Travelers who are looking for cheap flights to New York City have the options of flying into John F Kennedy International Airport, or LaGuardia Airport. The John F Kennedy International Airport is a huge, important airport that is commonly just referred to as “Kennedy.” It is located in southern Queens, bordering Long Island proper, relatively far from Manhattan. It has eight passenger terminals and 151 gates. LaGuardia Airport is much smaller and easier for passengers, though is still a considerably popular and busy airport. It is also located in the borough of Queens, but in the north, on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay. There are four terminals at LaGuardia, and they are all connected by buses and walkways.
The greater New York City airport system is the biggest and busiest airport system in the United States. It is the largest in the world according to its volume of flight operations, and second largest in the world according to its passenger traffic (after London). These airports are all crowded and have very tight security due to 9/11.
The John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is currently going under $10.3 redevelopment, and Terminals 2 and 3 will undergo reconstruction. There are hundreds of places to eat and drink at JFK, and passengers can take the free AirTrain between terminals to find a place that they like in the pre-security areas. Other amenities include many newsstands, ATMs, currency exchange, duty free shopping, flower kiosks, spas, phone rentals, luggage storage and shoe shining. There is Wi-Fi, but it is not free except for at select airline gates.
Airlines That Fly Into John F Kennedy International Airport
The John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the busiest American airport, in terms of being an international air passenger gateway. Most people consider it very crowded, confusing and unpleasant, and it is very difficult to drive around the terminals with ease. Passengers should show up long in advance to Kennedy, and expect very long lines and intense security checks. For international flights, the immigration part and passport check also takes a while. JFK is the base of operations for JetBlue, and an international gateway hub for American and Delta Airlines. There are over 90 airlines that operate out of JFK to domestic and international destinations, and some major ones include Aer Lingus, Air China, Air India, Copa, Japan Airlines, United, and Virgin America.
Distance to city: 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan
Bus to city
- Not available directly.
Train to city
- Fare: $7.25 ($5 for the AirTrain, $2.25 for subway)
- Passengers can take the AirTrain, where they can connect to the subway line A in Howard Beach, which goes to Manhattan. They can also get off at the Long Island Rail Road line in Jamaica, Queens, and connect to the E, J and Z subway lines which also go to Manhattan.
Taxi to city
- Fare: $50 approximately
- It is recommended to take the yellow cabs only.
- There is a Super Shuttle Van that costs $21, and drops passengers off at their final destinations.
- The New York Airport Bus costs $15 and also goes to the Port Authority, Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station, where there are numerous connections to MTA public transit.
Car Rental Companies at John F Kennedy International Airport
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Information
The LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is often desirable to travelers because it is located much closer to Manhattan than the rest of the NYC area airports, and is easier to navigate. Amenities at this airport include shops, restaurants, newsstands, ATMs, internet stations, a post office, currency exchange, duty free shopping, spas, shoeshine and paging services. Some of these services are specific to the terminals. There is Wi-Fi, but it is not free.
Airlines That Fly Into LaGuardia Airport
The LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is small for its volume, as it is one of the busiest American airports, and it is very crowded because of this factor. Passengers should expect long lines and tight security checks, but less so than Kennedy. The vast majority of the flights at LaGuardia are within the United States and Canada, but there are some that go to Aruba, the Bahamas and Bermuda. This is because there is a perimeter rule at this airport that planes cannot go more than 1,500 miles from there, except for on Saturdays. LaGuardia is a focus city for American Airlines and American Eagle. It will become a hub for Delta. Other major airlines that service LaGuardia include Air Canada, Continental, Southwest, United, and US Airways.
Distance to city: 8 miles from Midtown Manhattan
Bus to city
- Fare: $2.25, which buys you a ride and one transfer to another bus or subway ride
- To go into Manhattan, passengers should take the MTA bus line M60, which goes to 106th and Broadway. The other option is taking the Q33 bus line to the 74th and Broadway station in Queens, where you can connect to the subway line 7, which will then take you to Times Square and Grand Central on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. These two stops are hubs that have numerous connections to other subway lines.
Train to city
- Not available directly from the airport. See “Bus to city.”
Taxi to city
- Fare: $30 approximately
- It is a good idea to only take the yellow cabs.
- There is a New York Airport Service bus company that costs $12, and goes to the Port Authority, Grand Central and Penn Station, where there are numerous other connections.
- There is also a Super Shuttle Bus that costs $16 and will drop you off at your destination.
Car Rental Companies at LaGuardia Airport