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How to Get to JFK Airport

Make the trip to John F. Kennedy International Airport less stressful with these tips.


  • Step 1: Drive yourself to JFK Airport. You can access the airport via the Van Wyck Expressway or the Belt Parkway; both short- and long-term parking is available. Day parking is adjacent to Terminals 1 through 8. The long-term parking lot is approximately 4 miles from Terminals 1 through 8 on Lefferts Blvd. There is no parking in front of any of the terminals.
  • Step 2: If you're picking someone up, wait in the airport's free Cell Phone Lot, just off the Van Wyck's Federal Circle exit; it's minutes from all terminals. If you're dropping someone off, consider saying goodbye at the free Kiss and Fly lot at the AirTrain JFK Lefferts Boulevard Station. From there, passengers can hop on the AirTrain for a ride to all airport terminals.
  • FACT: JFK Airport was originally called Idlewild Airport, after the Idlewild Golf Course it displaced. It was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, a month after President Kennedy's assassination.
  • Step 3: Get to JFK Airport in a taxi, or arrange for a van or car service to pick you up. Go to "": for a list of authorized airport vehicle services. Save money by choosing a company that offers shared rides.
  • Step 4: Take the New York Airport Service bus, the only authorized bus service from Manhattan to JFK. You can pick up the bus at Penn Station, Port Authority, Grand Central Station, or Bryant Park. For express buses to JFK, use the Grand Central Station location. Go to "": for schedules and fares.
  • Step 5: Get to JFK Airport with the AirTrain, which links JFK to the Howard Beach subway station on the A line; the Sutphin Boulevard subway station, which is on the E, J, and Z lines; and the Long Island Railroad's Jamaica Station. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to get to JFK from the subway stops and 15 minutes from the LIRR station. The AirTrain runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • TIP: If you're taking the A train, be sure to get on the train headed to Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park Beach, and not Lefferts Boulevard.
  • Step 6: Know where JFK Airport is located: on Jamaica Bay in the southeastern section of Queens, about 20 miles from midtown Manhattan.

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