New York City Trippers

Airtrain from JFK to Manhattan

27 Jan 2017 by Esther

The Newyorkcitytrippers think very differently about public transport in New York City. The brunette loves it, the blonde absolutely hates it. With a capital A. Which is why we usually head straight for the taxi stand upon arrival at JFK and have to wait in line for about 30 minutes. Or longer. If we're lucky the travel time from JFK to wherever we're staying at is limited to about 60 minutes. If traffic is bad that can take longer. All in all traveling from JFK by airtrain and subway takes just about as much time but is a lot cheaper. Want to know how that works? We'll explain it to you step by step:

Interior subway in New York City

  • After you've cleared customs follow the signs to the "Airtrain".
  • The Airtrain makes frequent stops everywhere around the airport: airline terminals, parking lots, hotel shuttle areas and rental car facilities. You need to take the train that stops at Jamaica Station. You won't have to wait long, it runs every 7 to 15 minutes. Traveling time from JFK's terminal 4 to Jamaica station is about 13 minutes. You pay upon arrival at Jamaica station.
  • Upon arrival at Jamaica station you have to pay $ 5 (cash or credit) in order to get a ticket. Swipe it like you would a metrocard and exit.

Transfer JFK to Manhattan

However, you might want to go for the special offer: $ 7,75 + $ 1 dollar (for the metrocard) will get you from JFK to Jamaica . This is the $5 you have to pay upon arrival + $ 2,75 for the onward travel to Manhattan. We say "go for it" and pick the one which you can top up later on.

  • Now you're on your way to the subway. Also referred to as "train". Take the elevator all the way to the lowest platform.
  • Google maps is a good way to find out which subway/train you need to take in order to reach your destination. We advice you to check that before you head towards New York.
  • Find your train and make sure you're on the right side of the platform. Passing through the turnstiles can be a bit challenging. Make sure your shove your suitcase past or through before you swipe and make the turnstiles turn.

It took us exactly 75 minutes to get from JFK to our hotel in the Lower East Side. The taxi would have taken us just as long. It would have cost 70 dollars. The airtrain cost $ 8,75.

You do the math.

Transfer JFK to Manhattan by airtrain & subway

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