How to get to JFK from Manhattan

JFK International Airport is the major travel hub in New York City for international flights. It’s a clean, modern and very efficient airport but unfortunately it’s quite a distance to the big business hub that is Manhattan.


So how do you go about getting there? Well, it might be far but you actually have several options, depending on how quickly you need to arrive there, how much you’re willing to spend, and what time of day it is.

Go By Taxi

Without a doubt the simplest thing to do is just hail a cab from anywhere in Manhattan and tell him you want to go to JFK. Taxis can seat up to four people comfortably but they’re not the cheapest method of getting there. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission actually has set rules regarding trips between Manhattan and JFK, with a flat fare set at $52. In addition, passengers have to pay any tolls encountered along the way (pricey, but can save time) as well as a NYS Tax of 50 cents.

You can hail cabs all over the city but be sure you only take an official yellow cab – avoid the shady operators! As for how long it will take you, that depends on the time of day. During rush hour the traffic gets pretty bad, and it could take more than two hours to reach your destination. In normal times however, you could be there in less than an hour.

You can visit the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission’s website for more details or to book a taxi in advance.

Take the airport shuttle services

Several companies run shuttle bus services to and from JFK. For those who’re traveling in a group – and by that we mean more than four adults – the shuttle bus is almost certainly going to be one of the cheapest and easiest options.

If traveling from JFK to Manhattan it’s really simple. Just ask at the Ground Transportation desk to find out where the shuttles are located, or alternatively in the baggage claim area you can use one of the courtesy phones to book a ride on the shuttle. If traveling from Manhattan to the airport however, you’ll have to call one of the companies, such as Super Shuttle or Go Air Link NYC to book your passage.

Beware that you will almost certainly have to share the van with other passengers, and you may lose some time if the shuttle has to pick up/drop off other passengers first.

Use the Airtrain

The Airtrain connects directly with New York’s subway system and as such, is a sure way to beat the traffic in rush hour. The price is cheap, at under $10 per person, and connects to the subway at either Howard Beach Station or Sutphan Boulevard Station. The only disadvantage with taking the Airtrain and subway is that you’ll have to lug all your baggage around with you, which is not always ideal if traveling with more than one bag.

Hire a car and driver

If you prefer to travel in comfort and be treated with the utmost courtesy from your driver, the best option is to hire a car with a driver to pick you up. Some of the advantages include not having to carry your own luggage, and a variety of luxury vehicles to choose from. For example, an airport transfer in NYC with Blacklane allows you to choose from a business class sedan, an SUV or van, or a first class Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse, BMW 7er Serie or Audi A8.

This option is not unreasonably priced when one considers the level of service and comfort, and is highly recommended for business travelers who need a reliable service.