John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

JFK Airport

JFK Airport, also known as simply JFK or Kennedy Airport, is the largest and busiest airport in New York. Known officially as John F. Kennedy International Airport, it is named after the 35th President of the United States.

This New York airport is located in Queens, 15 miles (26 km) from Manhattan, and there are several transfer options to the city. You can read more about the JFK International Airport and all the transfer options available here.

Landing at JFK Airport

Once you land at JFK Airport in New York, you need to get through customs. The airport can be very busy depending on the number of flights landing at the same time. With some luck you’ll be out within an hour, but it could also take two hours or more.

Everyone has to go through customs when entering the United States. You can go through customs with several people. Each visitor is photographed and has to be fingerprinted at passport control. Once you are through customs, you can collect your luggage.

Eric’s Tip: “You’ll usually be asked a few simple questions at customs, such as the purpose of your trip and how long you plan to stay in New York.”

JFK Airport ArrivalJFK Airport Terminal

Transfer from JFK Airport to Manhattan

There are several ways to travel from JFK Airport to Manhattan. For example, you can take a cab, arrange a private transfer in advance, or use public transport. You can see all the options in Eric’s New York Transfer Planner and plan everything in advance.

JFK AirTrain

A great way to travel to and from JFK Airport is on the JFK AirTrain! This unmanned train runs between all the terminals and then heads towards two subway stations closer to the city. From there, you can transfer to the New York metro network and take the subway towards Manhattan.

Read more about the JFK AirTrain and buy your tickets here

JFK Airport TaxiJFK Airport JFK AirTrain

Departures from JFK Airport

When you fly from JFK Airport, which terminal you need to go to depends on the airline you’re flying with. If you are flying with American Airlines, you need to be at Terminal 8, and if you’re flying with Delta, you need to be at Terminal 4.

Once you’ve checked in any luggage and gotten through customs, there are great facilities such as food outlets and shops for you to pleasantly pass the time before your flight.

Lounges at JFK Airport

There’s nothing better than boarding a plane fully relaxed and ready for the journey ahead, and a lounge is the best place to chill pre-flight. When travelling from Terminal 4, you can buy an access card for the Virgin Clubhouse Lounge, where you’ll be able to enjoy some food and drinks, and even use the showers to freshen up.

Buy your ticket to the Virgin Clubhouse Lounge here

TWA Hotel

Also known as the TWA Flight Center, the TWA hotel is located right next to Terminal 5 of JFK Airport. Originally a fully functioning terminal, it was transformed into this unusual hotel at JFK Airport in 2017. The outdoor pool overlooks the runway, and inside there is a bar and a museum.

Rooms also overlook the runway and can be booked for either an overnight stay or just a few hours during the day. Staying here is a great option if your flight is early in the morning or very late in the evening, or you’re in JFK for a long layover.

JFK Airport TWA HotelJFK Airport TWA Hotel lobby

Hotels near JFK Airport

There are several hotels around JFK Airport. These are ideal places to stay if you arrive late at night, have an early flight, or have a long layover in New York. Stay at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JFK Airport, Hampton Inn NY-JFK or Comfort Inn JFK Airport, for example. All hotels include breakfast and offer a free shuttle to and from the airport.

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