Should I fly into JFK or Newark if I’m flying to New York from the UK?

Having just returned from New York, I can reveal the best airport to fly into from the UK.

After an eight hour flight, the last thing you want to be doing is waiting 2 hours in an arrival queue. andychoinski / Pixabay

When you fly to New York there are two main choices of airport to fly into, the famous JFK which is actually in the State of New York or Newark Liberty International Airport which is actually in New Jersey, one State over. Despite this, getting into Manhattan from both airports is easy and takes around the same amount of time. So which are you best off flying into?

My last trip to New York, I opted to fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport – having previously only flown into Newark. It was a mistake. Despite the heritage of JFK and its incredible structures, like the old TWA terminal, the arrivals queues are long – very long.

As I already had an ESTA I opted for the re-entry queue, which on the face of it looked short, but in reality, there was just ONE officer, who was stressed, to say the least, checking everybody’s passports, including US citizens, reentry ESTA visitors, Armed Forces and diplomats. Except, the last two got priority over everyone already standing in line. It took me over two hours to get through to baggage claim from the door of the aircraft.

My partner who was travelling with me, who didn’t have a previously used ESTA had to use the main line. It took him 30 minutes longer. So in total, we had to wait two and half hours in queues before we even reached the arrivals’ hall.

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You can check peak times and queue wait times at the AWT website. Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Perhaps this was a off day, however speaking to a representative from the airline at baggage claim, she confided that sometimes the lines were even longer – with an extra 45 minutes wait time.

Of course, it all depends on the time of your arrival. Many of the inbound flights from the UK arrive later in the day, which could account for the backlog. According to AWT, which calculates wait times at US airports, the busiest time in terms of passengers happens around 1 PM, 7 PM and 10.00 PM.

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I have flown into Newark a few times and never experience this kind of queue. So in my opinion, I’d opt for Newark in New Jersey from now on.

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.

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