Cheap flights to New York

The closest most of us have ever got to New York is by watching American movies from the comfort of our living room, but experiencing the Big Apple in the flesh is no longer just a pipe dream. Flights to the US east coast are becoming increasingly affordable.

When should I travel?

Dreaming of sunny walks through Central Park and dancing in Times Square at Christmas time? The bad news is the cheapest season for New York flights is in October and November - when a return ticket from one of London's airports can be yours for as little as £250.

Which airport should I travel from?

The shortest (and therefore cheapest) routes from the UK to the States are from London, with just a few pounds difference between Heathrow and City Airport.

If you live outside the capital then it's generally much more cost effective to fly from a smaller airport (where possible) than shell out on Britain's expensive rail service. In fact, flights from Edinburgh, Birmingham and even Belfast are generally no more than £50 extra compared with those out of London.

Which airlines are cheapest?

New York is becoming an increasingly popular route for Brits looking to head to the Big Apple on business and shopping trips - so you're spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a carrier.

Whilst British Air and American Airlines are the most frequent fliers from the UK to the States (as well as generally offering the most attentive and comprehensive service), they're also among the more expensive options - and therefore best avoided, unless you're booking last minute.

Budget carriers like RyanAir and EasyJet are yet to take their business outside of Europe, but you can find comparably affordable deals with the likes of Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Lufthansa and Norwegian Air.

Norwegian Air, in particular, is making a big noise about its plans to introduce £60 tickets (one way) to New York from next summer - but the reality is when the flight is that cheap, add-on fees are almost inevitable.

You can expect to have to pay extra for baggage handling and booking/reservation costs - not to mention a meal, which is probably going to be needed on a gruelling 8 hour flight like this one. Having said that, the overall cost they will offer is still looking very competitive - and well worth a look when it goes live later this year.

How can I stretch my budget?

Flights these days make up only a small part of your overall holiday outlay, and the same applies to New York. In fact, if £60 trans-atlantic flights become a thing then you could end up paying more on the taxi than you do the actual flight.

To give you the heads up: a taxi from JFK to Manhattan is going to set you back in the region of $50 - and that's without even factoring in a decent sized tip (which is practically the law in NYC). Our advice is try and keep your luggage to a minimum (especially if it's just a long weekend), and bring a travel buddy - that way you can split the cab costs and avoid those extra luggage fees.

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