This summer, Norwegian plans to fly from New York to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Shannon—and for these flights, “New York” means Stewart International Airport (SWF), also called Stewart Field.
Currently, the only flights at Stewart are nonstops to Florida on Allegiant and JetBlue, plus commuter flights to nearby hubs on American. But Norwegian’s expansion means that Stewart is now in play as one of the alternatives for New York City. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s a Long Way from Downtown Manhattan
Stewart is a l-o-n-g way from Times Square: about 65 to 70 miles by road, and Google Maps says a driving time of 1 hour, 24 minutes. It’s in Newburgh, north of the city, on the west side of the Hudson River, close to West Point.
Yes, Stewart Field Can Handle the New Long-Range Service
The main runway at Stewart Field is almost 12,000 feet long, with a crosswind runway of 6,000 feet that lots of planes can use. The terminal has six jetway gates and the usual rental car and other airport services. It started out as an Army Air Corps base, was converted to commercial operation in the 1970s, and taken over by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2007 as a long-term relief airport for overcrowded JFK and Newark.
Public Transportation to/from Stewart Field Is Not Good
Starting in June, Coach USA will operate four daily trips from the Stewart terminal to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd street, with a planned drive time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. The schedule will be timed to Norwegian’s arrivals and departures; presumably, service will increase if Stewart adds more flights. The fare is posted at $20 each way.
You can also take a Leprechaun Bus from the airport across the Hudson to the Beacon station on the MetroNorth commuter line. The bus operates nine times daily and takes 25 to 35 minutes; MetroNorth operates frequently from Beacon to Grand Central Station, taking about 1 hour and 20 minutes and costing $11 peak/$8.50 off-peak, each way.
You can take a taxi about three miles to Salisbury Mills station for MetroNorth trains to Hoboken, which operate infrequently to Hoboken or Penn Station via a connection; travel time is about 1 hour, 20 minutes to Hoboken and the fare is $14 each way.
Long-Term Parking at Stewart International Airport Is Cheap
Long-term parking, at $10 per day, is a lot less at Stewart Field than it is at JFK or Newark, at $18 a day, and LaGuardia, at $39 a day.
Final Thoughts on Stewart Field’s International Expansion
Presumably, low-fare airlines like Stewart because (1) it’s not very busy and (2) I’m guessing it’s a lot cheaper for airline operations than JFK or Newark. Already, long-time wannabe Baltia Air Lines is proposing low-fare flights from Stewart to various European points, mainly in Eastern Europe. You can expect a considerable ramp-up at Stewart, which may well become the “JFK for low-fare lines,” for both international and domesstic flights.
But it’s obviously a less-than-optimal choice for travelers headed to/from anywhere in New York City. Consider a Stewart flight only if it’s so much cheaper that it offsets the time and hassle of getting there.
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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the airport was located east of the Hudson River. It has been corrected.
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