A Guide to Airports Near New York City

If you're flying to New York City, don't miss this guide to the area's airports

Airplane Take Off with New York City Skyline
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New York City is served by several airports, which makes it easier to find reasonable airfares, but it can also make planning your trip more challenging. The city's main three airports — LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens and Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey — make up the busiest airport system in the Americas.

Whether you're arriving at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), Newark Airport (EWR), or even one of New York's smaller airports, you should be aware of each airport's differences when when you book your tickets — sometimes the cheapest ticket or the best schedule can have you flying into one airport and out of a different one. This isn't a problem, unless you show up at the wrong one when it's time to go home!

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Location: Jamaica Bay, Queens
  • Best If: You need to fly internationally or access the airport via public transit.
  • Avoid If: You don't want to spend on a pricy cab ride into Manhattan.
  • Distance to Times Square: A taxi to Times Square will take approximately 40 minutes and cost a set fare of $52, not including tolls or surcharges.

John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) is New York's largest airport with over 59 million travelers passing through in 2017. Located approximately 15 miles from midtown Manhattan, the airport offers a light-rail Airtrain that connects directly to New York's subway system.

JFK consists of eight different terminals and is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America. The airport is hub for Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines. Originally known as Idlewild Airport, it was renamed as a tribute to the country's 35th president.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

  • Location: Northern Queens
  • Best If: You need quick and easy access to Midtown Manhattan.
  • Avoid If: You need to access the airport via public transportation.
  • Distance to Times Square: A taxi to Times Square will take approximately 30 minutes and cost around $30, not including tolls or surcharges.

LaGuardia Airport is smaller than Kennedy Airport, but no less important, having served over 29 million passengers in 2016. Located on Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay in Queens, approximately eight miles from midtown Manhattan, LaGuardia is the closest airport to midtown Manhattan.

Many of the airport's facilities are outdated and it's been subject to frequent criticism over the past few years. A reconstruction plan was announced in 2015 and is set to be complete by 2026. New facilities will include a single terminal building with a people mover, retail space, and a new hotel. 

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

  • Location: Newark, New Jersey
  • Best If: You need a direct flight to a city not served by JFK.
  • Avoid If: The New Jersey location makes cab fare expensive to and from the airport.
  • Distance to Times Square: A taxi to Times Square will take approximately 35 minutes and cost around $60, not including tolls or surcharges.

Newark Airport is actually located in Newark, New Jersey, but it is an important travel hub for visitors to New York City and is located just 16 miles from midtown Manhattan. In 2017, Newark served more than 40 million passengers, making it the sixth-busiest airport in the U.S. The airport serves 50 carriers and is among the largest hubs for United Airlines, which is its largest tenants.

Unlike LGA, Newark Airport is also connected to the city via train. AirTrain Newark connects the terminals to the Newark Liberty International Airport Station, which is served by New Jersey Transit and provides direct rail connections to Newark Penn Station, New York Penn Station, and others.

Long Island Islip MacArthur Airport (LIMA)

  • Location: Ronkonkoma, New York
  • Best If: You're flying Southwest and staying on Long Island.
  • Avoid If: Getting into Manhattan can be time-consuming, especially during rush hour.
  • Distance to Times Square: The drive to Times Square will take approximately 90 minutes and is best arranged ahead of time through a private car service.

Located on Long Island, MacArthur Airport accommodates more than two million passengers annually. American Eagle, Frontier Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all service the airport. Orlando, Baltimore, and West Palm Beach, Fla., are the airport's top destinations.

Located 50 miles east of Manhattan, there is a shuttle service to the Long Island Railroad, which takes about 90 minutes to travel to New York City.

White Plains Westchester Airport (HPN)

  • Location: White Plains, New York
  • Best If: It's smaller and easier to navigate than the big New York City hubs.
  • Avoid If: Flights are limited with no international routes.
  • Distance to Times Square: The drive to Times Square will take approximately 90 minutes and is best arranged ahead of time through a private car service.

Located in Westchester, White Plains Airport accommodates over one million passengers annually. Five airlines operate from the airport, but JetBlue and Delta are the only two mainline carriers. Delta offers service to Atlanta, where passengers can connect to the carrier's many international segments.

White Plains is located 33 miles northeast of Manhattan. The Metro-North Railroad serves White Plains from New York's Grand Central Station, but a taxi is still necessary to get to the airport.

New York Stewart International Airport (SWF)

  • Location: New Windsor, New York
  • Best If: You're flying a low-cost fare on Norwegian Airlines, or another carrier.
  • Avoid If: Flights are limited with no international routes.
  • Distance to Times Square: The drive to Times Square will take approximately 90 minutes.

Located in New Windsor, New York, New York Stewart International Airport accommodates nearly a million passengers annually. In 2018, the Port Authority renamed the airport, adding "New York" to its title to emphasize its proximity to the city. In recent years, the airport has grown more popular thanks to inexpensive routes to Europe on Norwegian Air Shuttle. Stewart is also serviced by Allegiant Air, American Eagle, Delta Connection, and JetBlue.

Stewart International Airport is located 60 miles north of Manhattan. While plans have been discussed to implement a light-rail connection to the airport, such a service doesn't exist yet. Passengers either must drive to the airport or take a private car service. Additionally, CoachUSA began offering bus service from Manhattan in June 2017.

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