New York is famed for its extraordinary shopping experiences, which is precisely why tourists buy flights to New York in the months leading up to Christmas every single year. As the city’s most popular time, September to December sees millions of tourists take a big bite out of the Big Apple, with couples, families and friends alike enjoying everything from ice-skating in Central Park to a winter’s Broadway show in Times Square.
January to August tends to be the best time of year to find cheap flights to New York as tourism dies down a little in the city after Christmas. January to late-February is the off season in New York, if there is such a thing, but it’s usually very cold until March. It can be incredibly hot in July and August, but this can mean fewer tourists and more New Yorkers heading to the coast for their own holidays, so you’ll have a better chance to see the sights without the crowds.
Alitalia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, KLM and Lufthansa are amongst almost 40 airlines that fly to New York. The Big Apple is, of course, one of the most popular destinations on the planet, so, whether you’re booking direct flights to New York or stopping on the way, airlines are very competitive with their prices for flight tickets.
Flights from London to New York: 6 hours 47 minutes
Flights from Manchester to New York: 6 hours 32 minutes
Flights from Birmingham to New York: 6 hours 37 minutes
Flights from Glasgow to New York: 6 hours 18 minutes
Flights to New York arrive at three main airports: John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Newark Liberty International (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA).
John F. Kennedy International is the busiest airport in the United States, with four runways serving over 50 million passengers every year taking flights to New York.
Distance to the city centre is 12 miles (20km) to Manhattan
AirTrain JFK is the main way to get around the airport on arrival. It’s free and can get you practically anywhere: parking lots, rental car locations, hotels and other airline terminals.
Subway and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) connections from Jamaica Station and Howard Beach Station can get you to Lower Manhattan well within an hour and are ideal if you are a travelling alone or as a couple.
Groups of three or more are better off splitting a taxi fare in one of New York’s famous yellow cabs. Expect a fare of around $70, including tolls and tips for your driver ($10 is realistic for the latter).
Getting between terminals in JFK
JFK’s AirTrain connects every terminal in the airport for free and trains run at least every five minutes. The connection time between terminals is only a few minutes, but, if you’re catching a connecting flight, be sure to give yourself time to get from your gate and through security again.
Hints and tips
Allow at least two hours to travel between terminals if you have a second flight to catch at JFK – it’s a big airport
Walking to your arrival gate will generally take longer than the journey on the AirTrain itself, but it rarely more than a 12- or 13-minute walk
New York’s second-busiest airport after JFK, EWR serves over 35 million passengers every year. It lies between Newark and New Jersey. Distance to the city centre is 15 miles (24km) to Manhattan
The AirTrain operates at Newark Liberty International Airport to take passengers between terminals and to car rental facilities and hotels. It is completely free and operates all year-round.
The New Jersey (NJ) Transit station is in the airport, too, and can take you to Penn Station in New York for around $12 per person. Taxi fares are commonly around $60 or $70, including tips, but the traffic can be unpredictable.
Getting between terminals in Newark
The AirTrain connects terminals in Newark Airport and runs every few minutes. You will be required to pass through security again, so allow yourself around two hours between flight times if you are connecting at Newark.
Hints and tips
If you have a few hours between overnight flights and need to sleep in the airport, ask the janitor for a blanket to keep you warm!
All terminals offer complimentary 30-minute WiFi sessions and fifty charging points for passengers with smartphones and laptops
LaGuardia Airport is the third in New York’s airport trio and is more commercially-focussed than JFK and EWR. It is the closest airport to Manhattan.Distance to the city centre is 10 miles (16km) to Manhattan
New York City buses take passengers from LaGuardia to Manhattan in less than an hour. The M60 bus travels through Queens and down to Broadway in Manhattan, so it is the most frequented by passengers arriving at LGA.
A taxi to Manhattan will typically cost around $40, while the bus is around $13, so taxis are generally the transport of choice for larger groups.
Getting between terminals in LaGuardia
There is a convenient shuttle bus that runs between all four terminals at LaGuardia. It’s a relatively small airport, so you can even walk (or run!) between terminals C and D if you need to.
Hints and tips
If you are sleeping over in the airport, the in-terminal seating at LGA is free of armrests, but it is sparse, so you might have to sleep on the floor
There are no lockers in LaGuardia Airport to store your luggage, so keep an eye on it if you are staying for a few hours