John F. Kennedy International Airport, or JFK for short, is one of the busiest airports in the United States, serving over 62 million passengers annually. Located in Queens, New York City, JFK is a hub for both domestic and international travel, with flights to over 100 destinations around the world. If you’re traveling through JFK, here’s a guide to help you navigate the airport.
Getting to JFK
There are several options for getting to JFK, including public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing services. If you’re coming from Manhattan, the fastest and most convenient option is to take the AirTrain from either Penn Station or Jamaica Station. The AirTrain runs 24/7 and takes about 35-45 minutes from Manhattan, depending on your starting point. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or ride-sharing service, which can be more expensive but may be more comfortable.
Before you can board your flight, you’ll need to check in and get your boarding pass. Most airlines have self-service kiosks where you can check in, print your boarding pass, and check any bags you have. If you’re traveling with only a carry-on bag, you can skip the check-in kiosks and head straight to security.
Security lines at JFK can be long and slow-moving, especially during peak travel times. To avoid long waits, try to arrive at least two hours before your flight for domestic travel, or three hours before your flight for international travel. You’ll need to show your boarding pass and government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to get through security. Be prepared to remove your shoes, belt, and any jackets or outerwear, and place your electronics and liquids in a separate bin for screening.
JFK has six terminals, labeled 1-8 (there is no Terminal 3). Each terminal has its own set of gates, so it’s important to know which terminal your flight is departing from before you head to the airport. Terminal 1 serves primarily international airlines, while Terminals 2 and 4 serve Delta Air Lines. Terminal 5 serves JetBlue, Terminal 6 serves Alaska Airlines and Terminal 7 serves British Airways, among others. Terminal 8 is primarily used by American Airlines.
JFK has a wide variety of amenities to help make your travel experience more comfortable. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee, as well as duty-free shops where you can pick up last-minute souvenirs or gifts.
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