As an Ivy League school, Cornell University is one of the most respected universities in the country. Located in the city of Ithaca in upstate New York, the university is famed for producing alumni in the form of Supreme Court justice and liberal hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first female Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen as well as Empire State Building architect Richmond Shreve.
However, the fact that it is in upstate New York has sometimes become a hindrance to its 20,000 strong student population. A lot of undergraduates as well as post-graduate students dislike the thought of having to go through the congestion hotspot that is New York City with its duo of busy airports, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia. Thankfully, there are ways to directly fly into upstate New York without the hassle of the big crowds and traffic in the Big Apple.
Here are ways to do that:
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
The airport that is the nearest to Cornell University is the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport in the nearby town of Lansing. It is just ten minutes from the campus and can be accessed from the university through either a bus via the TCAT Route 32 or the Ithaca Dispatch taxi service. There are direct flights from Philadelphia, Detroit and New York City’s Newark Liberty International Airport in the terminal.
The great thing about this small airport is it only serves domestic passenger traffic of 100,000 every year. This is an incredibly small number for a county-owned airport considering it is located in a busy state.
There are two other small airports less than two hours away from Cornell, which serve as alternatives to Ithaca Regional:
Greater Binghamton Airport
Located in Broome County, it only takes less than an hour for flyers to drive to Greater Binghamton Airport. The problem is one of the airlines serving the airport may be ending its flight to Philadelphia soon so flyers from Detroit may be the only ones using the terminal now.
Elmira Corning Regional Airport
This relatively tiny airport in Elmira is just 50 minutes from Cornell University. Compared to the two other regional airports, Elmira Corning has the most destinations as it flies to Orlando and Saint Petersburg in Florida. It also has seasonal flights to Chicago and Atlanta. For a small airport, it is rather posh as well as it has free wireless Internet, available conference rooms and a donut chain in the terminal.
Apart from these very small regional airports, Cornell students may also choose to go through Syracuse Hancock International Airport, which is an hour or so away from the center of campus. Even if it is an international airport, it relatively not busy and still has top notch service due to its cosmopolitan feel.
See? Not only will you avoid the confusing signage as well as airport rage usually associated with New York City airports, your trip to your beloved campus in Ithaca will be convenient and relaxed. So next time you go back after a break, try going through these smaller airports.