New York Airport Accessibility

The New York City metro area is served by three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark-Liberty International Airport (EWR). Each airport is fully accessible to disabled passengers and wheelchairs may be taken to the gate and aircraft door. All airlines provide services for the disabled at each airport in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Air Carrier Access Act.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

JFK is New York’s largest airport, serving more than 53 million passengers in 2014. It also serves as the largest gateway for international traffic to/from the United States.

JFK Airport in New York City.

The airport consists of 6 terminals, numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8. The terminals operate independently of one another, with the exception of terminals 2 and 4, which are connected via an inter-terminal shuttle bus, the JFK Jitney. Passengers connecting between other terminals will be required to exit the terminal, use a landslide shuttle bus (these are wheelchair accessible), and re-clear security. If you are traveling with a single airline, their domestic flights will operate from the same terminal, with the exception of Delta Air Lines, which uses terminals 2 and 4. These are connected airside via the Jitney bus.

I have compiled a list of airlines and their associated terminals for you here. Your airline and ticket will have the most up-to-date information on your flight’s terminal and gate assignments.

  • Terminal 1:  Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air China, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Cayman Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Dynamic Airways, EVA Air, Fly Jamaica Airways, Interjet, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Meridiana, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Philippine Airlines, Ryal Air Morocco, Saudia, TAME, Turkish Airlines
  • Terminal 2: Delta Air Lines
  • Terminal 4: Air Europa, Air India, Arik Air, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, Caribbean Airlines, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Egypt Air, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Kuwait Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Swiss, Thomas Cook Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Valeris, Westjet, XL Airways France
  • Terminal 5: Aer Lingus, Hawaiian Airlines, Jetblue
  • Terminal 7: Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada Express, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Icelandair, OpenSkies, Qantas, Ukraine International Airlines
  • Terminal 8:  Airberlin, Alasks Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Finnair, LAN Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Joranian, TAM Airlines

Disability assistance services should be requested through your airline. Airport bathrooms are outfitted with wheelchair accessible stalls. Some terminals have private bathrooms designed for use by wheelchair users and their attendants. The sheer size of the airport’s terminals can make for significantly long walks between gates. Terminal 4 is nearly one mile in length.

More information is available at the JFK Airport’s website.

Transportation to/from JFK

The primary and most efficient public transportation option at JFK is the AirTrain JFK. This train stops outside of each terminal (follow the signs posted at baggage claim). The Airtrain travels only as far as Jamaica Station, but connects to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), with service to Manhattan and other NYC boroughs.

Travelers can also request a wheelchair accessible taxi at the cab stands outside each terminal. Wait times can be up to 30 minutes. If a wheelchair taxi is already at the airport, your wait will be shorter. More information on these adapted cabs is available in the New York Wheelchair Taxis section of this guide.

Another accessible and relatively inexpensive option is the NYC Airporter shuttle bus. The NYC Airporter offers ADA compliant buses with wheelchair lifts and securements. Rates from JFK to Manhattan start at $16.00 each way. For more information or to purchase NYC Airporter tickets, click here.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

New York’s LaGuardia Airport is located in Queens and is the airport closest to Manhattan. With few exceptions, flight destinations served from LaGuardia are limited to the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast regions of the United States. Limited international service exists, but only to Canada.

New York's LaGuardia Airport

I have compiled a list of airlines and their associated terminals for you here. Your airline and ticket will have the most up-to-date information on your flight’s terminal and gate assignments.

  • Terminal A:  Delta Shuttle
  • Terminal B:  Air Canada, American Airlines, American Eagle, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, United Airlines, United Express, Southwest, Spirit Airlines, Virgin America
  • Terminal C:  American Airlines, American Airlines Shuttle, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Shuttle
  • Terminal D:  Delta Air Lines, Westjet

The airport has been referred to as “third-world” by Vice President Joe Biden. The building and terminals are in a significant state of disrepair. Still, facilities for the disabled are offered and in compliance with the ADA. The terminals are relatively small in comparison to JFK and EWR. In my own experience, wheelchair assistance services are significantly better at LaGuardia than at New York-JFK. Your experience may vary. Special Service Requests (SSRs) should be made in advance of travel, through your airline.

For more information, visit the LaGuardia Airport website.

Transportation to/from LGA

Several city bus routes operate from LaGuardia and offer connections to other bus routes, the subway and rail services. All New York City buses are wheelchair accessible with mechanical lifts or fold-out ramps. The following routes offer service to Manhattan:

  • M60 to Lexington Avenue, Park Avenue, Broadway/106th, and others.
  • Q47 and Q70 Limited to Roosevelt/74th, Hoyt/31st, and others.

Service to central Queens is available on routes Q48 and Q72. More information on public transportation from LGA can be found here.

Travelers can also request a wheelchair accessible taxi at the cab stands outside each terminal. Wait times can be up to 30 minutes. If a wheelchair taxi is already at the airport, your wait will be shorter. More information on these adapted cabs is available in the New York Wheelchair Taxis section of this guide.

Another accessible and relatively inexpensive option is the NYC Airporter shuttle bus. The NYC Airporter offers ADA compliant buses with wheelchair lifts and securements. Rates from LaGuardia to Manhattan start at $13.00 each way. For more information or to purchase NYC Airporter tickets, click here.

Newark-Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Newark Airport is located in New Jersey, 15 miles Southwest of Manhattan. The airport has three terminals, and is a major hub for United Airlines. 35.6 million passengers used the airport in 2014.

View from Newark Airport Terminal C

I have compiled a list of airlines and their associated terminals for you here. Your airline and ticket will have the most up-to-date information on your flight’s terminal and gate assignments.

  • Terminal A:  Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Southwest, Virgin America, JetBlue Airways, United Express
  • Terminal B:  Aer Lingus, Air China, Air India, Australian Airlines, Branson AirExpress, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Icelandair, Jet Airways, JetBlue, La Compagnie, Lufthansa, OpenSkies, Porter Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Sunning Airlines, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, Valaris
  • Terminal C:  United Airlines, United Express

The airport has all of the facilities required by the ADA and ACAA. Special Service Requests (SSRs) should be made in advance of travel, through your airline.

Additional information can be found on the Newark Airport website.

Transportation to/from EWR

Travelers can also request a wheelchair accessible taxi at the cab stands outside each terminal. Wait times can be up to 30 minutes. If a wheelchair taxi is already at the airport, your wait will be shorter. More information on these adapted cabs is available in the New York Wheelchair Taxis section of this guide.

Another accessible and relatively inexpensive option is the NYC Airporter shuttle bus. The NYC Airporter offers ADA compliant buses with wheelchair lifts and securements. Rates from LaGuardia to Manhattan start at $13.00 each way. For more information or to purchase NYC Airporter tickets, click here.