Winging it once you get to the airport
Hopping into a cab and zipping to your hotel or Airbnb sounds easy. Depending on your karma, sometimes it is. However, most of the time Nate Silver can’t predict the cab stand line, traffic, price (often $60+), nor sanity of your driver.
Want an Uber/Lyft? Be sure to request the pickup from the “Arrivals” level. Or save enough to buy lunch at Momofuku and try public transportation. AirTrain is simple from JFK and Newark (which is in New Jersey, ICYMI!). Slightly slower, a public bus (the M60 SBS) can take you from LGA to Harlem, where you can connect to the subway.
The middle ground? Take one of the shuttle services that run to all points in the city. Sure, you still fight traffic, but it’s far cheaper than a cab and maybe you’ll make new friends.