Before you book your flight to New York City, it’s important you do some research and plan your trip because there are three major NYC area airports. There’s John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport, Newark Liberty International (EWR) Airport and LaGuardia (LGA) airport. These airports are in different areas in New York City and the airport you’d land is dependent on three things, firstly, the airline you are flying, secondly, where you are flying from and thirdly, where you’d be staying in the city. These are the three factors that determine the airport you’d be landing when entering New York.

New York City has one of the busiest airspace in the world, if you are new in the city, navigating your way to any of these airports can be a little difficult except if you take a cab. There is not a simple train shuttle that will easy take your downtown and the city’s three main airports are in different directions from central Manhattan. So the best option to get to any of these airports in New York City is by cab and you will need to leave early if you are scheduled for early flight to avoid traffic delays.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport

At John F. Kennedy International Airport, over 70 airlines including international carriers fly to and from this airport. If you are staying in lower eastern Queens, Brooklyn or anywhere than Williamsburg, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the closest airport to you. JFK is New York’s most famous gateway and it is the most preferred choice because of its lounges, dining options, shops, etc.

JFK is also known to be the home base for JetBlue. This airline has taken over T5 (terminal 5) and have painted the whole place with blue. Renovation started at the airport sometime in 2021 with over 9.5 billion dollars which will add a new international terminal by 2023.

How to Get To JFK

Locating JFK is the easiest option for travelers using public transit. In NYC, there are two options for navigating your way. The fastest is to take the AirTrain (The airport’s terminal-to-terminal shuttle, it costs $7.75 and payable by MetroCard). It connects to the LIRR at Jamaica Station. Service runs to Penn Station in Manhattan or Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, it cost about $7.75.

One of the cheapest options is the AirTrain ($7.75) to the subway ($2.75). At Jamaica Station, you will be able to take the J, E an Z trains. You can board the AirTrain to the Howard Beach, then stop to board the A train. Use your MetroCard to ensure easy access. Through this route, it takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to get to downtown Manhattan. There are several car services and shuttles offering transport to and from JFK.

Taxi Cost

John F. Kennedy International Airport is the only NYC airport that offers a flat-rate trip from anywhere in Manhattan. During peak hour passengers can pay up to $56.50 per ride but normally it is within the range of $52 per ride not including tolls or tips.

Where to Meet Your Ride

At John F. Kennedy International Airport, you will meet your driver at the arrivals level. For terminal 1 to 4 and 7 to 8, you’d need to go outside from arrivals or baggage claim and look for rideshare pick-up signs. If you are Terminal 5, you should exit on the arrivals or departure level and then look for rideshare signs

Newark Liberty International Airport

Newark Liberty International Airport

At Newark Liberty International Airport, over 30 airlines including international carriers fly to and from this airport. The airport is one of the major hubs for United and the airline operates all their flights in and out Terminal C. For those staying at the west side of Manhattan, this airport is easy to locate. If you are traveling from Brooklyn or Queens, this option is often time-consuming and pricey.

This airport is not exactly known as a culinary destination other than the Global Bazaar in Terminal C. In 2018, the food-hall opened; there they have Italian deli, ramen, sushi etc. Lots of international travelers love it here because of the delicious dish they serve.

How to Get to Newark (EWR)

With New Jersey Transit provides a good option for travelers to get between midtown Manhattan and Newark Airport. From Penn Station, you can take either the North Jersey Coast or Northeast Corridor lines. This trip costs $15.25 and takes about 30 minutes. On the New Jersey Transit website, you can get up-to-date information about hours of operation and train frequency.

At the cost of $30 for a round-trip or $17 for a one-way ticket, The Newark Airport Express shuttle services runs from midtown Manhattan to all terminals at the airport. This journey takes about 45 minutes with minimal traffic.

Taxi Cost

If you are taking a taxi to Manhattan, you are likely to pay $50 to $70. You can use Lyft or Uber but their prices are not fixed, it’s subject to change due to surge pricing.

Where to Meet Your Ride

You will be picked up at the arrivals area outside your terminal if you are using a car service at the airport. If you are using an app based ride like Lyft or Uber, drivers are already outside the airport waiting. When you place a trip request, you will get one of the drivers waiting outside the airport. The app will notify you of the terminal number you and where to meet the driver on the arrivals level.

LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport is a popular destination for domestic travelers. There are several airlines that operate flights at this airport, these airlines include, Delta, American Airlines, United Southwest, JetBlue and so much more. LaGuardia Airport is undergoing renovation after years of being criticized for its subpar facilities. The newly renovated LaGuardia’s Terminal B is a base for some airlines and the Terminal C is the home base of all Delta flights.

LaGuardia Airport is closes to those staying in upper and midtown Manhattan, as well as those in Northern Brooklyn (Williamsburg or Greenpoint). You can take a car to the airport; it takes less than 30 minutes to get to LaGuardia airport depending on traffic and where you are coming from.

How To Get to LaGuardia (LGA)

This is one of the most difficult airports to access in New York City if you are using a public transit. The most common routes to the airport are the Q70-SBS LaGuardia Link and M60-SBS. If you are taking the Q70, you will pick it up at a stop in Queens, it is accessible by the 7, E, F, M and R trains but the M60-SBS makes stops in uptown Queens and Manhattan. Going to LaGuardia airport on a bus trip, it costs $2.75. It is better you load an MTA MetroCard before attempting to catch the bus.

Taxi Cost

From the LaGuardia airport to Manhattan, Port Authority predicts that travelers will spend up to $30 to $45 to get to your destination (including toll and tips). Nonetheless, in New York City, the cost for most journeys is determined by traffic and if your trip is scheduled at rush hour, the price will be higher and you will pay more than usual. Just as the pricing for Lyft and Uber goes up during peak times.

Where to Meet Your Ride

At the LaGuardia airport, there is a designated car service and app-based ride pick-up area at each terminal. Directly across the street from the terminal is where Terminal A is located. Pick-up area for Terminal B can be located on Level 2 of the Terminal B parking garage, adjacent to the terminal. For Terminal C, the pick-up is located at the arrivals outer lane on ground level. The new Terminal D pick-up areas are located at the west end on ground level at the arrivals inner lane. You can contact your driver when you get to your respective pick-up area.

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