NYC Airport & Travel Information
The best airport to fly into New York City depends on where you are traveling from, and which part of the city you are headed. There are three major airports that serve NYC: JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. Let us at City Tales help you decide which is the best airport in New York for your trip.
LaGuardia Airport is a domestic airport. If you are traveling from overseas, cross LaGuardia off your “best airport to fly into New York” list. In fact, there is a perimeter rule that says direct flights from points beyond 1,500 miles away cannot land in LaGuardia. Fun fact, the only exceptions are flights to Denver and some Saturday flights.
For the many traveling from within the 1,500-mile perimeter, LaGuardia is the best airport in New York. This is because it is approximately a 37-minute cab ride away from Times Square, the shortest of all the cab commutes to midtown. If you’re a family traveling with lots of luggage and want an easy commute to midtown, this is the way to go. A cab from LaGuardia runs its meter in traffic and costs approximately $40-$50 plus tip. Uber, Lyft, and other car services will cost roughly the same price but do not charge based on time.
For budget travelers who prefer to use public transportation, LaGuardia can be a little tricky. The upside is that taking the subway only costs $2.75 per person.
To get to midtown from LaGuardia airport, you will need to take the Q70 limited bus to Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue. Once at Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue, you will find a subway station that will take you virtually anywhere in Manhattan. We recommend taking the E train to Times Square.
Please keep in mind that the subways can run on a limited schedule on weekends, and occasionally have alternative routes. Check new.mta.info(opens in a new tab) for the most up-to-date schedules and routes.
There are also two companies currently offering ride-sharing services to and from LGA. They are GO Airlink Shuttle(opens in a new tab) and SuperShuttle(opens in a new tab). It will cost approximately $25 per person. Depending on how many people are traveling, you may or may not be better off hopping in a cab. The shuttles can also take more time as they will make multiple stops on their way to and from the destination. You could be the first dropped-off or the last—the gamble of taking this option!
If you’re flying internationally, JFK might be your ticket. Millions of people agree as it is the busiest international air passenger gateway in North America and the 20th busiest airport in the world! Getting to Times Square from JFK however, can be a little tricky but the great news is that there are lots of options.
Taxis from JFK have a fixed fare to anywhere in Manhattan. That fare is $52 on weekdays and $56.50 on weekends. (Don’t forget to tip your driver!) A taxi is widely regarded by New Yorkers as being the easiest route, though traffic can make it take a long time. In good traffic, the commute will be about 45 minutes.
If you are traveling light and want a super-speedy trip to Manhattan, check out UberCopter and BLADE helicopter services. If you travel via helicopter, the trip will only be about 5 minutes and it will cost approximately $195 per person. You will be dropped off at one of Manhattan’s three active heliports, and take a taxi or public transportation to your hotel.
Taking the subway is fairly easy from JFK, and less expensive than a taxi or a helicopter. You will take the AirTrain from JFK which currently costs $5. The AirTrain will drop you off at a train station from which you can take the E train or the LIRR and head into Midtown Manhattan. The LIRR will cost $15 and get you to midtown in approximately 35 minutes. The subway will cost $2.75 and take approximately an hour.
Visitors often wonder ask “How far is Newark from NYC?” Newark is only about 13 miles from Times Square. Even though Newark airport is located in New Jersey, a totally different state than the one New York is located in, it is closer to Times Square than JFK is!
While you can take a taxi or car service from NYC to midtown, it is not typically recommended as it can be very pricey. And Uber can easily cost upwards of $100! A car will also have to pass through a tunnel or over a bridge, both of which often experience very heavy traffic delays.
The great news is that there is easy and inexpensive public transportation between Newark and Midtown Manhattan. NJ Transit runs regular trains between Newark and Manhattan that cost around $10. NJ Transit will have you in Manhattan in as little as 33 minutes! Check out the daily schedules and most recent fares on the NJ Transit Trip Planner(opens in a new tab). For many, the ease and cost of NJ Transit make Newark Airport the best airport in New York City.
Even less expensive are the PATH Trains and NJ Transit Bus system. That can cost as little as $4.35. The PATH Train is a great option for those staying in Lower Manhattan. Keep up to date on the PATH train and bus schedules on the MTA website.(opens in a new tab)