John F. Kennedy International Airport is New York’s largest airport and just 19 miles south of Manhattan. It has six terminals – Terminals 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 (Terminals 3 and 6 were demolished in 2011 and 2013 to expand terminal 5). The terminal buildings are arranged around a central core and house a total of 128 gates.
One of the easiest ways to get to Manhattan is via Airtrain and the subway or Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). Airtrain circles the central core, stopping at each terminal every five to 12 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on your destination in Manhattan, take the train from JFK and change to the subway’s E line at Jamaica Station or the A line at Howard Street Station ($7.75 for both metro and Airtrain). Travel time is 50-75 minutes. Slightly faster but more expensive, the LIRR goes to Penn Station from Jamaica Station ($15.50 including Airtrain) and takes 35 minutes.
If you are staying in New York City for an extended time, it makes sense to buy a Metrocard, which allows you to buy an unlimited number of subway and bus rides for seven days ($32) or 30 days ($121). For more information visit panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airtrain
Taxis, car services and shuttles
A taxi from JFK to Manhattan costs a flat rate of $52 (plus tips and tolls). Alternatively, if you pre-order a car service to meet you at the airport, you may pay more, but you’ll avoid the lines and can make sure you have a right-size vehicle if you’re traveling in a group.
Another option is to take a shuttle such as Go Airlink NYC, which has shared transfers from JFK starting at $18 and runs 24 hours a day.
NYC Airporter, offers transportation between Penn Station, Port Authority and Grand Central to JFK for $16. The seven days a week service operates every 30 minutes from 5:00 AM to 11:30 PM.
The Super Shuttle, offers shared rides 24 hours a day via van, private car or SUV. Fares vary depending on the destination and which service you choose. All taxis and shuttle services will pick you up from arrivals outside of your terminal.
JFK has dedicated space in the Limo and Cell Phone Lot for Uber drivers to park while they wait to receive ride requests. When using Uber, you can meet your driver outside arrivals at your terminal. The price into the city can vary depending on the vehicle type or size and ranges between $54 and $139.
It’s normal to tip taxi drivers between ten and 15 percent. As a general rule, if anyone helps with your bag at the airport, in a taxi, or at the hotel, the recommended tip is $1 to $2 per bag.
JFK doesn’t have its own luggage delivery services but you can book this service online with a courier such as Roadflex. Prices vary depending on what is being picked up and where it’s being delivered.
The airport does have convenient luggage storage locations available in Terminals 1, 4 and 8, which cost between $4 and $18 per day depending on the size of the baggage and which luggage store you use.