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Getting to and from the airport in New York City

So, the fastest way to get to  the airport in New York City is not the most exciting topic in the universe (and that’s putting it VERY mildly), but it’s pretty essential since there is really no cheap and easy way to get from the airport, to midtown Manhattan, and back again.

I mean, all these other airports have fancy high speed trains and convenient airport shuttle buses that run to and from the airport, the entire day. But not New York  (and no. I’m not bitter about it. Not at all. LoL). That would just be WAY too easy, and where’s the fun in easy? Well, just in case you LIKE to make airport transport a little easier, I have created this airport transit guideline to assist you with all your airport transportation needs.

What is the best airport to fly into?

There are three major, international airports that cater to flights coming into and departing from the New York/New Jersey, metropolitan area; JFK, LaGuardia, Newark (I had a total blonde moment and thought LaGuardia was in Jersey too but it’s in New York. So for the record, JFK and LaGuardia are in New York and Newark airport is in New Jersey).  Now, since all three airports are located in the vicinity of New York City, it can be difficult to determine which airport is easiest to fly into.

Well, the winner is… LaGuardia, which is only 8.6 miles from Midtown Manhattan (17 minutes by car to Grand Central, with no traffic). JFK, on the other hand, is 14.7 miles from midtown (27 minutes by car to Grand Central, with no traffic), while Newark is 16.6 miles to midtown (32 minutes by car to Grand Central, with no traffic). Therefore, I would recommend flying into LaGuardia if you can, since this airport will be the easiest to get both to and from.

However, I do understand that it is sometimes cheaper to fly into other airports, besides LaGuardia. That’s why, I am going to detail all the best ways to get to and from each one of these airports.

Getting to and from Newark International Airport

NJ Transit From Manhattan ($14 adults for NJ transit and the AirTrain)

Getting to and from the airport in New York City.

Start by taking the 1, 2, or 3 train to the 34th street/Penn Station exit. Once at Pen Station, take NJ Transit to Newark Liberty Airport Station, a ride that takes about 20 minutes. NJ Transit trains run between 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. with trains running every 15 minutes during peak morning times, and trains running every 20/25 minutes during peak evening times. From there, you can catch the AirTrain. (Total cost: $14 for adults)

From there, catch the monorail-like AirTrain service,  which transports passengers to and from the different terminals in Newark Airport. The AirTrain picks up passengers every 3 minutes between 5 a.m.-midnight and every 15 minutes between midnight-5 a.m.

#62 Bus ($5 for adults)

Take NJ Transit from New York Penn Station to Newark Penn Station. The ride takes about 15 minutes and costs $3.75. From there, take the #62 bus ($1.25) on  the Penn Station Bus Lane, to all Newark Airport Terminals. Buses run every 20 minutes and take about 25 minutes to arrive at the airport.

Newark Airport Express (One way $13, Round trip $22 and children under 16 FREE)

This bus leaves Newark Airport and goes to and from Manhattan, with 5 different stops at Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, Port Authority Bus Station, Chinatown, and Lower Manhattan. A hotel shuttle is also available for some midtown destinations, at an additional fee of $4. Airport express buses depart every 15 to 30 minutes, between 4 a.m. to 1:30 a.m daily, with one-way trip times between 45 and 60 minutes.

Taxi (Between $50 and $70 plus a tip between %10 and %20 9f the total. A $4.50 surcharge is imposed during peak hours)


Getting to and from JFK Airport

The A Train ($2.75 for the subway fare and $5 for the Airtrain fare)
Catch the A train  towards Far Rockaway and get off at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop. The ride takes about 70 minutes from lower Manhattan. Once at JFK, take the AirTrain all the way to the airport, which stops at every terminal; the Airtrain adds an additional 15 to 30 minutes to your trip time so plan accordingly.

The E, J, or Z Train (E is probably the fastest because it’s an express) A faster way would be to take the Airtrain to the Sutphan Boulevard Station, where you can catch either the E, J or Z Train (uptown to JFK and downtown to Manhattan). You can also catch the Long Island Railroad into Manhattan from here. The Airtrain costs $5.00 and entrance to the subway system costs $2.75 totally $7.75

Trans-Bridge Bus ($23 round trip)
Trans-Bridge Bus company services New Yorkers between Port Authority and JFK Airport. The down side is that this bus only has two trips daily. For specific Trans-Bridge Bus departure and arrival times, check out their website here.

Taxi (Flat fare of $52 to Manhattan plus a tip between %10 and %20 of the total. A surcharge of $4.50 surcharge is imposed during peak hours)


Getting to and from LaGuardia Airport

The M60 Bus (Bus $2 and the cost of a Metrocard)
Take the A, B, C, D, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 trains to 125th Street in Harlem, or the 1 to 110th or 116th and Broadway. From there, you can pick up the M60 bus to the airport. Travel times are typically between 40 and 90 minutes, with the bus stoping at all major terminals.

Q33, Q47 or Q48 (Each bus costs $2 and takes about 30 minutes)
To get to the Central, U.S. Airways, and Delta Terminals ONLY, take the 7 train to the 82nd and Jackson Heights subway station. From there, transfer to the Q33 bus, which will take you to the airport.

To get to the Marine Air Terminal ONLY ,take the E, F, G, R or V train to the Jackson Heights and Roosevelt Avenue subway station. You can also take  the 7 train to the 74th Street and Broadway station. Transfer to the Q47 bus from either one of these stations and take it all the way to the airport terminal.

To get to all major terminal in La Guardia Airport, take the 7 train to the 111th Street stop. From there, transfer to the Q48 to the airport.

 Q70 ($2.75 per person and a $1.00 for a metro card) – If you don’t have a lot of luggage,have plenty of time, can manage stairs, and a fair amount of walking, the the Q70 listed bus from the LaGuardia  airport terminal.  Get off the bus near the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave Subway Station. Ask the bus driver to let you know when to get off or just follow everyone else with luggage. At the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave Subway Station you can catch the E, M, F, R and 7 trains.

Taxi (All taxis are metered and fares vary around $40. Tip between %10 and %20 of the total. Impose a $4.50 surcharge during peak hours)

Getting to and From Multiple Airports

New York Airport Service Express Bus (service  to LaGuardia and JFK for $21-$33)
These buses travel to and from Manhattan, from Grand Central Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Penn Station, with certain Midtown hotels offering a convenient transportation option as well. Rates vary slightly depending on pick-up location and destination. For slightly cheaper fares, book online and budget between 40 minutes and 90 minutes for travel time.

ETS Air Shuttle (services all airports and starts at $25 but varies depending on destination and pick up location)
Brooklyn, Bronx, or Queens residents can request this shared ride door-to-door ground transportation service to any of the three airports.

Super Shuttle Manhattan (service to all airports with rates from $15 to $19 in Manhattan)
This shared ride door-to-door ground transportation option services all of New York City and the surrounding areas.


And that’s it!!! Aren’t you glad you made it through that post? I know it’s boring but that’s all she wrote!!! I just hope what I wrote was helpful and didn’t confuse you to much. Just remember, departure and arrival times can vary, so plan accordingly and have an amazing trip to and from New York City!!