A business traveler’s guide to New York City airports

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New York City has three main airports serving international travelers – all of which see a large amount of business travel traffic. If you’re flying into New York and have options over which airport to use, this guide is for you. You’ll probably want to know about facilities such as lounges, taxi pick-up points, shopping and places to eat, so we’ve compiled this as a reference point.

John F. Kennedy (JFK) for business travelers

JFK is New York’s largest airport and one of the busiest in the world. This infamous airport served more than 60 million travelers per year in pre-pandemic times, with more than 80 airlines using it as a hub for their flights. As expected for a large, global airport, JFK has a host of facilities for the business traveler, including high-tech, contemporary lounges, world-class shopping, and well-organized airport pick-up areas.

Luxurious business lounges

As the sixth busiest airport in the US, JFK has no less than 24 lounges across its eight terminals. And you don’t need to be a frequent flyer or have a business class ticket to book one.  Eight of these world-class lounges offer paid single-entry passes, so you can grab a bit of quiet time regardless of your status. Just be sure to check which lounges are available at which terminal before you fly, as it’s pretty difficult to use a lounge at a different terminal to the one you’re flying from.

New health and wellbeing facilities

JFK is one of the leading global airports for health and wellness options – an increasingly important consideration for business travelers. It recently opened a new center at its Terminal 4, which includes Covid-19 care, PCR testing, flu jabs and immune testing – an asset to time-stretched business travelers. The center also teams up with XpresSpa to offer a range of wellness activities to busy travelers, including yoga and fitness sessions. So, if you’re heading out to a business meeting to or from this popular airport, you can keep your muscles stretched and your immune system in top shape while traveling.

World-class shopping

JFK serves more than 90 global airlines, so it’s no surprise that it boasts some of the world’s most well-known retail and hospitality outlets. If your journey to or within the US requires a layover, JFK is therefore not a bad choice. You’ll have plenty to do to pass the time – whether you want to take advantage of duty-free prices at designer boutiques, or you just fancy a spot of window shopping between checking emails. For up to date information about the shops and services available at JFK, the airport website provides a list, as well as an interactive map so you can plan your journey.

Pick-up points

The taxi pick-up points from JFK are extensive.  There’s no need to book a car in advance – unless you prefer the added convenience – as the pick-up points are easy to find, and ordering a cab on demand is made fairly easy thanks to the airport’s well thought-out infrastructure.   Whichever terminal you’re using, you can generally find pick-up points well sign-posted after the luggage claims.

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Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) for business travelers

EWR is New York’s second-largest airport and serves many popular domestic routes – as well as travel to and from the US. It’s often used as a connection to JFK, so travelers transiting through the US should be aware that their layover may include a transfer between airports. This will of course add to journey time, so be sure to factor that into your overall travel time.

Prime entertaining spaces

One particular strength of EWR is its restaurant and bar scene. There are more than 80 eateries to choose from – from oyster and champagne bars to coffee shops, and fast food restaurants.  Terminal C offers the broadest selection of places to hang out – with many popular American diners – including Famous Famiglia, the Grand Central Oyster Bar, Hamachi Sushi Asian Chao, Balducci’s, and the Garden State Diner. View the full list of restaurants >

Business lounges

Like JFK, Newark offers a good selection of business lounges – boasting 13 of them across its terminals. These include four state-of-the-art lounges operated by United, as well as a large Delta lounge and a SkyClub lounge. Whichever alliance you’re flying with, you’ll find very good facilities on offer in the lounges – many of them offering table service dining, and all offering strong Wi-Fi connections, changeable buffet food, and an array of charge-points. There’s also the Art & Lounge in Terminal A that offers purchasable day passes for those that don’t have business class seats or loyalty status. 

Pick-up points

As there are often connecting flights between Newark and JFK, the airport has been designed for making a swift exit. You can pick up a licensed New York taxi or order a cab to come and pick you up in the designated areas at the frontage of Terminal A, B, C, and D. For picking up passengers, there are also areas called Cell Phone Lots around a five-minute walk from each terminal. Each has more than 100 car parking spaces, giving drivers somewhere comfortable to wait until their passengers leave the airport. These are super convenient locations for passengers, and help to keep traffic to and from the airport moving freely.  

LaGuardia Airport (LGA) for business travelers

LaGuardia is the smallest of New York’s three main airports, and is used for short-haul and domestic travel. As there are no long-haul flights running out of this airport, its amenities are designed for shorter journeys, so there is not as much of a focus on health, wellbeing and rest as there are at the other airports. However, the airport has a lot to keep the business traveler entertained, while being highly practical for business travel; you can skip many of the crowds typically found at the larger airports, and fewer queues and shorter waiting times are likely to catalyze more productive, less stressful business trips.

Business lounges

Despite being a short-haul and domestic airport, LaGuardia has an excellent range of lounges for business travelers. Terminal 1 alone has at least six lounges, many of which you can purchase a day pass for if you don’t have a business class ticket.  As a fairly new airport, the lounges are also fresh and contemporary, with all the modern amenities needed by the business traveler. 

Pick-up points

LaGuardia Airport also has a Cell Phone pick-up area, in which drivers can wait for travelers to exit the terminal. Car services and app-based pick-up points are just outside the arrivals point for Terminal C on the ground level.  It’s well sign-posted as you come out of the baggage reclaim area – just make sure you let your driver know once you are approaching the pick-up area.