Airport Guide to John F. Kennedy International (JFK)

Airport Name
John F Kennedy International Airport

Airport Location
The airport is located 15 miles southeast of Manhattan.

9 (Terminal 5 is temporarily closed)


718 244 4444

Airport Overview

John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is one of the busiest airports in the United States. It is also the first taste of New York City that most passengers get when flying to the United States. The airport is located in Queens and is 12 miles from Manhattan, where most tourist attractions are located.

JFK Airport is well stocked with every type of amenity a passenger could ask for. There are loads of shops, restaurants and bars at the airport, as well as hotels, parking and public transport facilities. However, busy airports often forget the finer details and JFK is no exception. Passengers may find it less than user-friendly at times, mostly due to its large size, and the enormous volume of passengers filing through on domestic and international flights (more than 46 million each year).

With eight terminals, flights to John F Kennedy International Airport are easy to come by on most major airlines. Passengers booking flights with American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and Evergreen International Airlines should find it easy to get a flight to JFK Airport as all these airlines use the airport as a regional hub.

John F Kennedy International Airport is not only a gateway to the Big Apple – for many, it is a gateway to the United States. Although big, the airport is well equipped to deal with loads of passengers and using JFK should not be a daunting experience.

Terminal Transfer

The fastest, cheapest and easiest way to transfer between terminals at JFK International Airport is by AirTrain. The AirTrain connects to all the terminals as well as car parks, hotels, rental facilities and even to parts of New York City in general. It is free to use the AirTrain in and around the airport, but a charge is levied when using it to get to other parts of the city. The trains leave every ten minutes and it takes two minutes to get from stop to stop.

Getting into Town

Train: Passengers taking the train at JFK have two choices: the AirTrain or the NYC Subway and Long Island Railroad. The AirTrain connects to different parts of the airport free of charge; it also connects to three stations in Manhattan. The NYC Subway connects to all parts of the city. It is run by the MTA. JFK Airport is located at both Jamaica Station and Howard Beach Station on New York’s subway lines. The subway operates around the clock, but passengers arriving at odd times should be wary of taking the subway to outlying areas or potentially unsafe parts of the city.

Taxi: Some would say New York is known for its feisty taxi drivers and the airport is no exception. Taxis can be booked through the Transportation Information Counters on the arrivals level of each terminal. Passengers should always tip taxi drivers in New York (or risk some degree of verbal abuse). Passengers are expected to pay all tolls en route to or from the airport.

Bus: The MTA operates a number of bus services to and from JFK International Airport. Bus stops can be found on the east side of Terminal 4’s arrivals roadway. Buses Q10, Q3 and B15 all operate from JFK International, as does the NYC Airporter Bus, which runs every 30 minutes between the bus terminal, Grand Central Station and Penn Station. The Airporter bus costs $18. Many of the nearby hotels also offer courtesy shuttles to and from the airport.

Car Parking

While there is no parking in front of the terminals for pick-ups and drop-offs, there is a cellphone car park just five minutes from all the terminals. Parking options at JFK International Airport range from Short-term (daily) parking to long-term parking. The daily parking garages, known as the Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange and Red parking lots, are adjacent to each of the terminals. The long-term parking is located 4 miles from the terminals, but it is connected to the terminals via the AirTrain service. Concessions are available for EZ Pass holders.

Information Desks

An information counter is located in the arrivals lobby of Terminal 4 and Terminal 5’s arrivals area has a Welcome Center. Staff generally speak English and Spanish. Port of Call management kiosks or information desks are located in each terminal and the red-jacketed staff are always willing to offer assistance and advice. There are also Travelers Aid services in Terminal 4, 6, 7 and 8.

Airport Facilities

Money and communications: ATMs and currency exchange facilities are available in all the terminals. Public telephones and post boxes are also available at the airport.

Luggage: All the terminals have baggage trolleys. The JFK Police Desk handles lost-and-found queries; it is located in building 269. Lost-and-found desks are also located in arrivals in a few of the terminals, such as Terminal 4. Baggage storage is available in the arrivals areas of Terminal 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 as well as at the hotels counter in area B of Terminal 3. Secure Wrap offers baggage-wrapping services in Terminal 4 on the departures level.

Conference and business: Business facilities at JFK International Airport include fax, photocopying and FedEx services. Conference facilities at the airport are best booked via one of the airport hotels such as the Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel or the Marriott. Terminal 6 and the lounges only allow business services to passengers with membership cards.

Shopping: New York is a city for shoppers, and JFK International Airport is no different. Whether you’re after something sweet from Chocolate & More or a copy of the New York Times from the CNN Newsstand, you’re sure to be well catered for at the airport. The DFS duty-free shops in Terminal 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 stock chocolates, alcohol, tobacco and perfume as well as a range of designer gear. There are also electronics and music shops as well as a Metropolitan Museum of Art store and a Mont Blanc section in the duty-free shops.

Food and drink: All the terminals at John F Kennedy International Airport have a wide range of eating and drinking options ranging from a quick coffee at Starbucks to a cocktail at the Drink Martini Bar. Other options include McDonald’s, New York Sports Bar, SoHo Bistro and Express, Aunty Annie’s, Sam Adams Bar, Peers Coffee and Tea, Upper Crust and To Go. Passengers won’t have any trouble finding a restaurant, kiosk or snack bar both before and after the security checkpoints.

Other facilities: Interfaith chapels, first-aid facilities, baby-changing rooms, paging services, shoeshine services, manicures, showers, power outlets, vending machines, phone rental kiosks, airline lounges and spas.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is available.


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