Cheapest time to fly to New York
If you book in advance, prices for flights to New York are actually pretty consistent all year round! But if you’re looking for some proper bargain New York flights, the cheapest months of the year to travel are generally between January and March, since this is when the city is bloomin' freezing! But that's nothing a big coat and scarf won't solve, and trust us when we say cooler weather instead of the highs of summer have a lot going for it when you're in a concrete jungle like NY.
Best time to book your flight to New York
If you’re looking to bag the best cheap flights to New York, we'd suggest you look to book in advance to take advantage of the best deals. If you’re able to book at least 21 weeks before the flight, you’ll be able to cash in on the best cheap New York flights — leaving more money to spend when you get to The Big Apple.
Airports and airlines
You can take your pick from three airports in New York – JFK Airport, Newark Airport and LaGuardia Airport. They're each located in different parts of NY, with Newark just outside the city in New Jersey, so you can choose which one works best for you. Flight prices, times and airlines vary between the airports, but New York City can be easily reached from all of them. You can fly direct to New York from the UK with several airlines, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, and Norwegian. A large number of airlines also offer indirect flights to New York – it'll take longer but it's worth having a look, as flying indirectly could be cheaper.
How long does it take to fly from the UK to New York?
As always, long haul flights vary in their journey time depending on a number of factors. One of these, of course, is where you fly from. A flight between London and Glasgow can take more than an hour, so of course flying to New York from either of these destinations will alter the flight time. A direct flight from London Gatwick to John F. Kennedy Airport can take between six and eight hours, though any stopovers that are included on cheaper flights can extend that journey time.
Flying to New York Airports
Like we said, there's 3 airports that serve NY but, chances are, if you’re flying to New York from the UK, your destination will be John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK). Found in the Jamaica neighbourhood of Queens, JFK is 26km from Midtown Manhattan. You’ll arrive at one of its six passenger terminals, and across these will find a large variety of restaurants and cafes, along with plenty of shops and information points.
But you could still arrive at Newark Airport though, which is a similar distance from Manhattan as JFK. On arrival, you’ll find delicious restaurants and shops to purchase food and drink, and places to buy souvenirs. There are also luggage storage facilities, should you need them.
If you’re flying into New York via a connection from another US airport, you'll probably fly into the smaller LaGuardia Airport. Tiny compared to both JFK and Newark, this airport’s amenities are on the reduced side. However, there's still spots to pick up a much-needed coffee or snack on arrival — you can get in the NY spirit immediately with a quick trip to Dunkin’ Donuts.
Getting around the airports
John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport
The principal international airport serving New York, JFK is well known to be the busiest gateway into North America. As such, there's bucket loadsa options to help you navigate its six terminals. The free AirTrain system offers the most efficient way to get around, connecting all terminals to the on-site car parks and providing a connection to the city’s public transportation network.
Located in New Jersey, Newark Airport is around 26 km away from Midtown Manhattan. Like JFK, Newark also has a free AirTrain system that makes frequent stops throughout the airport facilities, including its hotels, car parks and car rental hubs. You can also transfer between Newark Airport’s three terminals by bus, or by good old walking!
The baby of New York’s three serving airports, LaGuardia is small but mighty and found in Queens — making it the closest of the three to the city. The airport serves only limited international flights, instead operating mainly as a hub for domestic airlines like Delta and US Airways. You’re more likely to be flying here if you’re transferring from another US airport. Being on the more diminutive side, LaGuardia's pretty easy to get around, but there's still a free airport shuttle bus that can take you between all the terminals.
Getting to New York City from your chosen airport
Great, you've managed to find your way off the plane and through the airport! Amazing! Now what? Well, access to New York City from both JFK and Newark is easy thanks to the intuitive AirTrain system. As well as connecting the airport’s terminals, the AirTrain runs to stations that connect to New York City’s subway system. LaGuardia’s public transport option comes in the way of its regular bus service, which offers a gateway into the city. Of course, all of these airports all have plenty of taxi ranks where you can hail a cab or order an Uber — but this is naturally a far more expensive option than public transport.
Things to do in New York
Congrats, you've made it to the bright lights of the city! Whether it's Broadway calling your name, or you want to have a shot at being featured on the Kiss Cam while the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden, or even just join the locals as you wander together through Central Park - the bucket list of things to do here is less of a bucket, and more of a swimming pool.
You'll find a bunch of the world's most famous galleries right here, matched only by the likes of Paris and London. Say a he(arty) hello to MoMA, the Met, and the Guggenheim. Housing works from internationally acclaimed artists both classic and contemporary - Picasso, Kandinsky, Monet, Kahlo - the buildings themselves are worth visiting too, thanks to being so bloomin' beautiful! Oh, and there's this little place we love called the National History Museum...
Take to the water on the Hudson
One of the very best views of the city comes not from the Top of the Rock (although that's still pretty neat), but from right on the Hudson. Circle around Manhattan and bear witness to the greatness that is New York City's skyline. And where better to present yourself to Lady Lib than right beneath her beckoning arm? A sight to tell the grandkids about.
The perfect city for sightseeing
There's absolutely zero surprise when we say that New York is the place for just a good old wander to see the sights. Stand in the shadow of the Empire State Building and get a nice dose of vertigo, have a gander at Central Park, and take a moment to reflect at Ground Zero. Plus, did you even go to New York if you didn't check out Brooklyn Bridge? Just make the sure your camera is charged up.
What's happening in New York in October?
Let's be honest, every month is exciting in New York City. Here's our top picks for October.
6th - 8th October
One for the culture vultures will be the New Yorker Festival, with mega smart people from across politics, the arts, journalism, TV, and more. Everyone, from Spike Lee and Paramore to "Weird Al" Yankovic, will be there.
12th - 15th October
On the other end of the spectrum, rocking up to the Javits Center will be the 2023 edition of New York Comic Con, with guests like Ewan McGregor, Chris Evans, Tom Hiddleston, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Every year on the 21st of October, something very important happens in Tompkins Square Park - their annual Halloween Dog Parade! It's said to be the largest dog costume parade in the world, and we reckon it might just be the most important date of the year.
20th - 22nd October
Open House New York is when you can go behind all the best closed doors of the city - for free! Rooftop gardens, design studios, historic houses, and more. Last year, over 300 places across the boroughs gave over 20,000 visitors the literal keys to the city.
It's the Village Halloween Parade's big five-oh this year, and over 60,000 people are expected to dust off their costumes and get in on the celebrations for one of the most anticipated events in the New York calendar. This year's theme is Upside Down/Inside Out. Make of that what you will!
Don't forget before you fly
As is the case for the rest of the great big US of A, you'll need a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) waiver before flying to New York - along with a valid passport, of course. And don't forget, that's valid for at least six months after your departure date! It's also worth noting that New York's weather can rally vary depending on the time of year - when it's cold it's cold and when it's hot, boy is it hot! In winter it can plummet to minus 3°C, whilst in summer it shoots up to above 30! So definitely pack accordingly.