Due to go into effect on Oct. 3, Newark will be removed from the NYC city code.
Ask most New Yorkers to name the city's major airports, and you'll likely hear three responses: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. And while it's true that Newark is technically in New Jersey, it's closer to some of Manhattan than JFK and is undoubtedly a big player in New York's aviation game.
But according to a Lufthansa Group memo circulated on Twitter last week, Newark is being separated from its Big Apple companions.
The memo notes the International Air Transport Association (IATA) "has introduced a new standard for 'Multi-Airport Cities,'" which are metropolitan areas with multiple airports that are united under one IATA city code.
"The primary way this change could impact travelers is by limiting their options to freely change flights," Scott Keyes, founder of Scott's Cheap Flights, explained to T+L. "Currently, many airlines allow travelers to switch flights within a city code — say, from arriving in JFK to arriving in LGA — without a penalty. Removing EWR from the NYC city code could restrict that option for many passengers."
The Lufthansa memo seems to indicate as much, also noting that changing destinations from Newark to JFK or JFK to Newark may result in repricing.
In the case of the New York metro, all three airports are currently listed under the city code NYC, though each has its own airport code as well: EWR, JFK, LGA. But IATA's new standard, which is due to go into effect on Oct. 3, will remove Newark from the NYC city code and give it its own.
According to the Lufthansa memo, that now means Newark will operate under a separate pricing structure from JFK and LaGuardia. Could that be a good thing for travelers? Perhaps, as it might become cheaper to fly into New Jersey than New York — or vice versa.
Travelers will also still see flight options for Newark when they search for flights to or from "NYC" on airline sites or online travel agencies, according to an IATA statement shared with Travel + Leisure.
While the airlines who are affected by the change have been notified, it seems that someone else has been left out of the loop. When T+L reached out to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates all three airports, a representative said they had not heard about the change.
So how much will actually change for passengers on Oct. 3? We might have to wait to find out for sure.