LaGuardia vs. Newark Liberty International Airport

Person in airport with luggage.

If you’re planning a trip to New York sometime soon, then there are several factors you’re bound to be already considering, from your choice of accommodation to your itinerary. One of the biggest, and sometimes most stressful, factors to consider is your plan regarding air travel, as this can have a significant impact on your entire time away. Unlike many cities, New York is blessed with not one or two, but three airports that bring passengers in and out of the city every day. So, if you’re unsure of which airport is better suited to your needs, then here are some of the basic things you should know when considering LaGuardia vs. Newark.

About LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

Despite the number of passengers LaGuardia sees every day, as it is a domestic airport, it doesn’t have any direct routes to or from international airports; there are also no direct flights from the West Coast. Instead, LaGuardia handles flights to central areas of North America and the East Coast. This restricted intake is mostly due to the New York law that prohibits any flights longer than 1500 miles from landing at LaGuardia, with the exception being flights to and from Denver, and pre-approved flights from airports in Canada which are within the 1500-mile limit.

Unfortunately, none of the three airports in New York are housed under a single roof, meaning that you may have to travel between different terminals to catch a connecting flight. However, due to the limited traffic that LaGuardia sees due to it being a domestic airport, it’s relatively small size means that it is arguably much easier to navigate than both of New York’s other airports. Additionally, the airport offers a complimentary transfer bus that runs every 10 to 15 minutes between the terminals, making that it reasonably easy to get between locations.

About Newark Airport (EWR)

If you’re looking to avoid getting stuck in traffic by taking a vehicle, then Newark Airport benefits from good public transport connections. On average, it will take you just over an hour to get into Manhattan from the airport via train, although there are also some bus options or car rentals available if you prefer. Unlike LaGuardia, Newark airport also benefits from direct flights into New York from both international and domestic cities, meaning that you can benefit from much better connections.

Pros and Cons of LaGuardia

Like all airports, LaGuardia has its pros and cons. For one thing, the location of the airport makes it one of the best ways to take in the iconic skyline of New York City. So, if one of the goals of your trip to NYC is to capture the perfect aerial shot of the Big Apple, there’s no better way to go about it than in take off from or approach towards LaGuardia itself. Due to its central location, it is also easy to get to Manhattan from the airport, whether you’re catching a taxi or taking a rental car.

Unfortunately, one of the things that many visitors to LaGuardia might dislike about the airport is its lack of amenities. Due to its relatively small size, the lack of available space within the airport has limited the number of services and facilities it can offer passengers. LaGuardia is also quite outdated, with a lot of the airport looking completely worn out, which doesn’t exactly provide a comfortable waiting experience for those catching a flight. However, on the plus side, the need for redevelopments has been recognized, and LaGuardia is expected to go through billions of dollars’ worth of renovations over the next few years.

Pros and Cons of Newark Airport

While accessing WiFi at LaGuardia comes at an extra cost, EWR offers unlimited high-speed WiFi to all who use the airport, which means that you don’t have to worry about staying connected. Additionally, EWR is arguably the nicest airport terminal in New York, especially after Newark’s Terminal C underwent 120 million dollars’ worth of renovations, equipping it with a much more modern design, a wider variety of culinary options and providing a great shopping experience for passengers.

Unfortunately, due to Newark’s popularity as both a domestic and international airport, it tends to be plagued by much larger crowds than LaGuardia, making this one area where the airport is definitely lacking in the LGA vs. EWR debate. This busy nature of this airport might also contribute to the fact that many of Newark’s flights don’t always depart on time, which is another downside that potential airport users might want to take into consideration.