Named in honor of the late US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK is the main international airport that serves the largest city in the United States, New York City. This airport is actually the busiest international air gateway into the States and one of the top 25 busiest airports on the planet. It serves about 75 million flyers each year!
It’s located in the Queens neighborhood of NYC, approximately 19 miles away from Manhattan. There are several ways to get from the JFK airport to Manhattan (and vice-versa), the cheapest of which seems to be AirTrain.
Getting from and to JFK Airport by AirTrain
AirTrain JFK is an elevated railway system that works 24/7, 365 days a year. It covers a distance of 8.1 miles, with the starting point being the JFK Airport in Queens. One of the routes of the AirTrain JFK takes the passengers to the Jamaica Station, where they can a bus or subway in order to get to other parts of New York City, including Manhattan.
What makes AirTrain’s transit such a good option is that it’s very cheap. If you’re using a MetroCard, you will have to pay a $5 fare. If you don’t own one, getting it will cost you an additional dollar.
Taxis in New York City can take as much as four passengers, so if your group is larger, you will need to go with separate vehicles. Another issue is the price. Taxi rates in NYC are pretty high. But, on the bright side, going by taxi means that you will get to your destination much quicker. Not to mention that this method is much more comfortable than using public transport.
Of course, it’s not always like that. The streets of New York are famously crowdy, so sometimes using the subway is a much faster option than going by car. The good news is that you can check traffic before hailing a taxi. There are lots of apps out there that provide accurate info about the current traffic in NYC, one of which is Google Maps.
So, if the road is clear, a taxi will take you to your destination swiftly, something that will cost you somewhere in the range between 50 and 100 bucks. Of course, it all depends on how far it is from the JFK Airport, as New York cabs use taximeters. Also, if you’re traveling with luggage, you need to add the cost of bag handling to the bill. If the bags are larger than 24 inches, the cab driver might charge you additional 15 dollars.
By Car Service
Remember that the JFK Airport is one of the busiest airports on Earth. What this means is that there’s going to be a huge number of passengers there trying to hail a taxi. So, you might end up spending quite a lot of time before you get a cab to take your from the airport to your destination. If you’re in a hurry, this can cause you some really big problems.
Luckily, there’s a solution – hiring a car service to wait for you at the airport when you land. A great thing about car services is that you can prearrange a ride online. You just need to visit a website of a company that offers such services and make a booking. The best thing is that you can do this even while you’re still in the air.
Some of the companies that offer airport car service include My Destiny Shuttle Jet and Carmel Limo. The advantage of using a car service is obviously that you won’t have to waste any time trying to get a cab. On the downside, this is usually a much more expensive option, especially if you’re traveling on your own.
But, if you’re traveling with a group, you might consider arranging a van to pick you up at the airport. In most cases, these vehicles can accommodate as many as 11 people, but the best thing is that once you split the bill, the cost of van service seems pretty cheap. On average, van transfer costs about 12 dollars per person.
Go Airlink NYC is probably your most affordable option. Unfortunately, this company isn’t getting great reviews. For example, it scores 2 out of 5 stars on Google. That’s why a better alternative seems to be a company called Colonial Transportation. Their rates are slightly higher, but the company is much better rated by the users.
If you’re traveling alone, you should consider sharing a ride by using Uber or some similar platform. There are four Uber classes in NYC – UberX (regular cars), UberXL (SUVs), UberBLACK (luxury cars), and UberSUV (upscale SUVs).
The cheapest class is, of course, UberX, which has the following rate structure:
Base Fare of $2.55 + $1.75 per mile + $0.35 per minute
What this basically means is that if you’re using Uber to go from the JFK airport to a spot in Manhattan, which is some 20 miles away and takes about 50 minutes’ drive, you will have to pay $2.55 + $1.75 x 20 miles + $0.35 x 50 minutes. This means that the total fare will be about 55 bucks.
If you like being behind the wheel, you can rent a car. There are lots of companies that will have a vehicle delivered to you at the airport, but you should know that car rental in NYC is not cheap. In fact, you should know that an average rate is about 25 dollars per day, not counting gas and other expenses, such as tolls, for instance.
The good news is that finding a car to rent is not that difficult, considering that there are literally hundreds of companies offering this type of service. The bad news is that not all of them offer short-term rentals. So, if you just want to rent a car to get from the airport to your hotel, you will have to rent it for at least 2-3 days.