Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport is located a few miles east of downtown Buffalo in the town of Cheektowaga, New York. The 23-gate airport offers air travel to a variety of travelers, including tourists visiting Niagara Falls, professionals doing business in downtown Buffalo, and locals traveling across the world. Residents from a wide area, including southern Ontario in Canada, use the airport to access a wide variety of domestic destinations. Buffalo Niagara International is New York State’s third busiest airport, falling behind only LaGuardia and Kennedy International. The top domestic destinations for travelers are Orlando, Atlanta, and New York City.
History of the Airport
Buffalo Niagara International was originally known as the Buffalo Municipal Airport at the start of operations in 1926. The small airport started with service to only one city, Cleveland, but the airport steadily grew to accommodate more traffic and larger aircraft. The airport’s name was changed in 1959 to the Greater Buffalo International Airport, and two years later, a new control tower was built along with renovations to the main terminal. By the 1980’s, however, it was clear that the existing terminal would not be sufficient for growing traffic trends. Construction of a brand new terminal began in 1995, and in 1997 the airport was renamed to Buffalo Niagara International Airport to celebrate its opening. Buffalo has been visited twice by Air Force One in 2004 and 2010, accounting for only two of three instances in which a 747 has touched down on the airport’s runways.
While there are currently no regularly scheduled international flights, nearly a third of all passengers at Buffalo Niagara International are Canadian. There are numerous reasons for this. Entering the U.S. through the border crossing at Niagara Falls is often quicker than customs at various Canadian and American airports. Buffalo Niagara International is closer to many Canadians living along the border than Toronto Pearson International. It is also cheaper to fly to various U.S. destinations from Buffalo than it is from Toronto; international airfares are often inflated. The strength of the Canadian dollar makes buying tickets in U.S. currency another money-saving option.
Buffalo Niagara Airport Transportation
There are several transportation options available at Buffalo Niagara International for U.S. and Canadian travelers. More than a dozen bus, shuttle, and taxi companies offer service to locations throughout the metropolitan area and across the Canadian border, including Niagara Falls, Hamilton, and Toronto. Residents of the Buffalo metro area have access to regularly scheduled service by NFTA-Metro. With rental car companies located just across the street from the main terminal, rental vehicles are a popular option for visitors to the area. Special insurance is available for customers looking to take their rental car across the border into Canada.
Buffalo Niagara International has a range of features that make it easy for people to perform pick-ups and drop-offs of friends and family. Pick-up drivers won’t have to worry about constantly circling the terminal or using expensive airport parking. The cell phone lot allows drivers to wait in a free parking zone located only a short distance from passenger arrivals. Inside the terminal, military family members are allowed to get passes so that they can see their loved ones off at the gate. The region’s notorious weather often traps passengers overnight. There are many hotels within a short distance of the terminal for use during annoying weather delays.
Airlines Serving Buffalo Airport
Having an important location near the border between Canada and New York, Buffalo Niagara International Airport is served by some of the finest U.S. airline companies. Passengers should know that all flights arrive in the lower level of the terminal building. All of the departure gates are located on the upper level of the terminal at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
AirTrain Airways serves as an important link between the cold Buffalo region in upstate New York and sunny Florida. This busy American low cost carrier offers direct flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport, and West Palm Beach International Airport. AirTrain Airways flights depart from Gate 14 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Using Delta Air Lines service, passengers can enjoy a trip between Buffalo and New York City as this major U.S. airline provides direct service to La Guardia Airport. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is also accessible via Delta Air Lines service all year long. Seasonal flights to Detroit are available through this large airline. Using the Delta Connection service, passengers can get to Minneapolis- Saint Paul International Airport. Delta Air Lines uses Gate 19, 21, 23, and 25 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
JetBlue Airways operates direct service between Buffalo Niagara International Airport and JFK Airport, the busiest airport in New York City and the state of New York. This low cost airline actually uses John F. Kennedy International Airport as a base. Specializing in regional service within the east coast, JetBlue Airways also connects Buffalo with Boston Logan International Airport. The popular low cost airline also takes passengers to major Florida destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and Orlando. You can get on the JetBlue Airways fleet of Airbus jets from Gate 7 and Gate 8.
Southwest Airlines is the only carrier that links Buffalo Niagara International Airport with the West Coast. This regional airline offers direct flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Orlando and Tampa, popular Florida destinations, are also available on the Southwest Airlines schedule. Southwest Airlines uses Gate 16 and 18 for its departure flights.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport is directly connected to Buffalo Niagara International Airport thanks to American Eagle and United Airlines. Chicago is the only destination on the American Eagle schedule. United Airlines offers additional service to Cleveland, Newark, and Washington District of Columbia. Gates 10, 12, 24, and 26 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport are used by United Airlines.