There are seven airports to choose from when booking flights into New York City's neighboring island. Not only are there several Long Island-based airports, but there are also New York City and New Jersey airports within driving distance. Long Island is also home to a number of smaller, private airports. Some of these airports also offer a few different ways to fly, including private helicopter tours of the island.
Brookhaven Calabro Airport (WSH)
- Location: Shirley
- Best If: You're a pilot with your own plane, or you can pay for a charter flight.
- Avoid If: You want to fly commercial.
- Distance to Anything: There's not much near this airport—you'd only fly here if you lived nearby or wanted to take a scenic flight.
Located in Shirley, in Suffolk County, Brookhaven Calabro Airport is operated by the Town of Brookhaven’s Division of General Aviation. Although this airport isn't really for commercial travel, it does have more than 300 aircraft based here. Special services offered at Brookhaven Calabro include helicopter tours of Long Island by East End Helicopter and chartered private flights from some of the aircraft stationed at the airport.
East Hampton Airport (HTO)
- Location: Wainscott
- Best If: You want to get to the Hamptons in style (aka a helicopter or private jet).
- Avoid If: You don't have the money to fly private.
- Distance to Downtown East Hampton: A 10-minute taxi would cost about $20.
One of the best ways to access the Hamptons, a popular summer destination for wealthy travelers, is to book a charter flight into the East Hampton Airport in Wainscott. This airport, owned and operated by the Town of East Hampton, offers chartered flights on everything from helicopters to large private jets, but the only destinations you can reach from it are within New Jersey and New York state.
Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP)
- Location: Ronkonkoma
- Best If: You're flying commercial but don't want to deal with JFK or LGA.
- Avoid If: You want to fly internationally.
- Distance to the Fire Island Ferry: A 15-minute taxi ride will cost about $35.
MacArthur Airport is owned and operated by the Town of Islip in Suffolk County and is sometimes referred to locally as Islip Airport. However, it is actually located in Ronkonkoma. Unlike East Hampton and Brookhaven Calabro, MacArthur offers commercial flights to destinations outside of the tri-state area.
Southwest Airlines offers flights serving Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, while American offers daily flights to Philadelphia, and Frontier offers nonstop service to Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and New Orleans.
It's conveniently located to the launch point of the ferries to Fire Island.
Republic Airport (FRG)
- Location: Farmingdale
- Best If: You're chartering a flight or flying on a shuttle to Atlantic City.
- Avoid If: You want to fly commercial.
- Distance to Jones Beach: A 20-minute taxi could cost upwards of $80, but rideshares are usually cheaper.
This airport in Farmingdale, Suffolk County, serves both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Billing itself as Long Island’s Executive Airport, Republic Airport serves a number of charter flight providers, such as Talon Air, Ventura Air Services and Sundance Aviation, as well as a number of casino and helicopter charter services that connect the airport with Atlantic City in New Jersey.
- Location: South Queens
- Best If: You're flying internationally.
- Avoid If: You hate crowds and delays.
- Distance to Jamaica: JFK connects to Jamaica, where you can catch the Long Island Rail Road, via the AirTrain, which costs $5.
John F. Kennedy International Airport is located in Queens—New York City’s largest borough—and is the regional hub for national and international flights. Long Island visitors and residents can hire a taxi to the airport or take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to the Jamaica station, where they connect to the MTA’s AirTrain straight to terminals at JFK. With services to most places around the world, JFK Airport is the closest major airport to Long Island.
- Location: North Queens
- Best If: You're flying Delta
- Avoid If: You're flying anything but Delta
- Distance to Jamaica: Take a taxi, as public transportation to LGA isn't great. It'll cost about $30 for the 10-minute ride to the LIRR hub.
LaGuardia Airport, also located in Queens, offers mostly domestic flights but also has carriers that fly to Canada and parts of the Caribbean. Significantly smaller and less busy than JFK, LaGuardia is a great airport for making domestic trips into and out of Long Island and will often be the cheapest option for booking domestic travel to New York City in general.
Although possible with a bus-to-subway-to-LIRR transfer, getting to Long Island from La Guardia is much easier with a car or taxi, so plan this extra expense in your budget, especially if you're traveling with a lot of luggage.
LGA is undergoing massive renovations as of May 2019, so not all terminals are made equal. Terminals C and D, which serve Delta and its codeshare partners, are modern and clean. Terminal B is pretty poorly designed and outdated, but renovations are underway.
- Location: Newark
- Best If: You have to fly United.
- Avoid If: You're short on time.
- Distance to Penn Station: In order to get to Long Island from EWR, you're best off taking the AirTrain and NJ Transit to Penn Station, which is the terminus of the Long Island Rail Road. Public transportation will run you about $15, whereas a taxi could cost upwards of $80.
Located in New Jersey, Newark Airport’s carriers include United, Air Canada, American Airlines, and SAS, as well as a variety of other major carriers. There are a number of ways for Long Islanders to reach the airport, but taking the LIRR to Penn Station, then the airport-bound New Jersey Transit train with a connection to the AirTrain, is one of the best solutions.
Still, since this is the farthest airport from Long Island—and because cabs charge you an extra toll to get from New Jersey to Manhattan, then from Manhattan to Queens—this airport should be the last option you pick if you want to head straight to Long Island. If you want to fly United internationally, EWR is your best bet, as the airline doesn't fly out of JFK, and it only flies short-haul routes from LGA.