How To Get From Manhattan To New York’s JFK Airport

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Transportation From Manhattan To JFK Airport

This post discusses how to travel from Manhattan, New York to JFK Airport in Queens.

Are you going the other way? See How To Get From JFK Airport To Manhattan.

Add 1 hour to the amount of time you will need, regardless of which option you choose. NYC traffic and transportation are always unpredictable.

Option 1: New York City Airport Shuttle (Recommended)

Go Airlink NYC’s 24/7 JFK Airport Transportation and NYC Airporter’s JFK Airport Shuttle both provide excellent and reliable service from Manhattan to JFK Airport. When using their services, forget about learning NYC’s often confusing transportation system or struggling up subway station stairs with your luggage.

Advantages of Go Airlink NYC:

  • The lowest rate if I book online (10% discount)
  • 24/7 service
  • Convenient pick-up at any Manhattan address between Battery Park and 129th Street.
  • Pick-ups at: Penn Station, Grand Central or Port Authority Terminal
  • Choice of shared shuttle van, private car, private van or Luxury SUV Service.
  • Vehicles seating between 4 and 56 passengers, depending on my needs
  • Service to NYC-area cruise ship terminals in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Bayonne, New Jersey

Cost: Depends on service. See their current rates for their JFK Airport Transportation.

Total time: Approximately 40 minutes (depending on traffic)

GO Airlink NYC

Features of NYC Airporter:

  • Service between 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., 7 days a week, year-round.
  • Convenient pick-up at Penn Station, Grand Central or Port Authority Terminal (no hotel pick-up).
  • Free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets on board to recharge electronics
  • Reclining leather seats
  • Transfers to all NYC-area cruise ship terminals (including Bayonne, New Jersey).
  • Seasonal discounts.
  • Official carrier of the NYC Department of Transportation & the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Recommended by the newspapers Huffington Post & USA Today.

Total time: Approximately 40 minutes (traffic-depending)

Cost: See current rates for their Shuttle to JFK from Manhattan.

 Option 2: Yellow Taxi From Manhattan To JFK

Click here for information on taking a yellow taxi

Use our New York City Taxi Fare Calculator for cost estimates.

Enter your starting address under “From.” Enter JFK Airport under “To.”

Total Time: Approximately 45 minutes (traffic-depending).

Approximate Cost: Approx. $65 (flat rate plus toll plus your tip– 15% tip is standard).

Important Note On Taxis

NYC tolls accept E-Z Pass, an automated toll-paying system. E-Z Pass toll rates are lower than cash rates. Ensure you are charged the lower E-Z Pass rate, as it is your right.


Option 3: Take Subway From Manhattan To JFK Airport

Click here for subway information


Traveling from Manhattan to JFK by subway is done in 2 steps:

  • Step 1: Take subway from Manhattan to a subway station in Queens near JFK Airport.
  • Step 2: From the Queens subway station, take an AirTrain into the airport.

The AirTrain is a 24-hour elevated train that connects JFK Airport with New York City’s public transportation system. It stops at all JFK terminals.

NYC Subway Map

  • You may find this NYC subway map helpful while reviewing Options 3 and 4.
  • Map can be click and dragged.
  • To see JFK Airport, click on map and drag it all the way to the right. You’ll see the JFK in the lower right corner.
  • Note: You cannot click and drag the map image on this page. You must open the map at the above link.

If map image below is too large for your mobile phone, you may also view it here.


Image of New York City Subway map. Cloe-up of the area around JFK International Airport. The AirTrain's routes are visible.
A close-up of the area surrounding JFK Airport on the New York City subway map. The A line (dark blue line) and the AirTrain’s 2 lines (yellow lines) are shown. The A line has 2 branches: one  goes to Lefferts Blvd., the other to Far Rockaway. If you’re headed to JFK Airport, be sure you board a Far Rockaway-bound A train. Image courtesy of © NYC MTA.

NYC Subways To JFK Airport

You can take the A, E, J or Z subway lines to JFK Airport.

Below are instructions for all 4 subway lines, but we recommend the A train because:

  • It leaves you at the “Howard Beach/JFK” subway station (extremely close to airport).
  • The Howard Beach station is less congested than the subway station used by the  J-Z-E lines.
  • Your total trip time will be less when using the A line.

Option 3A: Taking The A Train From Manhattan To Kennedy Airport

The A line has 2 branches in Queens: Far Rockaway and Lefferts Blvd. If you are not close to the A line, read the Transferring To The A Train In Manhattan section below.

You MUST BOARD the A train that says Far Rockaway on the side. DO NOT BOARD the A train that says “Lefferts Blvd.”

  • Take the Far Rockaway A train to the Howard Beach/JFK station.
  • Exit subway at Howard Beach, enter station and go upstairs.
  • Buy AirTrain ticket(s) from ticket machine or roving ticket agents wearing red vests. Ticket agents only accept cash and work mid-morning to early evening.
  • Board AirTrain and exit at your airport terminal.
  • Have a great flight.

Transferring To The A Train In Manhattan

From B-C-D-E-F-M subways:

  • Transfer to the A train at the West 4th/Washington Square station.
  • Reminder: take the A train marked Far Rockaway to Howard Beach.

From C-J-Z-2-3-4-5 subways:

Transfer to A train at Fulton St. station in lower Manhattan. Take Far Rockaway A train to the Howard Beach station.

From L-N-Q-R-6 subways:

  • Transfer to a downtown 4 or 5 train at 14th St./Union Square station
  • Take downtown 4 or 5 train to Fulton St. station.
  • Transfer to A train at Fulton St. Be sure your A train says Far Rockaway and not Lefferts Blvd.
  • Take A train to Howard Beach station.

Option 3B: Taking the E, J Or Z Subway Lines From Manhattan To JFK

The E train makes several stops between midtown and lower Manhattan. It shares some stops with the A train.

The J and Z subway lines make few stops in Manhattan and are most convenient for:

  • People starting on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
  • People in Brooklyn or Queens close to these subway lines.

Taking E/J/Z subways from Manhattan To JFK Airport

  • Take a Queens-bound E/ J/Z train to the Sutphin Blvd./Archer Ave./JFK Airport station (2nd-to-last stop).
  • When you arrive there, you will be at Jamaica Station, a major transportation complex.
  • Enter Jamaica Station and follow signs to AirTrain.
  • Buy AirTrain ticket(s) from ticket machines or roving ticket agents. Ticket agents work mid-morning to early evening and only accept cash.
  • Board AirTrain and exit AirTrain at your JFK terminal.
  • Have a safe and enjoyable flight.

Total Time: Approximately1 hour under ideal conditions. Give yourself 2 hours minimum when taking the subway. Subways are often delayed, break down or make extra stops to pick up the slack for other trains that are delayed or have broken down.

Cost: $7.50 ($2.50 subway plus $5 AirTrain– add $1 if buying new Metro-Card)


Option 4: Take The Long Island Railroad From Manhattan To JFK Airport

The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) provides commuter rail service between New York City and Long Island. These commuter trains are cleaner, faster, more comfortable and safer (crime-wise) than subways.

Click here for information on taking the Long Island Railroad
How To Take The LIRR From Manhattan To JFK Airport

  1. Go to Penn Station in Manhattan, located at 32nd Street and 7th Avenue.
  2. Penn Station is accessible via the following subways: A-C-E-1-2-3 lines.
  3. Buy an LIRR ticket from Penn Station to Jamaica Station in Queens.
  4. After arriving at Jamaica Station, follow signs to AirTrain.
  5. Buy your AirTrain ticket from a ticket machine or a roving ticket agent wearing a red vest. AirTrain ticket agents work from mid-morning to early evening.
  6. Board AirTrain and exit at your JFK terminal.

Note: Jamaica Station is a major transportation hub. Trains leave Penn Station for Jamaica Station every few minutes. There is no need to plan for a specific train, unless that’s your style.

Total time: Approximately 45 minutes

Cost: $12 plus ($7 off-peak LIRR fare plus $5 AirTrain fare. LIRR tickets cost a few dollars more during peak hours. Never buy your LIRR ticket on the train. It’s much cheaper to buy it at the station.)

See LIRR schedules and fares. If  traveling to JFK via LIRR on a Saturday or Sunday, read CityTicket For Weekend JFK Passengers to learn how you can save money


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