Please sign in to post.

Pros and Cons of JFK or Newark

We live in Upstate NY, which means that if we fly out of a local (anywhere within 2 hours of us) airport, we'll be changing planes twice and spending more to get to Europe. On both of our past trips to Europe, we drove to Toronto and flew nonstop from there, which we loved (easy to navigate airport, inexpensive long term parking, not as crowded as major US airports). But I'm thinking that in 2022 I'd like to minimize the number of countries, covid test procedures, etc (not to mention potential border closings!) and fly directly from the US to Rome. Closest airports to us are Newark and Philadelphia (about 4+ hours each). JFK will be about 5 hours away (as best I can tell). It seems like there are always delays in Philly, so I'm leaning toward either Newark or JFK. Pros/cons of each? I'd love to hear your experience -- including long term parking tips, if you have any. (Not traveling until September, so I'm really just beginning to plan at this point....) Thanks!

Posted by
440 posts

I flew Virgin from EWR-LHR in 2019 (we were dropped off, so no parking experience) and just two weeks ago Air France from JFK-CDG.

For JFK, I parked onsite, long term (air train into the terminal, was a piece of cake), and paid in advance. And I parked via JFK airport's long term parking, not off site - $117 from Saturday noon to the next Sunday at 6 pm - offsite was more expensive. But, you do have to book online, in advance (and the rate changed the closer I got to dropping the car off, but it's fully refundable, etc).

AF flies out of Terminal 1, it's ok, it's not Heathrow, but it's not horrible (many food places were closed still, I presume they'll open up more as 2022 moves forward); I will say my multi hour wait at EWR, however, was AW.FUL. I think we flew out of terminal 5, and there were 2 places to eat, etc. When I went through TSA, a fire alarm was blaring and no one batted an eye.

Since I'm outside Albany, JFK and EWR were pretty equidistant away, and since I flew on the weekend, no issues with traffic going in to or out of JFK (I was shocked - but it is still city traffic, so there's that).

I suppose if you're flying United to Italy, then that portion of EWR might be nice, but I definitely preferred JFK.

Posted by
8984 posts

From where I live JFK and Newark are equidistant. I always choose Newark, mostly because it's smaller and more manageable; especially if you are driving to the airport. JFK is a massive complex and can be very intimidating. EWR gets low ratings from travelers, but it's mostly from connecting passengers who get frustrated by the complicated process of changing terminals. It's certainly not the "sexiest" airport these days but I find it very functional.
I always use the official airport long-term lot; $18 per day. There are lots of cheaper options just outside the airport but I have had mixed result with them; from deceptive pricing, to long waits to pick up your car. I now stick with the official lot I. probably pay more, but there are never any surprises.

Posted by
2462 posts

Being in Brooklyn we prefer JFK but will fly Newark if we have no other choice. The tolls from Brooklyn to NewarK are over $30. When parking long term at JFK we use Smart Parking (Smartparkparking.com). If you book at least 2 weeks in advance you get a discount. They drive you and pick you up.

Posted by
5457 posts

I think there have been some runway repairs at Newark, so I would not assume that Philly is always worse. We're very happy with EWR, partly because we use United (and code shares of United) a lot. JFK requires two river crossings and a miserable set of approach parkways and highways. So we only go to JFK for a special airline (like, say, Emirates) or an unusual destination. I wouldn't go to JFK to save $200.

I don't want to complicate your sensible desire for Rome. But I want to mention that many posters here don't understand about open-jaw tickets. We have (late in our travel years, by which I mean we've been to a lot of the capital cities already) embraced single-connection changes in Europe. We can't get into the hotel room at 8AM, so we take a second flight to a secondary city (or maybe, on the way home) and frequently pay nothing extra for that. But the secondary city is where we really wanted to go.

I also recommend off-airport parking lots, but they can cost plenty of money too. When my wife was working, lots of her colleagues feared scratches or theft in Port Authority long-term lots. But, that is largely water-cooler gossip, not actual verifiable statistics, I think. I even use a valet parking service when I fly in and out the same day (I mean, say, to Charlotte, NC) from La Guardia.

Posted by
11236 posts

Why are you not looking into flights out of Ithaca? You can sometimes get a very good deal starting from a smaller airport and then connecting at an airline's hub. You would save the cost of driving to a larger airport and the cost of long term parking.

Posted by
515 posts

Thanks, everyone.

Michelle, Logan is 324 miles from us, versus 220 to Newark. Not sure we'd want to do a drive that long.

Frank II, the last time we flew internationally out of Ithaca was in 2011, when we did get a great price. Since then (and admittedly, we don't take a lot of trips) it's 6 to 7 times more expensive to try to fly out of Ithaca/Syracuse/Rochester than out of a big city. Not only that, but there aren't any routes that don't involve 2 plane changes (for instance, Delta Ithaca to Detroit, Detroit to Atlanta or Boston, Atlanta or Boston to Europe). Finally, when a flight is cancelled out of Ithaca, it's often super hard to get on another flight. There are so few flights, and the planes are so small, that it is not uncommon to have to wait days for the next available flight.

I have loved everything about flying out of Toronto, and would be happy to do so again in the future....just not while we're still dealing with the ups and downs of Covid. Hence looking into options out of the NYC area or possibly Philadelphia.

Posted by
338 posts

Have you researched or asked others here what the "ups and downs" of crossing into Toronto actually are? Are you speaking from your own experience? If you love the Toronto airport, then maybe it's actually less of a problem than driving to EWR or JFK. If you plan to fly United, their hub, out of the three airports you're considering, is EWR. EWR can be a nightmare on a good day but a better nightmare than driving to Long Island for us. We frequently drive to Nassau County where our son and his family live: you just never know what kind of god-awful traffic you might encounter. Philly airport is very easy to navigate and park close to your terminal, but we tend to fly United, hence, EWR. We park at VISTA Parking which is 10 minutes from the EWR airport. A shuttle delivers us to our terminal. Their lot is gated and much more secure than long-term parking at EWR. Cost is @$15 a day. The corporation our son worked for used it which is how we found out about it.

Posted by
338 posts

This is a good, current article about entrance into Canada and flying into and out of. Of course, you are concerned that anything can change in which you won't be allowed entry into the country. If you are vaccinated, at this point it appears that you can enter and fly out of their major airports (and return). The article states that 75% of Canadians are vaccinated, so there's that which is encouraging for your health.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/canada-travel-covid-19/index.html

Posted by
8984 posts

Their lot is gated and much more secure than long-term parking at EWR.

The official long-term lot at EWR is also gated. I have parked there over 200 times since 1998 and never seen anything remotely dodgy going on there.

Posted by
338 posts

Yes, EWR's long-term parking is also fenced in, but anyone can actually wander around. Not only that but it is huge. The lot we use does not allow individuals to get their own car: it is a valet service. It also has an office in which to wait. There is no walking a distance from the terminal to the car in all sorts of weather, in the dark, etc. Vehicles in long-term parking in any airport get broken into frequently. I'm glad for you that you have not had that experience.

Posted by
8984 posts

There is no walking a distance from the terminal to the car

I don't think we are talking about the same lot. I'm referring to Economy lot P6 which you take a shuttle bus from the terminals to get to. There are ten different are bus stops inside the lot so it's never a long walk to get to ones car, it's also very well lit. Anyone accessing the lot by foot would be photographed and easily identified if they were up to no good.

Posted by
183 posts

I live in Philly and am use to flying out of that airport. I don’t mind it, but maybe I’m bias because I’m use to it. However, since covid, flights to Europe from PHL seem to have no less than 2 layovers and are far more expensive than they use to be. So this year, I have used EWR to fly to Europe. The first time I used a third party parking at a hotel which only cost $3.99 per day. The shuttle ran every 15 minutes and was always prompt. The other two times, I took the train from Philly. I will say, if your flight arrives after 10pm to avoid EWR because their air train (that takes you between terminals/parking/train station) runs on a reduced schedule and I had a nightmare scenario happen a few weeks where I was waiting for almost an hour for a train.

Posted by
8984 posts

I will say, if your flight arrives after 10pm to avoid EWR because
their air train (that takes you between terminals/parking/train
station) runs on a reduced schedule

The only transatlantic flight that would arrive at that hour is just one flight from Heathrow that departs London around 5pm. All other flights from across the pond would arrive no later than 4pm. In any event long term parking at EWR isn't serviced by the airtrain, it uses shuttles buses that operate around the clock.
I've taken flights to Hong Kong that depart around 1am and never had to wait more than five minutes for the journey to the terminal.

Posted by
251 posts

In the past 25 years, I've flown 30 flights from the Northeastern US to Europe. I live in Philly and have often used PHL but only if the flights are direct and reasonably priced. Direct international flights from PHL have been significantly decreased in 2021 - who knows what 2022 will bring. Newark is much smaller than JFK and easy to navigate but the number of daily direct flights is quite small compared to JFK. I flew out of Newark on TAP (to Porto) last month and it was quite easy to manage. On recent trip to JFK the travel time from the Jersey Turnpike to JFK was 90 minutes - nerve-racking. HOWEVER, the pricing and availability at JFK is fantastic.
If you would like additional info, please PM.
Safe travels.