New York City

New York City - John F. Kennedy International Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the largest of the three NYC airports. It is located on Long Island in the southeastern section of Queens on Jamaica Bay. It's about 15 miles (25 km) southeast of Manhattan. When traffic is light, it takes about 40 minutes to commute into Manhattan from John F. Kennedy International.

Transportation between terminals

JFK has nine terminal buildings. You can go between the terminals via the free AirTrain Monorail that operates 24 hours a day and runs every 2 to 8 minutes. The Airtrain also stops at the rental car service, the parking lots, and the hotel shuttles. For a $5 fee, it transports passengers to the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) trains, the MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) subways, and the local city buses.

Taxis between the terminals cost about $4-6.

Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. © Roger Rowlett CCA 2.5
The Trans-Bridge Bus Lines serve JFK with three trips per day to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.

Ground Transportation

The least expensive way to travel into Manhattan is to take the AirTrain ($5) to the subway terminal then transfer onto a subway ($4). If you are carrying luggage, this is not the most convenient alternative.

Buses are another inexpensive way to get into Manhattan, and they can be a bit more convenient. The Trans-Bridge Bus Lines serve JFK with three trips per day to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan ($12).

New York Airport Express Service buses provide service to Grand Central Station, and Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. Departures are every 20 - 30 minutes ($15).

The next best choice is a door-to-door shuttle ride. They are affordable and convenient. The only downfall is there may be several stops before you arrive at your destination.

Shared-Ride, Limousines and Sedans

Shared-ride van and private car services can be requested at the Ground Transportation Information Counters which are located on the arrivals level of each terminal. A ride into Manhattan by a share-ride van is the cheapest choice costing only $15. A sedan service costs between $40-50. A six passenger limousine rental from JFK to Manhattan will cost you about $150.

Warning: The price of a shared-ride van is the same if there is one rider or the van is full. Do not let a driver try and take an advantage of you by insisting you pay more if you are the only passenger.


Taxicabs are always on stand-by for travelers with taxi dispatch stands and lines located outside on the arrivals level of each terminal. There is a flat rate of $45 to Manhattan, plus tolls and tip. Taxi fare to other locations in New York City ranges from $20 to $55.

Tip: Never accept transportation offers from non-uniformed solicitors inside or outside of the terminal. Official workers will be uniformed porters and airline employees with airport badges.

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JFK Airport Car Rentals and Parking

Six car rental agencies serve JFK. The car rental facilities are located in close proximity to the airport. A courtesy shuttle stops regularly at AirTrain Station C - Federal Circle.

JFK Airport parking consists of the Daily Parking in the Central Terminal Area (CTA) and Long-Term Parking Lot which is located at Lefferts Blvd, about 4 miles from the terminals. The parking lot signs have been recently color coded to indicate their distance from the terminals.

A new Cell Phone Lot waiting area is reserved for people meeting arriving passengers. The lot is off the Van Wyck Express way close the JFK Airport entrance and only minutes from the terminals.

Written by: Elizabeth Blair
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco /
Photo Description: Lower Manhattan in New York City