The Airports of New York: A Quick Guide

Every year, millions of people fly in, out, and through New York City area airports. So much so, that NYC’s three major airports are the largest airport system in the world, handling a total of well over 100 million travelers per year. If you happen to be one of those lucky travelers planning to visit NYC, you might be wondering which of the three major airports is best for you. Thus, we’ve created a quick guide to the airports of New York for all you newbies out there.

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LaGuardia Airport


LaGuardia Airport from the air.

LaGuardia is located approximately eight miles from Manhattan, and is separated into four terminals: A, B, C, and D. You can get from terminal to terminal via bus.

If you’re flying internationally, LaGuardia probably won’t be your best bet. The airport has a perimeter rule that prohibits flights from flying more than 1,500 miles to get the La Guardia. Seeing as such, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have a layover at La Guardia. But should you end up waiting long hours in the terminal, there should be enough post-security snacks, meals, and shopping to keep you occupied for a short while… unfortunately, you’ll find yourself pretty bored after that.

However, you can always spend time with your trusty electronics while you wait. LaGuardia is equipped with wifi, which you can access for a fee of $4.95 per hour or $7.95 per day. Though should you find yourself stranded overnight, your laptop probably won’t be enough… you can get a comfortable place to sleep at one of the four nearby airport hotels.

If you’re coming to the States from another country, you can exchange your currency between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. So, if your flight arrives outside of those hours, be especially sure to travel with some USD.

Since LaGuardia is located in the northern part of Queens, it’s fairly easy to get from the airport to the heart of the New York City. You can cheaply get to Manhattan using public transportation by taking the M60 to 125th Street in Manhattan for just $2.50. From there, you can take line 4, 5, or 6 to your final destination (for another $2.50). The entire trip should take you about 50 minutes or so. If you don’t want to start your trip off with public transportation, you can always take a taxi ($25-45), a car service, or a private shuttle ($13-20 per person). To estimate your taxi fare beforehand, try this.

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Newark Liberty International Airport


The train from Newark Airport.

Newark is an international airport, which fittingly, handles hundreds of long-distance flights. It’s also one of the hubs for United Airlines, so if you’re flying through New York to fly international via United Airlines, you’ll probably find yourself in Newark. It’s configured as three terminals, A, B, and C, which travelers can traverse between via the Airtrain. Each terminal has its own currency exchange, which are open 24 hours a day.

If you’ve got a long layover at Newark International, you should be able to keep yourself occupied. Each of the three terminals has a variety of options for food and shopping. So, you should easily be able to keep yourself occupied for a while. Newark offers wifi at a price: $4.95 per hour, or $7.95 per day. If you find yourself stranded overnight for any reason, there are numerous airport hotels.

Newark is located in northeastern New Jersey, approximately 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Even though you’ll be getting off the plane in a different state (albeit, a neighboring state), you’ll be able to get to Manhattan using public transportation. In fact, you’ll have a few options to get you to the Big Apple, but the most highly recommended is by the NJ transit train. Start by taking the Airtrain to the Newark Airport Train Station. From there, you’ll take an NJ transit train to Penn Station, NY (be sure not to get off at Penn Station Newark), where you can hop on a subway to your final destination. Be careful not to get on the Amtrak–it costs a lot more. This option should cost you about $12.50 and take around 45 minutes. Keep in mind that these trains do not run between 2-5am. If you do happen to fly in during those hours, you can always take a taxi (fares to Manhattan run between $50-70), airport shuttle or a car service.

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John F. Kennedy International Airport


Driving up to JFK International Airport.

JFK is an international airport located in Queens, New York. JFK is split up into terminals 1-8, which travelers can go between with the Airline Terminals Train. Every terminal has a currency exchange, which is open 24 hours per day, so if you didn’t get a chance to get your money in order before your flight, you’ll have the chance to do so.

Each of its eight terminals is well-stocked with stores for both food and retail, so your layovers should be relatively bearable. If you make it through all the stores with time to kill, you can access the wifi for $4.95 per hour or $7.95 per day. Should you find yourself stuck overnight, you can make a reservation at the Garden Inn & Suites JFK Airport Hotel.

For the cheapest transportation into the city, take the Subway. Lines stop at the Jamaica – Airport Station, as well as the Howard Beach – Airport Station (Jamaica Station is the better if you’re traveling to Midtown Manhattan, while the Howard Beach Station is the the wiser choice if you’re final destination is in Lower Manhattan). However, to get to Manhattan will require a transfer, and will likely take upwards of an hour and a half. If you don’t want to invest any more time in getting from point A to point B, you can take an airport shuttle, car service, or a taxi. Expect a taxi to New York City to be between $40-80.

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No matter which airport you’re flying into, if you’re traveling to NYC, let us help you find your room.

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1 thought on “The Airports of New York: A Quick Guide

  1. Pingback: Score! A Decent Airport Wine Bar – Who Knew? | The Insatiable Traveler

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