View Full Version : JFK (JetBlue) to Midtown?

07-17-2007, 08:46 PM

I'm trying to figure out the best/fastest/most cost effective way to get from JFK to Midtown East. I've always flown to LGA (grab the luggage, hop in a cab), so this trip is throwing me for a loop. We will arrive around 1:00 in the afternoon on Thursday(2 people, 2 bags apiece).

I've poked around the internet and am pretty familiar with the basics of our options; I'm just concerned about the reality. I am willing to pay the taxi fare if it's fast, but I'm worried about crazy waits for a taxi at JFK? On the other hand, we'd be willing to take the AirTrain/LIRR/Subway combo (and deal with the hassle of the luggage) if it would save significant time.

Any JFK vets out there have advice??


07-18-2007, 07:40 AM
Well, I don't know how long the AirTrain takes from JFK to Howard Beach (where you would get on the subway - the A train, specifically), but once you get on the A train it should take you about 45 minutes to get to Manhattan. I take it everyday from about 2 stops away from Howard Beach and it takes me 40 minutes to Penn Station.

It will definitely be cheaper than a cab, and depending on traffic, maybe faster too. I have never taken a cab from JFK so I don't know how bad the lines are for that. :)

And if you get on the subway with 2 suitcases each in the early afternoon, you should be ok as far as rush hour goes, and probably not get too many dirty looks from the other commuters. Just remember, don't hog seats and sit down - I can't take those ditzy tourists who get on the subway with 3 or 4 kids who think the subway is an amusement park ride and start squealing when the train throws them around the car and they fall on innocent bystanders and they think it's SO much FUN. And that's not just the kids. Ok....rant over. ;)


07-18-2007, 07:46 AM
Admittedly, most of my JFK experience is from the driving side of things, but I flew into JFK recently on JetBlue and did not wait at all for a cab. It took about 30-40 minutes to get to 23rd and 1st (a little below what I consider midtown). With your arrival time, I wouldn't think there would be too much traffic, but it seems like there is always some construction on some road in the summer. The fixed fare does make it nice, though because if you are stuck in traffic, you aren't watching the meter tick away. To me, a short wait for a cab beats schlepping my luggage on three different trains, and I don't think it will save you any time. Based on experience with the AirTrain, you can wait up to 10 minutes for the train to arrive.

07-18-2007, 07:54 AM
The fixed fare does make it nice, though because if you are stuck in traffic, you aren't watching the meter tick away. To me, a short wait for a cab beats schlepping my luggage on three different trains, and I don't think it will save you any time.

I agree, and for the record, the flat rate fare is $45. (I liked it better at $35 until the last cabfare increase.)


07-18-2007, 08:06 AM
Is it 3 trains though? I thought the AirTrain took you to the A train...

07-18-2007, 09:32 AM
Thank you all! This is very helpful. Firsthand experiences beat the "official" transportation website info any day!!!

07-18-2007, 09:54 AM
Is it 3 trains though? I thought the AirTrain took you to the A train...

I think you can also take the AirTrain to Jamaica for the LIRR to Penn Station, then get to midtown east.

I know...$45 plus toll and tip was a lot of cash to lay out each way for our recent trip to NYC!

07-18-2007, 12:45 PM
Any thoughts on car services? On another board "dial7.com" was recommended, then quickly shot down. It seemed cheaper than a cab; plus it would be nice to have something lined up for the return trip at 6 a.m. on Monday. As much as I hate shelling out that much $$, I'd rather just get the day started ASAP once we land ;) Like, get me a cocktail before 3:00!!!


07-18-2007, 02:15 PM
I've done the Jet Blue JFK trip a lot, so here's my opinion...

The Air Train to Howard Beach, hop on the LIRR to Penn Station (34th and 7th) takes about 40 minutes total. IMHO, it's the best option to get out to JFK to catch your flight (though probably *not* at 6 a.m.!)

Cab to midtown can take anywhere from 35 minutes to wanting-to-stab-your-eyes-out-hours. It's impossible to say, but it's usually not that bad.

The Dial 7 and car services like that are ok, but they tend to advertise a cheap fare, then charge you "waiting time" and things like that. The cars aren't that nice and you're not really saving money, so I'd go with a yellow cab over an advertised car service if those are your options.

The lines at JFK for a yellow cab (especially at the Jet Blue terminal) are not crazy, and it's well organized, with porters there to facilitate. Traffic going into the city at 1 p.m. won't be bad, and going back out to jfk at 6 a.m. won't be bad either. The only thing you would never want to do is try to take a cab to JFK on a Friday afternoon in the summer and sit in all the Hamptons traffic!

If all the bags will fit in the trunk of a cab, I'd just go for it (especially with 2 people sharing.) Bridge toll + tip = $55-60 total. The Air Train is $5, the LIRR is like $5 or 6....

Long winded reply! Hope that helps.

07-18-2007, 04:02 PM
On our recent return trip to JFK, we did the car service because our flight was early in the AM, and we didn't want to mess with getting a cab. Because my SIL had a coupon for one of them, it ended up being less than the cab, by a couple bucks. Unfortunately, Ican't remember which one it was, but I do know it wasn't Carmel (the 6s). They don't usually charge waiting time on the scheduled pick-ups (but of course they do if they meet you with the sign at the airport), in my experience.

07-18-2007, 04:20 PM
OK....there is no LIRR in Howard Beach. There is only the subway.
If you are going to take the LIRR, you have to get off at Jamaica Station.

Let's not confuse our visitors. ;)


07-18-2007, 06:09 PM
I usually fly in and out of LaGuardia, but have flown into JFK before and have had no problems getting a taxi. I usually take a taxi from the airport to my place (from the taxi stand), and do a car service (I tend to use dial 7) from my place to the airport. It's just more convenient for me to get picked up at home - I dont have to hassle with price and just have to walk out the door when they call (I tend to overpack :o ). And the same with getting a taxi at the airport, less hassle - I don't have deal with any extra "fees" or "surprises" (Once I almost punched a car service driver who grabbed my bag from my hand and wouldn't let it go while quoting me a ridiculous price for getting to Manhattan) Basically it's a known entity. And I know myself, the last thing I would want to do is travel on a subway with luggage - fine for others, but not for me. The extra $ on door-to-door service is something I factor into the cost of the airline ticket.

FYI...I flew in and out of Newark once and it was the easiest trip in and out of Manhattan (staying in SoHo) that I ever had.

07-24-2007, 06:17 PM
Hello--Just wanted to thank everyone for the helpful advice. Our trip to JFK was a typical weather-delayed airline nightmare, so we didn't land at the expected "midday" time--it was about 6, as in full-on rush hour. We took the AirTrain/LIRR/7 route and it was fine. A little much w/ all the bags (I'll scold myself for overpacking, but it never changes!), but not horrible. There were about 100 other things going on (drank a ton of water & soda on the plane, then had to "go" SOOOO bad on the train I thought I'd burst; had to figure out how to maneuver around the Grand Central Frozen Zone; trying to keep husband from losing his mind...), so I was just happy to finally BE in NYC. The rest of the trip was a piece of cake after all that!! :)

07-25-2007, 07:42 AM
I know you took your trip already but when my sister flew into JFK, she took a bus into the city. I'd have to do some research to find out the specifics but we found it on the airport's website. It was alot more reasonable than a cab.