Discover NYC

How to Get to JFK from Manhattan

Traveling can be both exciting and stressful, especially when navigating one of the busiest cities in the world – New York City. If you’re trying to figure out how to get to JFK from Manhattan, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I will explain you the different transportation options to easily reach John F. Kennedy International Airport. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, this guide will provide you with the essential information needed to make your journey smooth and hassle-free.



Where is JFK Airport

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is located in Queens, New York City. It is one of the busiest airports in the United States and serves as a hub for both domestic and international flights.

Street sign to get to the JFK airport by taxi or car

How Far is JFK Airport from Manhattan

JFK Airport is approximately 15 miles southeast of Midtown Manhattan. The distance between the two locations can vary depending on the specific area of Manhattan you are traveling from.

How to Get to JFK Airport by Subway

One of the most cost-effective ways on how to get to John F Kennedy Airport from Manhattan is by taking the subway. You have two options:

  1. You can board the A train to Howard Beach/JFK Airport Station, then transfer to the AirTrain JFK.
  2. Alternatively, you can take the E train to Jamaica Center/Parsons-Archer Station and transfer to the AirTrain JFK as well.

My preference is the line E to Jamaica Station and then the Air Train.

The journey by subway and AirTrain takes about 60-75 minutes, depending on the wait times for train connections. Keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in additional time for walking and navigating the stations.

In the hours during the peak time (e.g. morning from 7 AM to 9 AM or afternoon from 4 PM to 6 PM) the subway will definetely be full of people.

Subway train C in New York

How to Get to JFK Airport by Train

Taking the LIRR train is another option to reach JFK Airport from Manhattan. The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) operates from both Penn Station and Grand Central Madison Station in Manhattan, providing a faster alternative to the subway. To use this method, you’ll need to purchase a train ticket at the station or through the MTA eTix app.

The option of taking the train from Grand Central Madison is great for anyone on the East Side of Manhattan. Previously, in fact, all of them had to travel west until they reached Penn Station.

Upon arriving at Jamaica Station, you’ll transfer to the AirTrain JFK for a short ride to the airport. Air Trains will run between Jamaica Station and the JFK Terminals.

The LIRR train, coupled with the AirTrain, offers a convenient and quick way to get to JFK, reducing travel time and potentially avoiding traffic delays on the road.

LIRR train from Manhattan to JFK. Signal with blue MTA

How to Get to JFK Airport from Manhattan by Taxi

Another option for getting to JFK from Manhattan is by taking a taxi. You can hail a yellow cab or use a ride-hailing app like Uber or Lyft.

The travel time by taxi depends on traffic conditions but can range from 30 minutes to over an hour. It’s crucial to allow extra time for potential traffic delays, especially during rush hours.

Taxis waiting just outside JFK terminal in New York

Tips on How to Get to JFK Airport from Manhattan

  1. Plan ahead: Check the subway schedules and traffic conditions before leaving to ensure a smooth trip.
  2. Allow extra time: Give yourself plenty of time to account for possible delays in public transportation or traffic.
  3. Consider off-peak hours: Traveling during off-peak hours can save time and help avoid congestion.
  4. Pack light: If you’re taking public transportation, carrying fewer bags will make navigating the subway easier.
  5. Know your terminal: JFK has six passenger terminals, so make sure you know which terminal your flight departs from to avoid confusion.


There are several options for travelers wondering how to get to JFK from Manhattan. Whether you choose to take the subway or a taxi, planning ahead and allowing extra time for potential delays is essential for a stress-free journey. Consider your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences when selecting the best transportation method for your trip.


How much does it cost to take the subway to JFK?

The subway fare is $2.75, and the AirTrain JFK costs $7.75, totaling $10.50 for a one-way trip.

How much does a taxi from Manhattan to JFK cost?

A taxi ride from Manhattan to JFK typically costs 52$ Flat Price, excluding tolls and tip.

Is there a direct train from Manhattan to JFK?

There isn’t a direct train from Manhattan to JFK. You’ll need to take the subway (A or E train) and then transfer to the AirTrain JFK.

What is the best way to get to JFK from Manhattan at night?

During nighttime hours, taking a taxi or using a ride-hailing app is often the most convenient option. Subway service may be less frequent, and some stations might be closed.

Are there shuttle services available from Manhattan to JFK?

Yes, various shuttle services operate between Manhattan and JFK, offering door-to-door service or pick-up points at major transportation hubs. Prices and schedules vary, so it’s essential to research and book your shuttle in advance.