Getting to JFK airport

Formerly known as Idlewild Airport, the airport was originally constructed in 1948. It was renamed after the assassinated American president, John F. Kennedy, in December of 1963. The John F. Kennedy International airport, or known in its airport code of JFK, is considered to be the sixth busiest airport in the whole United States. The largest among three airports in the New York area, it handles almost all the international flights to and from New York and at the same time the area’s domestic airline services. Situated in the southeast of the Queens borough, the JFK airport is located on the Jamaican Bay which is only fifteen miles from Manhattan’s midtown area.

There are at least three methods in getting to New York John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport: via train, use of private cars, limousine services and others, or via taxis and shuttles.

Via Train

It would be much easier for a lot of New York visitors if there was just one train ride from midtown Manhattan to the airport. Unfortunately, that kind of train ride does not exist. However, the network of subways and trains present a dependable solution for travelling to the JFK airport. They are more reliable because they are least affected by extreme weather conditions that New York usually goes through each season.

If you are after efficiency, the most reliable method is to use the LIRR and Airtrain combination when getting to New York JFK airport. The reason why we say it is efficient is that it is not only reliable but also quick and relatively cheap at the same time. The LIRR and Airtrain combo is accessible to visitors either day or night. As a general guide, you can take an LIRR train coming from Penn Station for a twenty-minute ride to Jamaica hub. You can then catch the JFK Airtrain for another twelve to fifteen minutes of travel to get to the airport terminal. The JFK Airport Airtrain is located at the upper level of the Jamaica hub. Both the JFK Airtrain and LIRR run twenty four hours a day but you have to make sure that you take the LIRR train that makes a stop in Jamaica as there are other trains that do not stop in that station.

LIRR runs to Jamaica on a fifteen minute interval in the day, every half hour intervals at night and on an hourly interval between 2am and 5am. Transfers between the LIRR and Airtrain are relatively easy to make and announcements in the Penn Station on the JFK Airtrain and LIRR trains are always concise and clear. You may consult the LIRR website,, for schedules and fare prices. You may also get in touch with MTA authorities by dialling 511. The MTA also caters to the deaf and those hard of hearing by dialling 711.

The JFK Airtrain operates on a twenty four hour basis and is a free service from all stations apart from Howard Beach station and Jamaica station. The ride is practically free in the stations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 8, the Federal circle where most car rentals are located, and Lefferts Boulevard where the long-term parking and other parking and shuttle terminals are located. The JFK Airtrain is under the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They can be contacted through the phone number (718)244-4444.

Via Private Vehicles

Driving in your own vehicle from Midtown Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy Airport is pretty straightforward. You will have to travel through the Queens-Midtown tunnel, head east on the LIE or Long Island Expressway, continue on to the Grand Central Parkway eastbound, and follow through to the Van Wyck Expressway heading south to the JFK airport. The end of Van Wyck Expressway is the JFK Airport. There will be signs to aid you in getting to the long-term parking area of the airport. You may then take the JFK Airtrain from the parking area to the different terminals. The train ride will not cost you anything except for eleven minutes of your time to get to the terminal. Although unlikely to happen, there are shuttle buses at the terminal which accessible through the parking area if the Airtrain is not operational.

Expect to encounter some heavy traffic due to a bottleneck areas in the Midtown Tunnel, another at around the Woodhaven Blvd on the Long Island Expressway, and as well as the Kew Gardens Interchange on Grand Central Parkway. There are also other times when the Van Wyck Expressway will have heavy traffic backing up all the way from the Kew Gardens area and to the JFK airport. The travel time usually takes forty five minutes but with some bottleneck traffic expect an additional twenty to thirty minutes of travel time.

If the horrible traffic does not appeal to you and money is not an issue, you can hire a helicopter service and just fly over all of them. There are three heliports in Manhattan where US Helicopter can pick you up to bring you to the JFK Airport. The three locations are on W 30th Street, E 34th Street, and another one on Wall Street. The flight time can take up to twelve minutes with additional checking and boarding time from the heliports. A quick call to 1-866-654-1396 can get you booked today.

For a more relaxed and pampered way of travelling, you may also want to hire a private limousine to bring you to the airport. A limo service called Go Airlink NYC offers a 24 by 7 service by booking your limo at 1-877-599-8200. This can be the most luxurious way of getting to the JFK airport. The travel time can take a total of seventy minutes although that is easily compensated by the punctuality and extra special attention that the limo services provide.

Taxis and Shuttles

There is a huge number of yellow cabs in the Midtown area that can bring you to the JFK airport provided that you don’t travel during the rush hours. The trip can take up to an hour on a good day. Taxis operate 24 by 7 and can be your best choice if you carry a lot of luggage.

Airport express buses operated by NY Airport Service can start from either the Port Authority Terminal or the Grand Central Terminal and bring to the JFK airport. Their buses offer comfortable seats for passengers and run on fifteen to thirty minute intervals. The buses usually start from quarter past six in the morning and run until ten past ten in the evening. The travel time can be the same as when you are driving your own time because it is subjected to the same bottleneck traffic that we have previously mentioned.