John F. Kennedy International Airport, (JFK), is more commonly known as just "J.F.K". Located about 12 miles from Lower Manhattan in southeastern New York City, it is the busiest international gateway by air, to the United States. JetBlue Airways, a low-cost airline, has its base of operations here and it is Delta's major international hub. It is also the fourth largest American Airlines hub. These are only three of the 90 airlines that have scheduled flights to and from JFK. For ground transportation, you have a wide choice of rail, bus, taxi, rental car and helicopter!
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is in closer proximity to Manhattan, situated on Long Island, New York. Its international flights are limited to pre-cleared countries, so most flights are to destinations within the U.S., Canada and to Aruba and the Bahamas. Business travelers and the surrounding communities use this airport most frequently. A focus city for both the low-cost airline, US Airways, American Airlines and Delta both use LaGuardia as a domestic hub. Cheap flights are also available on AirTran, Frontier, Northwest, JetBlue, Spirit, and American Eagle airlines from 10 major U.S. cities.
Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) is located on Long Island, New York. Only 11 miles northeast of the central business district of the Town of Islip, it is about 41 miles from New York City. Southwest Airlines operates the majority of flights into this airport, through Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Tampa. You may find accommodations slightly less expensive and the congestion and noise that is typical of New York City will definitely be less, but that should be weighed against the cost of traveling to and from Islip, if the majority of sites that you seek are in New York City.
Stewart International Airport (SWF) is located just west of Newburgh, New York, in the Hudson River Valley, and is fully 60 miles north of New York City. This airport is shared by the public and a couple of military organizations. It is close to the United States Military Academy at West Point. JetBlue, Delta Connection, and US Airways Express all operate here from major U.S. cities. By far, the most obvious impediment to its use by more airlines and passengers is its limited access. Some improvements were made in 2007, but many more are required for Stewart to become a major use airport. A light rail line is in the pre-planning stages, with no date set for implementation, so the only access is currently by shuttle bus.
Westchester County Airport (HPN) is located in Westchester County, about nine miles east of White Plains, New York. Some travelers choose to use HPN due to its relatively close proximity to mid Manhattan, which is only 33 miles. Accommodations will cost less here and US Airways Express, United Express, JetBlue Airways, Delta Connection, Cape Air, American Eagle and AirTran all offer cheap flights here from major U.S. cities.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Though in a different state, it is only 15 miles southwest of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Being Continental Airline's northeast hub, that airline is the largest tenant here, holding all of Terminal C and part of Terminal A. AirTran Airways, American Connection, Continental Express, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Connect, United Express, US Airways Express and WestJet all have flights from major locations, so cheap flights are available.