New York City is one of the busiest places in the world, so it’s no surprise that its airports are also buzzing for most of the year. If you ever get connecting flights in two different New York City airports, you might get a headache thinking about transfers. However, there are many transportation options in the area, and knowing which are the best and the fastest will significantly lessen all your travel woes.
Here are the best ways to transfer between NYC airports — from EWR to JFK to LGA.
Knowing New York City’s Airports: From EWR To JFK To LGA
In case you didn’t know, there are three commercial airports operating in the vicinity of New York City. These are the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the LaGuardia Airport, and the Newark Liberty International Airport.
The one you might be familiar with is the John F. Kennedy International Airport, more commonly known as JFK. It’s located in Queens, New York City. Due to its convenient location, it’s considered the city’s main international airport. It’s also one of the U.S.A.’s busiest.
Another air transport hub situated in Queens is LaGuardia Airport, a.k.a. LGA. Although this airport serves NYC and caters to both local and international flights, it’s less crowded than JFK and EWR. Nonetheless, it’s still a busy airport, so don’t be surprised if you need to go for a connecting flight.
Finally, there’s Newark Liberty International Airport, more commonly known as EWR. This airport isn’t located in New York City or even New York State; you can find it in its neighboring city — New Jersey. However, it also serves the New York metropolitan area, thanks to the proximity of Newark to Manhattan and the rest of the city.
If you’re wondering how far apart these NYC airports are, Pennsylvania (Penn) station, right in the heart of the city, is a good mid-point landmark. The distance from Penn Station to JFK spans around 15 miles. On the other hand, LGA is about 10 miles away from Penn Station while EWR is 19 miles away.
Getting To JFK From EWR And Vice Versa
Most Convenient: Car Ride-Hailing Services (Taxis or Uber/Lyft/etc.)
A comfortable and convenient ride makes all the difference when it comes to traveling. Hence, the best way to get from one airport to another is to hail a cab or book rides using apps like Uber and Lyft. During off-peak hours, this mode of transportation is quite likely the fastest way. However, that means if you’re trying to get from JFK to EWR during the rush hour, traveling this way not ideal.
One thing to take note is that comfort and convenience can come at a price. The distance between the two airports is approximately 33 miles, and your cab ride could cost more than $100 without a tip. Uber and Lyft prices are none the cheaper as it can cost from $90 up to $280 on a normal day. However, if you don’t mind splurging for comfort, then this is the way to go.
Most Affordable: Shuttle Services
If you want to save some money, an airport shuttle might be the best option for you. To transfer from EWR to JFK, the most popular airport shuttle services are the New York Airporter shuttle and the ETS Shuttle.
When you opt to transfer via the New York Airporter shuttle from JFK to EWR, do note that you also have to transfer from one bus to another. From JFK, board the New York Airporter shuffle. When you reach EWR’s Port Authority, transfer to the Newark Airport Express, an express NJ airport shuttle. This will take you directly to EWR. You also need to do this shuttle service transfer if you’re going the opposite route — coming from EWR and going to JFK. Tickets for these shuttles total $29, which is way cheaper than ride-hailing services.
On the other hand, ETS Shuttle offers direct routes from JFK to EWR. This will cost you about $34 per person. A shuttle leaves every hour from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm. Reservations for rides can be made on their website.
Not Recommended: Public Transport
While going from EWR to JFK is possible using public transportation, it’s not recommended by many. Firstly, there are no direct public bus routes and train routes between airports. Next, the bus and train line transfers are a hassle, especially if you’re carrying luggage. Plus, the travel time is long, too. Public transport should be your last resort.
Getting To LGA From EWR And Vice Versa
Most Convenient: Car Ride-Hailing Services (Taxis or Uber/Lyft/etc.)
Similar to transferring between EWR to JFK, the most convenient and comfortable way to get from EWR to LGA and vice versa is by car. For this, you can get ride-hailing services like taxis, Uber, and Lyft.
The distance between these two airports is about 31 miles, so do note that using ride-hailing services can get expensive. Much like JFK to EWR, EWR to LGA car rides can cost from $90 and up to $280. So if you don’t mind splurging on airport transport and want a comfortable travel experience, go for ride-hailing services.
Most Affordable: Airport Shuttle Services
Again, similar to the JFK-EWR route, using airport shuttle services is your most affordable option if you want to go to LGA from EWR or vice versa. Both the New York Airporter and the ETS shuttle service are available for this transfer route as well. Additionally, keep in mind that using the NYC Airporter will require you to transfer shuttles, too. On the other hand, ETS still offers a direct route between the two airports.
Not Recommended: Public Transportation
LaGuardia Airport isn’t really well-connected as far as public transportation is concerned. When you do get to the nearest bus terminals or train stations, you still have to transfer from one platform to another, multiple times. While some people may think that it’s ok to do multiple transfers, remember that most people traveling from one airport to another need to carry their luggage with them. That is a terrible inconvenience for any traveler.
Getting To JFK From LGA And Vice Versa
Most Convenient: Car Ride-Hailing Services
For the third time, car ride-hailing services take the cake on being the fastest and most comfortable option when transferring from LGA to JFK. If traffic is not congested, it can only take 25 minutes to get from one airport to the other. Additionally, hailing taxis is almost instant near airports, while ride-hailing services can assure you’ll have a ride.
You can also enjoy the short waiting time using this method. But this mode of transportation will still cost you $40-$60 for a taxi and $30-$80 for a Lyft or an Uber to JFK from LGA and vice versa. So if you have little time to waste and money to afford it, this is a great way to transfer between these two NYC airports.
Most Affordable: Airport Shuttle
Again, similar to the two previous routes in this list, the most recommended and most affordable way to travel from JFK to LGA and vice versa is via an Airport Shuttle. More specifically, most travelers recommend hopping on the NYC Airporter as it gets you from Point A directly to Point B, unlike this service’s two other routes. The cherry on top is that tickets are only worth $14 per person (without tips). However, do remember that Airport Shuttle busses operate on a schedule, so they’re only available during specific times of the day.
Not Recommended: Public Transit
To reiterate, the public transportation route from LaGuardia to JFK airport (and vice versa) is not well-connected and efficient. Despite being both in Queens with only a 12-mile distance, going on public transit between these two airports will be rough. It’ll even be tougher if you have a lot of bags to carry around, so only use public transportation when you have no other choice.
NYC Airport Tips
Save Time In Security Lines
JFK, EWR, and LGA are all busy airports all year round, which means you’ll likely experience long security lines while you’re there. Luckily, you don’t have to waste a lot of time as there’s a way to find the fastest way to go through security.
Not a lot of people know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a very helpful app. It lets you monitor the queue at security, thanks to crowdsourced data. Using the app, find the line with the shortest queue and go there to save time.
Save Time In Dealing With Customs
Dealing with customs and immigration can be a nightmare. It becomes a hassle, thanks to the sheer amount of people going through it at the same time and the wait times that produces. Two NYC airports are especially notorious for having bad customs queues: JFK and EWR.
Luckily, automated kiosks were recently installed in NYC airports, which can potentially make a flyer’s life easier. The caveat here is that many flyers don’t know about those kiosks or don’t know how to use them. So to make your life much easier while dealing with Customs, seek out these kiosks. Enter your details, and by the time you’re going to be inspected by the customs officer, your data is ready to go.
Transferring between New York airports can be intimidating. Traffic and accessibility in the city can make traveling from EWR to JFK to LGA seem nightmarish, especially if you’re crunched for time. However, do know that you have several excellent ways to go about it. By knowing your transportation options and planning appropriately, everything will fall into place. It’s not as bad as you think!
Now if you find yourself going to Washington and Detroit, here’s everything you need to know about the Dulles Airport and Detroit Airport, respectively. If you’re just traveling for the weekend, check out the hotels around Dulles and Detroit Airport, too!