New York (JFK) Stopover Tips | Australian Frequent Flyer
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New York (JFK) Stopover Tips

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This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, USA. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite JFK airport lounges
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
  • Transferring between New York City area airports - JFK, Newark (EWR) and La Guardia (LGA).
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in New York? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!
 

RooFlyer

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A question that will hopefully result in a few tips:

Is it usual for people to take their luggage on the subway (via the airtrain) to get to, say, Manhattan or Queens? Or does luggage mean taking a cab? (I guess some people would catch the subway anyway, but I'll be arriving in 'peak hours' so I don't want to be a PITA for commuters, or have to struggle through crowded platforms etc).

Do cabs pick-up from outside each terminal (T8 in my case). If not, what's the go?
 

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When flying into JFK and staying in Manhattan i always take the air train plus subway, in peak times it is the quickest way, and also least expensive when travelling solo. Ive done it several times with my checked case, wheeled carry-on and a small back pack. Airtrain to Howards Beach (or Jamaica depending on what part of city im staying in) , then subway, ensuring if i need to change lines i do so at a station where connection is other side of same platform this is usually J St Metro for me.

The Airport stations all have lifts and escalators, the platforms are level and subway trains mostly empty when boarding at Howards Beach or Jamaica. The stations in the city however do not all have lifts or escaltors and if they do maybe not at every exit.

I usually end up having to carry case up (or down on return) a flight of stairs, but find this manageable. Also without fail every single time a lovely New Yorker has always offered to (and even insisted on) help carry one bag up/down the single flight of stairs.

Ive not bothered with the LIRR, as generally dont stay near Penn Station so the time saving would be eroded by having to backtrack ont he subway (i like to stay lower east side these days).
 
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tgh

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I try to get a private transfer inbound almost everywhere because if the trip has been difficult and one is tired it's easy to pick a dud cab and be taken for a ride.
NYC cabs are a mixed bag , some are great and some not so.
Outbound , hotel concierges will (hopefully) only put their clients in trusted cabs

The following was my experience a while back : (from this thread ):
Airport car transfer from JFK to Manhattan

After a lot of research JFK >Upper Westside , we booked Jr Luxury NYC $110 us plus about $20 meet and greet .
Big new black suv , careful friendly driver.. very highly recommended..
On return swmbo talked me into the airport shuttle.. $45us good .. 1.5 hour milk run in central Ny.. not good but we had heaps of time so...
 
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I too take the airtrain and subway combo. Have never had any trouble with a case on there, I do try to get into a corner out of the way. It gives you a prep for the subway in general too. If you arrive during peak time, it is faster. The airtrain is going up/is up to $7.50, and there are many staff at the subway turnstyles cheerfully helping bleary travellers who may have done a 'huge 8 hour flight from the EU/UK'. 😂 It's good people watching.

Depending on how many days you may use the subways and buses in NY, it can be cheaper, and much easier to buy say a 7 day ticket, or x rides. There is a NYC thread too from prev questions.
 
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I only got a shuttle once when I bought something really big and couldn't mange it on the subway. I was the 2nd to last one on, and another Aus boarded after me. The people already on there had been on it for 2 hours so they said and were still in the city. They were very peeved and shouted, "no more" at us, and would have thrown the later joiners off on our bums if they'd had a half a chance, shooting dagger looks at us for the rest of the trip, and boy was it packed. They are not recommended on Tripadvisor.

snip...

On return swmbo talked me into the airport shuttle.. $45us good .. 1.5 hour milk run in central Ny.. not good but we had heaps of time so...
 

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Subway and air train is great. Used air train plus Long Island railroad last time as I was staying near Penn Station. Was a bit more expensive but did save about 20 mins.
 

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Couple of years back, took LIRR Express Train from Penn Station Manhattan to Jamaica Station Queens & then Air Train to JFK. Had a backpack & wheeled check-in luggage. As a solo traveler, found it to be convenient & cheap.
 

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A question that will hopefully result in a few tips:

Is it usual for people to take their luggage on the subway (via the airtrain) to get to, say, Manhattan or Queens? Or does luggage mean taking a cab? (I guess some people would catch the subway anyway, but I'll be arriving in 'peak hours' so I don't want to be a PITA for commuters, or have to struggle through crowded platforms etc).

Do cabs pick-up from outside each terminal (T8 in my case). If not, what's the go?
I always go on Airtrain + subway or LIRR (depending on where I am staying ..... downtown will be A train/Howard Beach, up towards Central Park area .. probably E train/Jamaica, closer to Penn station ... LIRR/Jamaica). Never found the "peak hour" crowding to be a problem, even with big luggage (because of shopping, we take more luggage than a normal trip). The main thing is that you inevitably have to use lots of steps, as sometimes lifts/escalators are difficult to find or non existent in many (but not all) subway stations (this is not a problem for LIRR/Penn Station though.)
 

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New discovery on last trip, outlet mall on Staten Island right near the Ferry Terminal. Other than Las Vegas, I'm struggling to think of an outlet mall in the US that is accessible to a major city as this one, most require an hour drive or so out of the main downtown areas where people tend to stay.
 

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Depending on how many days you may use the subways and buses in NY, it can be cheaper, and much easier to buy say a 7 day ticket, or x rides. There is a NYC thread too from prev questions.
Note the 7 day met card cant be used for airtrain exit. So you can either buy a regular metcard (say $10) and load it up just enough to cover your return airport journey, then a separate 7 day card (which you wouldn't activate until your first subway trip after the one from the airport), or just go with the normal one and top up as needed. I find New York very walkable so generally find it marginal as to whether i take subway enough to get extra value from the 7 day card.

I only got a shuttle once when I bought something really big and couldn't mange it on the subway. I was the 2nd to last one on, and another Aus boarded after me. The people already on there had been on it for 2 hours so they said and were still in the city. They were very peeved and shouted, "no more" at us, and would have thrown the later joiners off on our bums if they'd had a half a chance, shooting dagger looks at us for the rest of the trip, and boy was it packed. They are not recommended on Tripadvisor.
I made this mistake the first time I ever flew into JFK back in 2009 (as all my previous NYC trips prior to that had been via La Guardia where at the time there no choice but to take a shuttle or a taxi). The trip into the city took an hour, then there was another 75 mins of zig zagging around the city being frustatingly within a few blocks of destination only to head away from it again to drop off someone else. Will never ever take a shuttle from JFK again!
 
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It is a small one by most standards, and I did not find it particularly cheap. The bargains in the city are pretty good if you go to the usual places.

New discovery on last trip, outlet mall on Staten Island right near the Ferry Terminal. Other than Las Vegas, I'm struggling to think of an outlet mall in the US that is accessible to a major city as this one, most require an hour drive or so out of the main downtown areas where people tend to stay.
 
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Yes, the Airtrain is not part of the subway system, it joins JFK > Airtrain > Subway and buses. All Airtrain tickets are priced separately as you leave or enter depending on yr direction of travel.

Note the 7 day met card cant be used for airtrain exit. So you can either buy a regular metcard (say $10) and load it up just enough to cover your return airport journey, then a separate 7 day card (which you wouldn't activate until your first subway trip after the one from the airport), or just go with the normal one and top up as needed. I find New York very walkable so generally find it marginal as to whether i take subway enough to get extra value from the 7 day card.



I made this mistake the first time I ever flew into JFK back in 2009 (as all my previous NYC trips prior to that had been via La Guardia where at the time there no choice but to take a shuttle or a taxi). The trip into the city took an hour, then there was another 75 mins of zig zagging around the city being frustatingly within a few blocks of destination only to head away from it again to drop off someone else. Will never ever take a shuttle from JFK again!
 

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It is a small one by most standards, and I did not find it particularly cheap. The bargains in the city are pretty good if you go to the usual places.

We just spent 15 mins there in between ferries so didn't give it much of a look over, and it did look like they needed a few more tenants. We were in the NYC during Thanksgiving week, so loads of bargains elsewhere. We also find it useful to head over to Fulton St in Brooklyn for some reasonable options. One place that was really disappointing this time was Century 21, for various reasons.
 
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Burlingtons I find good for bargains. It's best to go early and unusually for the USA, it opens early, and it is quiet and all the stuff is still on the racks and not on the floor. 😁 . At various times there I have bought clothes, household stuff and a suitcase.

We just spent 15 mins there in between ferries so didn't give it much of a look over, and it did look like they needed a few more tenants. We were in the NYC during Thanksgiving week, so loads of bargains elsewhere. We also find it useful to head over to Fulton St in Brooklyn for some reasonable options. One place that was really disappointing this time was Century 21, for various reasons.
 

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Yes, the Airtrain is not part of the subway system, it joins JFK > Airtrain > Subway and buses. All Airtrain tickets are priced separately as you leave or enter depending on yr direction of travel.
Yes but $5 AirTrain fee can be paid for with a regular stored value subway met card, whereas the 7-Day met cards which cant be used to pay for the Airtrain.
 
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Tiffany he’s renovating so they packed up all of the jewelry and wheeled it up the road! 😂. Having trouble putting in the NYTimes link but I’ll get onto it later.
 
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Agree, I have a close friend who is a big apple greeter, and I’ve done some of the greeter field trips. The trick to acquiring one is to be specific on an area that you would like to go to, or a particular interest that you may have, e.g. architectural, old trains, whatever. If you’re a bit airy fairy and obviously haven’t done your research they find it hard to match you up with someone who is an expert in that particular location.

And if you have a couple of days this is a great idea and free.We did take Tim tams and a small koala for our greeter.
 

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