New York is famous for many things; however, having great airports is not one of them. As some of you consider traveling to New York for Admitted Students Day, or are planning your own vacation to the city, here’s are some things to keep in mind before stepping on the plane.
1. John F. Kennedy International Airport
New York City is serviced by three main airports, two of which are located in the city itself. For international travelers, you will likely fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport, which is located in one of Queens most industrial (and distant) neighborhoods.
JFK is about an hour by car into Manhattan and depending on your arrival time, it may take up to an hour and a half with traffic. Expect to pay anywhere between $70-100 for a taxi or Uber one-way.
For the more economical traveler, JFK is serviced by the AirTrain and the A/E trains. The AirTrain is a local line that connects travelers to NYC’s subway system. You will find signs in the JFK baggage area directing you to the AirTrain.
I personally suggest taking the JFK Airtrain Green Line to Howard Beach station. There, you can transfer to the A-Train and take it straight into Manhattan. Depending on where you are staying it will take a little over an hour, but there are no transfers and service is reliable.
2. Newark Liberty International Airport
For international travelers that are not routed to JFK, it is almost a guarantee that you will be flying into Newark. Located just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, Newark is actually a pretty modern and easy airport to navigate.
From my experience, a lot of flights arriving late at night or from East/South Asia tend to head straight to Newark.
Taxis/Ubers from Newark airport into Manhattan are relatively comparable to JFK prices, although at times it may be a bit cheaper.
Travelers that wish to use public transit can take the AirTrain to the Newark Liberty Airport station on the New Jersey Coast line.
You can take the line into Penn Station in Manhattan, which is on 34th St. It is one of New York’s busiest subway/transit stations and you can find connecting subways to pretty much anywhere in the city.
3. LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia is the most conveniently located of New York’s three airports, as it is located right across the Queens Bridge in the sleepy neighborhood of Astoria. I have almost exclusively flown American carriers (cough, Southwest) into LaGuardia and it’s essentially the airport for domestic travel.
For international travelers flying American airlines or connecting through a major US city (Miami for Caribbean/Central/South American travelers, Houston/Dallas for Mexican and Central American travelers or Los Angeles for travelers from Asia) may have a connecting flight that ends up stopping in LaGuardia.
Depending on where you’re staying, taxis will likely be significantly cheaper and somewhere in the $30-60 range.
That being said, LaGuardia has the absolute best bus line in the city. For those that don’t mind lugging their carry-ons onto a bus, the M60-SBS picks up passengers from the airport and goes right across the Queens Bridge into Harlem.
You can hop off on the stop by the Apollo Theater to take any of the ABCD trains to most places in Manhattan or you can continue riding until Columbia University! The whole trip takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.
While trains do run from LaGuardia, I cannot recommend the bus route enough. Particularly because it costs like 2 dollars.
For those that have more general questions about travel, airport conditions or navigating taxis/Ubers/trains in New York from the airport, feel free to reach out! Safe travels!