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Airports in New York: Transportation, Amenities, Pros & Cons

airports in new york

If you are planning a trip to New York City, get ready because it will be one hell of a ride. New York’s airports are the busiest in the world, with millions of people traveling to and from the city throughout the year. And navigating these airports is like going through uncharted waters, especially for someone new to the Big Apple’s hustle and bustle. Add the festive season and holidays to the scenario, and you have chaos at your hands. This makes it all the more important for you to do proper research about the many airports in New York so that on D-day, you are not running around like a headless chicken. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the major airports of New York for a safe trip. Let’s dive in!

3 Major Airports in New York

There are three major airports in New York – LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, and Newark Liberty International. Depending on the airline, where you are flying from, and where you are staying in the city, you will be allotted an airport. Check out all the details regarding the 3 major airports of New York.

1. LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport | Nomadscolumn

LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is one of the top choices for domestic travelers when it comes to airports in New York, serving as a gateway to a number of destinations. Renowned airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United, and Southwest among a cohort of others, operate numerous flights from this bustling airport. LaGuardia Airport is the closest option for those seeking accommodation in the northern parts of Brooklyn or those nestled in upper and midtown Manhattan. A quick cab ride of around eight miles takes less than 30 minutes, depending on traffic and where you are.


  • Long Island Rail Road: The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is a train service connecting NYC and Long Island. It stops at LaGuardia Airport on the AirTrain JFK line.
  • Subway: NYC’s subway has 2 stations for the airport: the 7 train at Willets Point–Shea Stadium and the E, M, and R trains at Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue.
  • Buses: Buses like Q7, Q33, Q53, and M60 also provide transportation to the airport.
  • Free shuttle bus: A free shuttle bus within the airport terminals is useful if you’re flying with just one airline.

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Amenities and services

  • Food and Drinks: When you’re at LaGuardia Airport, you’ve got a bunch of choices for eating and drinking. There are chill spots to grab a quick bite, nice sit-down places, and even some cool bars.
  • Shopping without Tax: If you’re into shopping before your flight, you’ll like the duty-free shops at LaGuardia Airport. They’ve got all sorts of stuff like souvenirs and gifts that you can buy without paying extra taxes.
  • Money Stuff: You’re covered if you need to switch up your money. LaGuardia Airport has numerous currency exchange stations in different spots.
  • Get Some Cash: No worries about running out of cash. ATMs are scattered around the airport, so you can grab some money whenever you need.
  • Stay Connected: Don’t stress about staying online. LaGuardia Airport hooks you up with free Wi-Fi that works everywhere in the place.
  • Store Your Stuff: Got too much luggage? You can keep it safe at the airport for a small fee. They’ve got a spot for baggage storage.
  • Rent a Ride: Need a car to get around? LaGuardia Airport has a bunch of car rental companies right there, so you can easily snag a ride.


  • Proximity to Manhattan: For travelers seeking to minimize travel time, LaGuardia Airport is the nearest airport to Manhattan, proving beneficial for those looking to avoid lengthy commutes.
  • User-Friendly Size and Layout: Characterized by its manageable size and intuitive layout, LaGuardia Airport has become one of the most attractive airports in New York, particularly for individuals new to air travel.


  • Outdated and poorly maintained: LaGuardia Airport has garnered a reputation for its aging facilities and subpar maintenance.
  • Long security lines and delays: The airport has faced criticism due to the prolonged wait times at security checkpoints and flight delays.

2. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport | Nomadscolumn

Over 70 airlines, including numerous international carriers, operate flights to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). If your accommodations are situated in the southern parts of Brooklyn (below Williamsburg) or the eastern regions of Queens, JFK Airport will be your nearest airport. Revered as New York’s iconic entry point, this favored selection boasts a variety of lounges, shopping outlets, and dining establishments.

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  • AirTrain JFK: The AirTrain JFK is a complimentary shuttle train linking all three terminals at JFK Airport with the Howard Beach–JFK Airport subway station.
  • Subway: The rapid transit system of New York City, known as the subway, features two stations serving JFK Airport. These include the A, E, and J trains at Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport and the AirTrain JFK station at Howard Beach–JFK Airport.
  • Buses: Various bus lines, such as Q10, Q3, Q7, and X2, offer convenient transportation to JFK Airport.

Amenities and services

  • Dining and Bars: JFK Airport offers a diverse range of dining and bar options, spanning casual eateries, sit-down restaurants, and bars.
  • Duty-Free Shopping: Within JFK Airport, there are several duty-free shops where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts before your flight.
  • Currency Exchange: Currency exchange stations are strategically placed throughout JFK Airport.
  • ATM Availability: ATMs are conveniently accessible throughout JFK Airport.
  • Wireless Connectivity: Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the entirety of JFK Airport.
  • Baggage Storage: JFK Airport boasts a luggage storage facility, enabling travelers to securely store their belongings for a fee.
  • Car Rental: A variety of car rental companies are situated at JFK Airport.


  • Ample Size and Connectivity: JFK Airport ranks among the world’s largest and most connected airports. It offers a wide spectrum of amenities and services, with convenient access to Manhattan.
  • Multiple Airlines: A wide selection of airlines operates at JFK Airport, providing travelers with an array of flight booking options.
  • Global Flight Hub: As a significant hub for international flights, JFK Airport is one of the popular choices when it comes to airports in New York, especially for those journeying to or from overseas destinations.


  • Crowded and Hectic: JFK Airport can become congested and busy during peak travel periods.
  • Distance from Manhattan: Situated approximately 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan, JFK Airport’s location can result in a lengthy commute, particularly for city-bound travelers.
  • Higher Costs: As one of the more expensive airports in the United States, JFK Airport typically entails higher expenses for tickets, dining, and other services.

3. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport | Nomadscolumn

Newark (EWR) Airport accommodates flights from over 30 airlines, featuring a selection of more than twelve international carriers. United Airlines designates the airport as a key hub, exclusively managing all flights through Newark’s Terminal C. Accessing Newark is relatively easy if you’re located on the west side of Manhattan. However, this convenience might come at a cost or consume more time if your journey originates from Queens or Brooklyn. Overall it’s one of the most visited airports in New York.


  • NJ Transit Train: Operating as a commuter rail service between New York City and New Jersey, the NJ Transit train boasts a station conveniently located at Newark Liberty International Airport. This station is seamlessly integrated with the AirTrain Newark line.
  • PATH Train: The PATH train, functioning as a swift transit system bridging New Jersey and New York City, features a station within Newark Liberty International Airport, positioned along the Newark–World Trade Center line.
  • Buses: Newark Liberty International Airport is served by several bus lines, encompassing 108, 119, 121, and 123, providing accessible transportation options.

Amenities and services

  • Dining and Bars: Newark Liberty International Airport features diverse dining and bar options, from casual eateries to sit-down restaurants and bars.
  • Tax-Free Shopping: Duty-free Newark Liberty International Airport shops offer souvenirs and gifts for purchase before your flight.
  • Currency Exchange: Currency exchange windows are conveniently spread throughout Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • ATM Availability: ATMs are conveniently located throughout the airport.
  • WiFi: Complimentary Wi-Fi service is accessible throughout Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • Luggage Storage: A luggage storage facility at Newark Liberty International Airport accommodates travelers for a fee.
  • Car Rental: Newark Liberty International Airport has various car rental companies.


  • Proximity to Manhattan: Newark Liberty International Airport sits approximately 16 miles from Midtown Manhattan, slightly closer than JFK Airport.
  • Robust Public Transportation Access: The airport is well-connected through public transportation options, ensuring easy access to Manhattan.
  • Less Congestion: Newark Liberty International Airport tends to be less crowded than JFK Airport, fostering a more enjoyable travel experience.


  • New Jersey Location: Situated in New Jersey, Newark Liberty International Airport might pose an inconvenience for travelers lodging in Manhattan.
  • Fewer Amenities Compared to JFK: In contrast to JFK Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport might offer fewer amenities like a food court or a movie theatre.
  • Extended Security Lines: During peak travel periods, Newark Liberty International Airport security lines could be lengthy.


When deciding on the ideal airports in New York for your arrival, it’s imperative to consider your travel preferences. If being close to Manhattan is your top priority, LaGuardia Airport is a fitting choice. Opting for JFK Airport becomes more appealing if you desire a larger facility with a wider array of amenities. On the other hand, Newark Liberty International Airport presents a viable option if you’re looking for an airport slightly nearer to Manhattan than JFK. Regardless of your selection, rest assured that all these airports in New York provide essential amenities and services for a seamless and enjoyable travel experience. For more updates, visit Nomads Column.


How many New York City airports are there?
New York boasts three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
Why does New York have multiple airports?
The presence of multiple airports in New York arises from its stature as a prominent global city coupled with a dense population. The need for efficient management of domestic and international travel demands necessitates these regional airports.
Which airport offers more convenience in New York?
The level of convenience provided by New York’s airports hinges on factors such as your location and travel preferences. Due to its proximity, LaGuardia Airport is often favored by those seeking closeness to Manhattan. JFK Airport offers extensive international connections and amenities. Despite being situated in New Jersey, Newark Liberty International Airport is also deemed convenient due to its accessible transportation options and proximity to Manhattan.

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