Which airport is best to fly

Which airport is best to fly

Choosing which airport to fly into when visiting NYC is one of the very first questions visitors ask. New York City is served by 3 major airports: LaGuardia (LGA), JFK, and Newark. LaGuardia and JFK are both located in the borough of Queens, while Newark is located in the great State of New Jersey. Which of these airports is best for you will depend on a variety of factors including where you are traveling from, where you are staying in the city, and your preferred mode of transportation to get to and from the airport. Let’s discuss the different options.


Which is closest to NYC? 


Which airport is closest to NYC is a bit of a trick question, as both LaGuardia and JFK are actually in NYC, just a bit far away from most of the major tourist attractions. Let’s reframe the question and ask which airport is closest to Times Square.


JFK airport is 16.5 miles from Times Square. The commute via cab will last approximately 41 minutes. The commute using public transportation will take approximately an hour and ten minutes. If you choose to walk, 5 hours and 12 minutes. 


Newark is 13.4 miles from Times Square. The commute via cab will take approximately 30 minutes. The commute using public transportation will take approximately 37 minutes. If you choose to walk, 7 hours and 56 minutes. 


LGA is 8.8 miles from Times Square. The commute via cab will take approximately 23 minutes. The commute using public transportation will take approximately 40 minutes. If you choose to walk, 2 hours and 38 minutes. 


This information is really useful if you’re staying in Times Square, but if you are NOT staying in Times Square, the commute times may be entirely different, and you may have to take a combination of taxis, trains, and your own two feet. If commute time is a large concern of yours, talk to your hotel concierge or host and see which airport they recommend.


Which NYC airport is best?


The answer to which NYC airport is best is best answered by saying it is whichever one gets you the best price and most direct flight. All three major airports have much to offer. LGA and JFK recently had million-dollar makeovers and have some pretty dazzling food in the newest terminals. 


However, LGA is a small airport, and, to ease congestion, there was a law put into place that fines airlines coming from far away. LGA has a perimeter rule that says no flights further than 1,500 miles away can land at LGA unless they are coming from Denver or flying on Saturdays.


As such, if you are traveling from abroad, LGA might not be an option for you at all. In which case, you’re really choosing between Newark and JFK.  Choose whichever has the best flight times, prices, and connections for you.


How to get from NYC airport to Times Square


All three major airports have public transportation options to and from midtown.


Newark airport has teamed up with NJ Transit to offer an easy and inexpensive train that costs just $8 per ticket. 


JFK airport connects to the MTA subway A, E, J, and Z  trains. You will also need to use the AirTrain which costs $8.25 to get to the subway from your terminal.


LGA offers a wonderful Uptown option with the M60 bus. If you’re in midtown or Times Square, you can take the Long Island Rail Road then connect to the free LaGuardia Link Q70 bus. 


If you want the speediest commute, check out Blade, a helicopter that can take you from the airport to Manhattan in a matter of minutes. Just make sure you check the luggage allowance! Those who fail to pack light might find themselves in a pickle with the helicopter commute.


Many would say the easiest is a car service or taxi cab. Cabs can cost anywhere between $40-$120 to Midtown Manhattan. Right now, the only airport with a fixed fare is JFK. That fare is $70 for a NYC yellow cab, with a $5 surcharge during peak hours. While it might be expensive, it’s often the most “worry free” and best “door-to-door” airport service around.


Check with your hotel. Many hotels have a free shuttle service to and from the airport. 


Do you tip your driver? 


If you choose to take a car service to and from an airport, you should absolutely tip. An average tip for good service is 20%. In NYC, many professions including waiters, drivers, and tour guides depend on tips to make ends meet. When in doubt, 20% is always the way to go.


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