Flights to New York City

Flights to New York City

Flights to New York City

For most people, flying is the only practical way to travel to New York. Booking a flight to New York City, however, can be daunting. With so many airlines to choose from - among them Continental Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines - and three major NYC airports - JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark International Airport - the inexperienced NYC traveler hardly knows where to begin. Here are a few basic travel tips:

  • Do Your Research: New York City flights can vary significantly in price, depending on season. Often you'll find the best rates on flights to NYC simply by being persistent in your search.
  • Book in Advance: If you want to save money on airfare to NYC, book your flight to NY in advance. What you save on airfare you can spend on NYC souvenirs or a nice dinner out at a trendy NY restaurant.
  • Travel Light: Unless you plan to stay in New York for an extended period of time, travel light. Because New York City is small and densely populated, hotel rooms in NYC are small, too. You won't have room to relax if you bring lots of unnecessary luggage.

Best Time to Fly to New York City

Best Time to Fly to New York City

It's best to book a weekday flight that departs in the morning, as flights to NY tend to back up as the day goes on.

Before you book a flight to New York City, spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the peak and off seasons.

Peak Season: While the Big Apple is a popular tourist destination year-round, New York City's peak season is October through December. It is then, at the start of the holiday season, that many people fly to New York City to be with family and see romantic NYC attractions, and it is then that you will pay the highest airfare. Of course, spring and summer are also busy, so you might want to avoid traveling then if you want to take advantage of reduced rates on flights to New York City.

Off Season: Because of the high demand for airplane tickets to NYC in spring, summer, and fall, we advise you to take advantage of cheap flights to New York in January, February, and March. Really, the only time in these three months that you want to avoid flying is in February, on or around Valentine's Day.

Other things to take into consideration when booking a flight to NYC are departure and arrival times. Generally, it's best to book a weekday flight that departs in the morning, as flights to NY tend to back up as the day goes on. Unfortunately, morning flights to New York City are often the most expensive. Early evening flights aren't much better. The best thing you can do is remain flexible. If you're willing to change dates, you're sure to save some cash.

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New York City Airports

There are three principal airports close to NYC:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): Located in Queens County, just twelve miles from Lower Manhattan, JFK International Airport is the most popular airport in New York City. Originally designed and constructed as a reliever for LaGuardia Airport, JFK International Airport handled 45,915,069 passengers in 2009, making it the 12th busiest airport in the world by this standard and the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States.
  • LaGuardia International Airport (LGA): Located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, bordering the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights, and East Elmhurst, LaGuardia International Airport is the closest airport to Manhattan. In 2008, LaGuardia handled 23.1 million passengers, most of whom were traveling to and from Canada and the United States.
  • Newark International Airport (EWR): Standing within the city limits of both Elizabeth and Newark, NJ, Newark International Airport was the first commercial airport in the NYC area. In 2008, Newark International Airport handled slightly more than 35.4 million passengers, making it the second busiest airport in the NYC area.

More Tips for Travel to New York City

More Tips for Travel to New York City

If your flight is longer than several hours, it is best to go with an aisle seat.

When you finally decide on a date, time, and airline, you'll now have to choose a good seat. Window seats, of course, offer good views of New York City, while aisle seats offer more leg room. If your flight is longer than several hours, definitely go with an aisle seat; you'll be more comfortable there, and you won't have to wake or climb over other passengers to stretch your legs or use the restroom.

If you sit toward the back of the plane, you'll hear more cabin noise (this is one of the reasons why first-class seating is always at the front). Seats near the leading edge of the wing are ideal for those sensitive to turbulence. If you want an unobstructed view, sit at the back of the economy section, not at the front. Be aware that seats just before the exit row may not recline.