The New York City megatropolis is the transportation center for the eastern seaboard and is home to three major airports, each managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://www.panynj.gov/) and each carrying somewhat infamous reputations for delays, clogged runways and stressful environments in general.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
+1 718 244 4444
Situated beside Jamaica Bay in southeastern Queens, super-busy John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is a mere 15 highway miles from the center of Manhattan, although what sounds like a short jaunt can seem an eternity, especially in insane New York traffic. The airport recently underwent a multi-billion dollar construction renovation which upgraded each of the nine terminals and the central parking garages, and added the AirTrain light rail system connecting the airport to Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and the New York subway. Tickets to Manhattan cost USD5.
Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_jfk.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_jfk2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_jfk3.htm
Fiorello LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
+1 718 533 3400
This airport is also located in Queens, just eight miles outside Manhattan, and is notorious for holding up passengers in just about every other airport in the United States with its connection delays. It has a Central Terminal and five dedicated terminals. Parking is available outside each terminal. Free shuttle buses connect the terminals.
Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_lga.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_lga2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_lga3.htm
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
+1 973 961 6000
Although located in New Jersey, many travelers opt to save a few dollars and avoid the more crowded JFK and LaGuardia airports by flying into Newark. Plus, being the only area airport (at this point) to offer direct rail service into Manhattan, it just might be the best option in town. The airport's four terminals, numerous parking lots, rental car lots and on-site train station are linked by the AirTrain monorail.
Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_ewr.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_ewr2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/airports/airport_ewr3.htm
Here are some of the major airlines that service the airports of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:
Air Canada (+1 888 247 2262/ http://www.aircanada.com)
Air France (+1 800 237 2747/ http://www.airfrance.com)
Alitalia (+1 800 223 5730/ http://www.alitalia.com)
American Airlines (+1 800 433 7300/ http://www.aa.com)
British Airways (+1 800 247 9297/ http://www.ba.com)
Continental (+1 800 523 3273/ http://www.flycontinental.com)
Delta (+1 800 221 1212 domestic/ +1 800 241 4141 international/ http://www.delta-air.com)
Frontier (+1 800 432 1359/ http://www.frontierairlines.com)
JetBlue (+1 800 538 2583/ http://www.jetblue.com)
Midwest Express (+1 800 452 2022/ http://www.midwestexpress.com)
Lufthansa (+1 800 645 3880/ http://www.lufthansa.com)
Qantas (+1 800 227 4500/ http://www.qantas.com)
United (+1 800 241 6522/ http://www.ual.com)
US Airways (+1 800 428 4322/ http://www.usairways.com)
US Helicopter (+1 877 262 7676/ http://www.flyush.com)
Virgin Atlantic (+1 800 862 8621/ http://www.virgin-atlantic.com)
Zoom Airlines (+1 866 359 9666/http://www.flyzoom.ca)
For a complete list of airlines see the Port Authority website: http://www.panynj.gov.
From the Airport
Free shuttle buses provide inter-terminal transport. The AirTrain can be ridden around the airport between terminals at no cost.
Car Rental Companies
Each company is represented in the terminals with a service desk or courtesy phone. At JFK, transport to the lots on Van Wyck Expressway is provided via free shuttle.
Avis (+1 800 230 4898/ http://www.avis.com)
Budget (+1 800 527 0700/ http://www.budget.com)
Dollar (+1 800 800 3665/ http://www.dollar.com)
Enterprise (+1 800 736 8222/ http://www.enterprise.com)
Hertz (+1 800 654 3001/ http://www.hertz.com)
Image (+1 888 718 0001/ http://www.adirrentacar.com)
National (+1 800 227 7368/ http://www.nationalcar.com)
Zipcar (+1 866 404 7227/ http://www.zipcar.com)
Another attractive ground transportation option is Zipcar, which operates in certain cities in Canada and the U.S. This new breed of rental car allows you to rent on an hourly basis rather than a daily basis. Be sure to register online before your trip.
Taxis are readily available outside the terminals, but make sure you book through a uniformed dispatcher and hire an authorized cab. Set fare to central Manhattan is USD40 from LaGuardia, USD50 plus tolls from JFK, USD75 plus tolls from Newark.
+1 212 258 3826
Super Shuttle offers a rather inexpensive door-to-door option from 7a-11p. For USD15 to USD20, shared service into Manhattan is available on demand, daily 24 hours.
+1 800 472 5466
Transit service to and from southern Connecticut with several stops in New Haven, Fairfield and Westchester Counties. This limo services JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports along with connections to Bradley Airport (BDL) in Hartford. One-way from New Haven USD65, round-trip USD126. Senior and companion rates apply.
Bus & Coach Service
Those with a sense of adventure and a minimal budget can hop the Q10 Green Bus (+1 718 995 4700) or Q3 Transit Authority Bus (+1 718 330 1234). Each departs outside the JFK terminals every 15 minutes and connects to various subway lines leading into the city.
MTA Express Bus Services
+1 718 875 8200
Coach Service travels to the Port Authority Bus Station, Penn Station, and Grand Central in Manhattan. Service runs every 15-30 minutes and costs around USD12.
Olympia Airport Express
+1 877 894 9155
Olympia buses operate every 15-40 minutes (depending on destination) to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station and Bryant Park. Fares start at USD15.
+1 800 962 9135
Tran-bridge operates bus service to the Port Authority bus station three times daily. Fares start at USD18.
Providing service between New York City's Penn Station and two downtown locations in Washington DC. In addition to express service and comfortable seats, DC2NY also provides free WiFi Internet access.
Rail at JFK
The fast AirTrain connects to the Howard Beach Station and the Jamaica Station with connections to the MTA A, E and J/Z lines and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR).
Rail at Newark
Improvements in transportation from Newark to Manhattan and elsewhere on the East Coast have greatly improved over the past few years. The additional service provided by Amtrak easily connects travelers with the vast Amtrak network that exists on the eastern seaboard. PATH and NJ Transit trains also frequently pass through, providing service into Newark-Penn Station and Penn Station in Manhattan.
The city is easily accessed by I-95 north/south connecting to numerous east/west routes. The problem is that when you get there you may be stuck in traffic the entire trip. Be sure you have dollar bills and coins for the many tolls!
Even for seasoned drivers, navigating the greater New York City area is at times frustrating and difficult. Best to search out a parking spot, which also takes some effort, unless your hotel offers a lot, and opt for alternative forms of transport. The ubiquitous yellow cabs make getting around the city a breeze. Cabs can be hailed just about anywhere, but preferably at intersections. Other licensed private car and limo companies can be called for pick up and are often comparable in rates to the standard taxis. You may have to rely on these in the outer boroughs because taxis are usually scarce there.
For up-to-date traffic information, go to: http://www3.travelinfony.com/carsgoogle/
For reliable car hire service in and around the city, contact A&C Transport Car service. (+1 609 573 5163/ http://www.actransportonline.com)
A.C. Taxi and Blue Car Service (+1 609 645 2583/ http://www.acblue.com/) offers a variety of transportation needs with a fleet of taxis, minivans and stretch limos. Service is offered to Philadelphia (two hours) and Atlantic City (two-three hours). One day prearranged reservation via phone or email for pickup in Philadelphia or New York City.
Atlantic City Airport Taxi & Lou's Luxury Car Service (+1 609 383 1457/ http://www.limolou.com/) serves riders to and from Atlantic City to the region's major airports, Philadelphia, New Jersey and southern New York.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) (http://www.mta.info) is the umbrella organization for the city's multiple forms of transport ranging from subways and buses to an extensive system of commuter trains. The often daunting and complicated subway system has a reputation for being sluggish and dangerous, but over the past decade it has been cleaned up a bit (crime-wise at least) and is a reliable means to get around. Some 24 routes (lettered and numbered) web across the five boroughs. Subway fare is USD2.25, or USD8.25 for the 1-Day Fun Pass with unlimited rides on the subway and local buses.
Bus service is also widespread, although by no means as quick for longer cross-town journeys, and most routes operate 24 hours daily. Bus fare is USD2.25, or USD8.25 for the 1-Day Fun Pass with unlimited rides on the subway and local buses. Express bus fare is USD5.50. MetroCards also work on buses.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal ( 625 8th Ave., between W. 40th and W. 42nd Sts., Midtown West/ +1 212 564 8484/ http://www.panynj.gov ) is the transport hub for multiple long haul and commuter buses coming and going to all points across the region and the United States.
Unlike most other places in the United States, train travel is a viable alternative to air travel in the Northeast, especially if the destination is New York.
+1 800 872 7245
Acela high-speed train stops at the following eastern cities: Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, Newark, New York, Stamford, New Haven, New London, Providence and Boston. Get from Penn Station to Washington in under three hours or to Boston in three and a half hours. Trains from Penn Station.
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
+1 718 217 5477
Daily trains to Port Jefferson, Greenport, Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Long Beach, Montauk, and Far Rockaway. Trains from Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal (in 2012).
+1 800 638 7646
Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties in New York. Fairfield and New Haven Counties in Connecticut. Trains from Grand Central Terminal.
New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit)
+1 800 772 2222
Services most of the state of New Jersey. Trains from Penn Station.
Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH)
+1 800 234 7284
Service from 33rd and Broadway to Hoboken, the World Trade Center, Jersey City, Harrison and Newark-Penn Station. Trains from 33rd St, one block from Penn Station.
Various companies offer cross-river and cross-harbor water taxi and ferry service. Fares vary by service.
Walking is what many New Yorkers do, but not at the normal tourist pace. So if you are gazing at attractions make sure to keep an eye out for the fast-walking throngs or you might be knocked to the ground by a mob.
If traveling overseas, take the safety precaution of registering your trip at https://travelregistration.state.gov and for helpful, practical advice about traveling technicalities and safety standards check out http://travel.state.gov.