Air Travel

TRAVEL TIPS

Air Travel

Generally, international flights go in and out of John F. Kennedy or Newark airport, while domestic flights go in and out of both of these, as well as LaGuardia Airport.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration. The TSA offers travel tips and has answers for almost every question about travel safety and security procedures. www.tsa.gov.

Airports

The major air gateways to New York City are LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and JFK International Airport (JFK) in the borough of Queens, and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in the state of New Jersey.

Airport Information

JFK International Airport. New York, New York, 11430. 718/244–4444; www.jfkairport.com.

LaGuardia Airport. New York, New York, 11371. 718/533–3400; www.laguardiaairport.com.

Newark Liberty International Airport. Newark, New Jersey, 07114. 973/961–6000; www.newarkairport.com.

Transfers—Car Services

Car services can be a great convenience, because the driver often meets you in the baggage-claim area and helps with your luggage. The flat rates are often comparable to taxi fares, but some car services charge for parking and wait time at the airport. To eliminate these expenses, other car services require you to telephone their dispatcher (or order a car through their app) when you land so they can send the next available car to pick you up. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission rules require all car services be licensed and pick up riders only by prior arrangement; if possible, call 24 hours in advance for reservations or at least a half day before your flight's departure. Drivers of nonlicensed vehicles ("gypsy cabs") often solicit fares outside the terminal in baggage-claim areas. Don't take them: you run the risk of an unsafe ride in a vehicle that may not be properly insured and will almost certainly pay more than the going rate. Getting a car via the Uber ride-sharing service or one of its competitors is another option.

Transfers—Taxis and Shuttles

Outside the baggage-claim area at each of New York's major airports are taxi stands where a uniformed dispatcher helps passengers find taxis (). Cabs are not permitted to pick up fares anywhere else in the arrivals area, so if you want a taxi, take your place in line. Shuttle services generally pick up passengers from a designated spot along the curb.

GO Airlink NYC, NYC Airporter, and SuperShuttle run vans and some buses from JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark (NYC Airporter does not run to Manhattan from Newark) airports to popular spots like Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, and hotels in Manhattan. Fares on NYC Airporter, for instance, cost about $14–$17 one way and $26–$30 round-trip per person to or from JFK or LGA. Those rates are significantly cheaper than taking a taxi if you're on your own, but probably not if there are two or more of you traveling together. If you choose to use such services, keep in mind that customers' satisfaction with them is very mixed; online reviews often complain of rude employees and significant waits for vans to both arrive and reach their destinations. In any case, allow lots of time for the shuttle's other pickups and drop-offs along the way.

Shuttle Service

GO Airlink NYC. 877/599–8200; 212/812–9000 ; www.goairlinkshuttle.com.

NYC Airporter. New York, New York. 718/777–5111; www.nycairporter.com.

SuperShuttle. 800/258–3826; www.supershuttle.com.

Transfers from JFK International Airport

The rate for traveling between JFK and Manhattan by yellow cab in either direction is a flat fee of $52.80 plus surcharges and tolls (which average about $6). The trip takes 35–60 minutes. Prices are roughly $25–$55 for trips to most other locations in New York City. You should also tip the driver for safe driving and good service.

JFK’s AirTrain ($5) connects JFK Airport to the New York City Subway (A, E, J, and Z trains) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR)—both of which take you to Manhattan or Brooklyn. The monorail system runs 24 hours. Not sure which train to take? Check www.citymapper.com, www.iridenyc.com, or tripplanner.mta.info(or their corresponding apps) for the best route to your destination. Subway travel between JFK and Manhattan takes less than an hour and costs $3.75 in subway fare (including $1 to buy a MetroCard) plus $5 for the AirTrain. The LIRR travels between JFK's AirTrain stop (Jamaica Station) and Penn Station in around 30 minutes, for about $17, including the AirTrain fee. When traveling from Manhattan to the Howard Beach station, be sure to take the A train marked "Far Rockaway" or "Rockaway Park," not "Lefferts Boulevard."

JFK Transfer Information

AirTrain JFK. 877/535–2478; www.airtrainjfk.com.

Long Island Railroad. 511; www.mta.info/lirr.

Transfers from LaGuardia Airport

Taxis cost $30–$50 (plus tip and tolls) to most destinations in New York City, and take at least 20–40 minutes.

For $2.75 (pay with a MetroCard or exact change in coins, no pennies) you can ride the Q70 bus to the Woodside–61st Street subway station (with connections to the 7 train, or to the LIRR, with service to Penn Station) or to the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue subway stop, where you can transfer to the E, F, M, R, and 7 trains and reach many points in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Another option is to take the M60 bus to its end point at 106th Street and Broadway on Manhattan's Upper West Side, with connections en route to several New York City Subway lines (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, D, N, and Q trains). Allow at least 60 minutes for the entire trip to Midtown, and perhaps a bit more during heavy traffic or rain.

Transfers from Newark Airport

Taxis to Manhattan cost $50–$70 plus tolls and tip and take 20–45 minutes in light traffic; inquire with the airport's taxi dispatcher about shared group rates, too. If you're heading to the airport from Manhattan, there’s a $17.50 surcharge on top of the normal taxi rate, plus tolls and a customary tip.

AirTrain Newark, an elevated light-rail system, can take you from the airline terminal to the Newark Liberty International Airport Station. From here you can take New Jersey Transit (or, for a much higher price, Amtrak) trains heading to New York Penn Station. It's an efficient and low-cost way to get to New York City, particularly if you don't have many in your group and aren't carrying massive amounts of luggage. Total travel time to New York Penn Station via New Jersey Transit is approximately 30 minutes and costs $13. By contrast, a similar, slightly faster trip (about 25 minutes) via Amtrak costs roughly $28. The AirTrain runs every three minutes from 5 am to midnight and every 15 minutes from midnight to 5 am. Note that New Jersey Transit trains first make a stop at the confusingly named Newark Penn Station before they reach New York Penn Station, their final stop. If you're not sure when to get off the train, ask a conductor or fellow passenger.

Coach USA, with Olympia Trails, runs Newark Airport Express buses that leave for Manhattan and stop at Port Authority, Bryant Park (at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue), and Grand Central Terminal about every 15 to 30 minutes until midnight. The trip takes roughly 45 minutes, and the fare is $16 (plus a $1 administrative fee). Buses headed to Newark Airport depart at the same intervals, from the same Manhattan locations.

Newark Airport Transfer Information

AirTrain Newark. New Jersey. 888/397–4636; www.airtrainnewark.com.

Coach USA—Newark Airport Express . 877/863–9275; 908/354–3330; newarkairportexpress.com.

Transfers Between Airports

There are several transportation options for connecting to and from area airports, including shuttles, AirTrain and mass transit, and car service or taxi. SuperShuttle and NYC Airporter run vans and buses between Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports. AirTrain provides information on how to reach your destination from any of New York's airports. Note that if you arrive after midnight at any airport, you may wait a long time for a taxi. There is also no shuttle service on NYC Airporter at that time.

Contacts

AirTrain. 800/247–7433; www.panynj.gov/airtrain.

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