As Torontonians, we pay one of the world's most expensive airport taxes and fees to depart internationally, and even domestically. It's generally more expensive to fly around Canada than flying into a nearby hub in the US. Aside from our Montreal, Vancouver & Calgary neighbors, if you're in Toronto then chances you either fly out from Pearson International or departing from the nearest hub that offers a decent price to fly out from. It’s understandable, however, for the size of Canada and the population it holds that demands for international flights aren’t always the highest. The number of commercial airlines that operate in Canada (Air Canada, West Jet, Air Transat) have essentially eliminated all competition from coming in and using Canadian runways but with almost 75% of the Canadian population living within 1.5 hours of the U.S border, our American neighbors see almost 5 million of us a year traveling across their borders to depart internationally.

There seems to be many sites out there claiming the affordability to travel between Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver to New York City. Technically speaking, they don’t have any special fares in between these cities as not much of a price fluctuation is seen, and only these airlines will serve flights between the two metro cities. Any website that promotes a fare to these destinations that is different from the original fare on their website is false and I highly recommend avoiding it.

Major airlines and airports

As a Torontonian, your flight to New York will land at variable and convenient times of the day (depending on the airline), from the early mornings with American Airlines and into the late evenings with West Jet. There is a total of 6 major airlines that serve routes between Toronto and New York with a total of 2 hubs in Manhattan and 1 in Newark (New Jersey).

The major airlines are: Air Canada, United Airlines, Porter Airlines, West Jet, American Airlines, and Delta.

The 3 hubs/airports that people fly into and out from New York to Toronto are: John F Kennedy (JFK), Newark (EWR), and LaGuardia (LGA).

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These 3 create the largest airport system in the United States and is the 2nd busiest after London.

While all the airlines that serve routes between Toronto and New York land in central Manhattan (or New Jersey) and all take about 1h and 30 min, it’s up to you to decide which airline you will use and for what reason. If there’s no other reason other than to stay in NYC and eat all the wonderful cultural food there is, than any airline will do. This guide, however, is to help YOU choose which airline you will be taking based on your budget, time, and personal needs. All of them offer great transportation from the airport into the heart of the city, but are slightly different.

Newark (EWR) Liberty International Airport, located in New Jersey, is approximately 25 km (16 miles) from mid-town Manhattan and is coined as the hub of air, road and rail traffic. Newark ideally serves as a gateway into metro New York and is the hub for United Airlines. Although a cab can run you $50 USD one way and is more expensive than getting mid-town from JFK or LGA, traveling to and from Newark by train is super efficient and is surprisingly easy (don’t be overwhelmed it’s located in another state – it’s literally at the border!).

John F Kennedy (JFK) is located in the neighbourhood of Jamaica in the borough Queens. JFK serves international bound flights compared and is the major hub of American Airlines and Delta Airlines. From JFK, you can easily take the AirTrain JFK to various NYC transit subways like Jamaica and Queens train stations, which connect to Penn Station. The total trip time is 35 minutes and $15 USD. Using the MTA (city bus) is slightly longer (50-60 minutes), but cheaper ($7.75 USD).

LaGuardia (LGA), also located in Queens, is the smallest of the three. Although taxis, shuttles, and other private rides are available at LGA, this can often be pricey as there is no public transportation other than the city bus. A plus to flying into LGA is that fares are generally cheaper than flying into EWR and JFK. If prices are cheaper to land in JFK or EWR, go with that. The time saved is worth the few extra dollars to not land in LGA.

Air CanadaNYY
United AirlinesNYN
West JetYNY
Porter AirlinesNYN
American AirlinesYNY
Delta AirlinesYYN
Searching for the best offer from Toronto to New York City

What you’ll get when you search Toronto to New York on any flight search engine are the major airlines mentioned above (and below in the table). My preferred method is to go to Google Flights here and searching “YTO – Toronto (all airports)” to “NYC – NY (all airports)”. This engine, using the dates you have selected, will search both YYZ (Lester B. Pearson International) and the island airport YTZ (Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport).

Below are updated numbers (as of 11/17) based on a 1-week round-trip economy seating during the most expensive time of the year (Christmas & New Year), including taxes/fees & excluding checked-baggage. One-way tickets are generally 65-70% of a RT fare.

Fares shown here are in $CAD. For your travel related conversions, use XE.

Flight DepartureMonday-Friday (morning)Monday-Friday (afternoon/evening)Saturday-Sunday (morning)Saturday-Sunday (afternoon/evening)
Price Range$250-285$270-295$280-340$260-285
Cheapest AirlineDeltaWest Jet/AmericanAir CanadaWest Jet/Delta/Air Canada

*Since Air Canada & United Airlines are part of a Star Alliance, you’ll be flying with either since they operate under a shared code.

Coming from New York & visiting Toronto?

Use Google Flights here and search “NYC – NY (all airports)” to “YTO – Toronto (all airports)”.

Below are updated numbers (until August 2018 ) based on a 1-week round-trip during the most expensive time of the year (Christmas & New Year), including taxes/fees & excluding checked-baggage. One-way tickets are generally 65-70% of a RT fare.

Flight DepartureMonday-Friday (morning)Monday-Friday (afternoon/evening)Saturday-Sunday (morning)Saturday-Sunday (afternoon/evening)
Price Range$280-320$280-315$280-300$270-310
AirlineAir Canada/West JetAir Canada/West Jet/UnitedAir Canada/West JetAir Canada/West Jet/American

*Since Air Canada & United Airlines are part of a Star Alliance, you’ll be flying with either (check airline on ticket) since they operate under a share-code agreement.

On the way back home to Toronto from Newark during Christmas.

Some ways to help you get from Newark (EWR) to Manhattan:

  • Air Train: The first on this list for a reason. It’s fast, cheap, and efficient. The streets of NYC are packed so trains can offer a more relaxed and quicker commute than a car or bus. Air Train connects you to Amtrak which will take you into Penn Station, Manhattan. A one-way trip lasts 25 minutes and costs $15. Service is available from 6am to 9pm. Here’s a searchable schedule, search in EWR to Penn Station, NY and you’re good to go!
  • Taxi/Uber/Lyft: If you’re taking a taxi, a metered fare will be anywhere from $50-$60 (from NYC to EWR -> $65-$75 includes a $15 taxi fee to leave NYC). If you’re all about speed than this is the way as you’ll see with the large amount of cabs parked outside the airport arrivals terminal! Driving conditions (snow from November-March) and traffic always bumps the fare up. Uber and Lyft have also been dominating the streets and if you’re new to Uber, get $20 USD towards your next trip!).
  • Limousine & SUV service: With a group of friends and/or family? This can be a good way to round everyone up in one vehicle and get a better discount on your ride. Want to ride in style? Check out NYCityLimo.
  • Shuttle: A 24/7 service by many shuttle companies, they’re always updated with your departure and arrival times so you can always expect reliability. This is also a good for a larger group of people. For $21 USD, you can bring 2 bags on. Check out Go Air Link Shuttle.
  • Cars: I would suggest avoiding this option if you’re visiting NYC. Parking, tolls, and wait times will add up on your bill. Aside from you walking, the trains and buses are sufficient, cheap, and fast enough to get you where you want to go. Leave it to the yellow cabs, they know what they’re doing.
Categories: New YorkToronto