking for that purpose. However, such a parking lot is pretty costly most of the time, and people aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of a trip. So is there any solution?

The best way to solve this problem is to choose off-site parking. Why, you may ask? We will explain.

There are many reasons which can prove the benefit of this parking type. Here are some of them:

  • Affordable Rates. Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose between short-term and long-term airport parking. Anyway, an off-site airport is much cheaper, so you can save your money and spend the most considerable amount on things you really want to see or try while traveling.
  • Fast Service. In contrast with on-site airport parking, which can take quite a long time, off-site parking offers you the convenience of driving directly to the entrance and having a staff member pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle. Then they will park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It's a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
  • Convenience. When people travel, they may be stressed about making it to the airport on time. If you use off-site parking, you will definitely make your travel experience more convenient, as you use the service of a private company. Even though you may be able to park on-site at the airport in a short-term or long-term airport parking lot, consider using an off-site parking lot service.

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We are glad to say that our booking platform,, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are convenient and affordable. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.

With our platform, it only takes a few clicks in the app to reserve a parking spot. Guests receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking space upon arrival at the off-airport parking. In addition, the app helps customers locate the most convenient lots to the airport. Cancellations are easy if plans change with hassle-free, refundable cancellations.

Besides this, we also offer services for top cruise ports in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas.

Now let's take a good example. Imagine that you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, California. This state is located in the western United States. So if you're flying from John F. Kennedy International Airport, you can use cheap parking near JFK with shuttle. If you're flying from Newark Liberty International Airport, you can choose affordable EWR off-airport parking. It just depends on the airport you're flying from.

You can always find everything you need on our official website: the best deals for parking near US and Canadian airports, domestic airport parking charges, and much more.