Given that New York receives upwards of 65 million visitors every year, which doesn’t take into consideration the New Yorkers constantly flying in and out of The Big Apple, would you really be shocked by the fact that New York has the busiest airport system in the US?
And, even though New York has three main airports surrounding it, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark, they each can be hectic, especially around the holiday season. For instance, an airport like JFK can have around 60 million passengers pass through it every year.
Moreover, these airports can house people staying in New York for a layover, which means that they only have a few hours to spare, a day maximum. For those people, spending a few hours to a day in New York doesn’t have to be the worst thing in the world: They can explore the city and check out a couple of the major landmarks before they have to board their flight to wherever they are actually going.
Unfortunately, for many travelers, going out and exploring the city can be difficult if they have a lot of baggage anchoring them down. The good news is that there are so many luggage storage options these days that you can safely stash away your belongings while you lose yourself for a few hours in the city that never sleeps.
That said, let’s take a look at a few of your options, starting with the storage facilities present at each airport:
Luggage storage at NYC airports
Due to heightened security measures after the September 11 attacks, most public transit stations in the US don’t have any storage lockers, including airports. Nevertheless, some airports do offer storage options for their weary travelers:
Luggage storage at JFK airport
JFK provides its storage facilities to visitors who have a long layover. The storage facilities can be found at Terminal 1, Terminal 4, Terminal 5, and Terminal 8.
At Terminal 1, you want to look for the storage facility in the Arrivals area. You will find it situated next to Alitalia and Olympic Airlines. Their working hours are from 7 in the morning till 11 at night, and they’ll be happy to take your bags for the entire day. Their price varies depending on the size of your bag, starting at $4 a day per bag all the way till $16 a day.
At Terminal 4, the storage facilities are also in the Arrivals area, but they are open around the clock. Their price range is the same as what you will find at Terminal 1.
At Terminal 5, you will find storage facilities at the Arrivals area. And, at Terminal 8, the storage facilities are located near American Airlines. They are open from 6 in the morning till 10 in the evening. They are a bit pricier than the rest of the facilities at JFK: They will charge you $8-$18 for the entire day, depending on the size of your bag.
Luggage storage at LaGuardia airport
Unfortunately, LaGuardia airport doesn’t have any storage facilities. But, there is no reason to fret: There are several other alternatives as you are about to see.
Luggage storage at Newark airport
A company by the name NBS Storage and Delivery have a working desk at Carousel #1 and #2 at the Arrivals area in Terminal C. You can just walk up to their desk and ask them to store your luggage for you. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t have a website, but you can reach them through their desk or through the phone by calling (908) 933-0503.
Other luggage storage options
In addition to the luggage storage services offered at airports, there are several other companies that would be happy to help you park your luggage for however long you need. Here are a few examples:
Luggage storage the Airbnb way
Thanks to the sharing economy, many companies have sprouted up and blossomed into billion dollar businesses while owning very few assets. Take for instance Airbnb. The company has disrupted the hospitality business by letting anyone rent out any extra room they have to spare in their house, making a little profit on the side. The flipside of that coin is that travelers are able to find decent, cheap accommodation, places that exude warmth and comfort.
And, just as Airbnb disrupted the hospitality industry, Uber revolutionized the ride-hailing business, upsetting many cab drivers in the process. Similarly, several companies, like Vertoe and LuggageHero, have revolutionized the luggage storage business by leveraging the sharing economy.
What these companies do is pretty basic. They partner with several local businesses, including gift shops, convenience stores, and hotels. After that, once a traveler wants to store their luggage, the storage companies will recommend one of their partners as a likely candidate, depending on who is nearest and has the capacity for it. So, you get to store your luggage at a convenience store or a hotel for a very cheap price, and everybody goes home a winner.
Most companies operating in this space cost about the same. The average is around $6 a day, with the priciest of companies reaching $12 a day. Also, almost every company in this space will insure your luggage, and the insurance amount can range from $2000 to $5000 per bag.
One of the main advantages of these companies is that they partner with so many businesses that they end up offering several locations. For instance, Vertoe has partnered with a shop situated at the end of the AirTrain line, which means you can store your luggage on your way to Manhattan and before you get on the subway.
Here is a short list of some of the best companies in this space:
Concierge luggage storage
For some, the sharing economy described above might not be ideal. It can be inconvenient to have to haul your luggage to different locations, especially if your bags are heavy or if you are carrying way too many of them. Fortunately, there is a more convenient option.
Companies like My Bag Check will happily send a driver to your location, pick up and store your bags, and drop them off at a location of your choosing at any time you specify.
Obviously, this convenience comes at a price. My Bag Check is much more expensive than any of the companies just listed above. For one thing, each bag will cost you $15 a day in storage fees. And, then you have to pay transportation fees, which can get quite high if you want your luggage picked up or dropped off at the airport. In fact, if you set up the pick-up and drop-off locations at JFK, your transportation fee will be around $120 alone. So, it is safe to say that with a service like My Bag Check, your bill could be a couple of hundred bucks. Nevertheless, given the convenience and comfort offered in return, only you can decide whether this is a worthy tradeoff.
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. New York is not just a city to me; it’s a living, breathing entity. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.