Which New York City Airport Is Ideal for Your Travel Needs?
LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark – the eternal question for travelers to New York City. In this guide, we'll dissect the standout features of each airport, explore transportation options to and from these major New York hubs, and discover the dining and entertainment opportunities they offer. With New York's well-connected air travel network, you'll be spoiled for choices, and recent renovations are transforming these airports into modern travel hubs.
Three airports cater to the New York City area:
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Each airport has its unique advantages and drawbacks from a passenger's perspective, considering factors like distance from Manhattan and ease of access.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA): The Newly Transformed Front-Runner
For domestic flights to or from New York, LaGuardia Airport shines. Located in Queens, LaGuardia has undergone significant renovations, with brand-new terminals and passenger gates that have elevated its status. While it doesn't compete with JFK or Newark for international flights due to its "perimeter rule," it's an excellent choice for domestic travelers, especially those flying with Delta Air Lines, which has invested heavily in its LaGuardia terminal.
How to get to LaGuardia Airport from Manhattan:
Public transportation options to LaGuardia are somewhat limited. The Q70-SBS bus connects to the E, F, M, and R subway lines and the 7 train, while the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) connects to the Q70-SBS LaGuardia Link from the Woodside station. Metro-North riders can transfer to the M60-SBS bus at Harlem 125th Metro-North Station. Most travelers, though, opt for rideshare, taxi, or paid van services.
Best food and services at each terminal in LaGuardia:
LaGuardia's terminals have seen a remarkable transformation, offering an array of dining and leisure options. In Terminal A, you'll find the historic Marine Air Terminal, home to Frontier and Spirit, along with eateries like Cibo Express, Dunkin', and Salotto. Terminal B has recently completed a $4 billion overhaul, featuring impressive lounges, restaurants like Bar Veloce, Hill Country, and Shake Shack. Terminal C, Delta's hub, is undergoing a $4 billion renovation, boasting a vast arrivals hall, Delta Sky Club, and numerous restaurants, including Artichoke and Bubby's.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): New York's Premier International Hub
JFK, with its vast array of nonstop international flights, serves as New York's primary international gateway. Major carriers like British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Delta, and American Airlines operate here. JFK is in the midst of a $19 billion overhaul that aims to streamline the airport by reducing the number of terminals from six to four, creating a more unified travel experience. While construction may cause some inconveniences, a modernized JFK will soon emerge.
How to get to JFK from Manhattan:
In early 2023, a new Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) terminal, Grand Central Madison, opened, providing a convenient train connection from Manhattan to JFK. Alternatively, travelers can take the A subway line to Howard Beach-JFK Airport, although this option takes longer with multiple stops. Taxi and rideshare services are available but can be expensive, especially during peak hours.
Best food and services at each terminal in JFK:
JFK comprises six terminals, each offering a range of dining options. Terminal 1 hosts duty-free shops and eateries like Martini Bar and Eat & Go Istanbul. Terminal 2, currently used exclusively by Delta, offers basic amenities. Terminal 4, a spacious and modern space, features popular restaurants like Shake Shack and Le Grand Comptoir. Terminal 5 is JetBlue's home, and Terminal 7 serves various international carriers. Terminal 8, American Airlines' domain, offers a flagship lounge and restaurants like Bobby Van's.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): United's Main New York City Hub
Newark is United Airlines' primary hub in the New York area, making it the go-to airport for United and partner airline travelers. It's easily accessible by public transportation and offers a decent amount of international service with fewer crowds compared to JFK.
How to get to Newark airport from Manhattan:
Getting to Newark by train is convenient, with a New Jersey Transit train from New York's Penn Station followed by a transfer to the free AirTrain at the airport. Shuttle services and taxi/rideshare options are also available.
Best food and services at each terminal in Newark:
The newly renovated Terminal A is a significant improvement, offering a variety of eateries like New Jersey Mike's Subs and Shake Shack. Terminal B is the main international terminal, featuring dining options like Malone's Fish Market and Sora Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar. Terminal C, home to United Airlines, boasts an excellent selection of dining choices, including Tsukiji Fishroom, Daily, Garden State Diner, and Melange Café Bakery Chocolatier.
In summary, the best New York City airport for you depends on your travel needs and preferences. LaGuardia is great for domestic flights and proximity to Manhattan. JFK serves as the premier international hub but is undergoing renovations. Newark is convenient for United travelers and offers international flights with fewer crowds. Each airport has unique dining and leisure options to enhance your travel experience.