From JFK to Manhattan & Back

How to get from JFK to Manhattan and back

If you want to get from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Manhattan and vice versa, you have plenty of options! Whether you prefer a fast transfer or cheap transfer, you’ll find it here! Below, I listed all transfer options between JFK and Manhattan, including shuttle, subway, taxi, and even helicopter.

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How to get from JFK to Manhattan

The JFK Airport is located in the borough of Queens and is the primary airport serving New York, meaning that most people flying into New York will land here. The airport is about 15 miles from Manhattan and therefore the second closest to the city, after LaGuardia Airport with eight miles, and before Newark Airport with 17 miles.

Landing at JFK will give you multiple transfer options from the airport to Manhattan. Having many options, however, can also be overwhelming, which is why I have created an overview of all your options, followed by detailed descriptions.

Cheapest

Public Transport

Most Popular

Private Transfer

Shuttle

Taxi

Uber

Prices from 

$10.50

$22

$24

$52.50

$70

Duration

60 minutes

40 minutes

90 minutes

40 minutes

40 minutes

Max. Capacity

n/a

5

15

4

6

Advantages

  • cheap
  • fast
  • convenient
  • door-to-door service
  • door-to-door service
  • price
  • door-to-door service
  • flexibility
  • door-to-door service
  • flexibility

Disadvantages

  • crowded during rush hour
  • no door-to-door service
  • many transfers
  • duration dependent on traffic
  • can take long
  • duration dependent on traffic
  • app and internet connection required
  • duration dependent on traffic

* The sixth option to Manhattan from JFK would be a helicopter!


1. Use Public Transportation

Subway from JFK to Manhattan

If you are looking for the cheapest transfer from JFK to Manhattan, public transportation is the way to go! You can take choose from the subway or the NYC Airporter Bus.

Subway

To get to the subway, you first need to take the AirTrain. The AirTrain charges a fee upon exiting, meaning you can simply board the train. When changing into the subway, you will automatically be charged the fee for the AirTrain which is a whopping $7.75. A single subway ride then costs $2.75 with a pay-per-ride MetroCard. When taking the JFK Air Train, you have two options:

JFK AirTrain Red: Taking the red AirTrain to “Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer” will give you access to subway line E . If your destination is in Midtown or Uptown Manhattan, this is the route for you! As an alternative to the subway, you could also take the LIRR (Long Island Railway) from Jamaica to New York Penn Station. It is faster, but also more expensive.

JFK AirTrain Green: Taking the green AirTrain to “Howard Beach JFK Airport”  connects you to subway lines A and C. This is the ideal way from JFK to Lower Manhattan.

If you’re not exactly sure which route would be best for you, have a look at the MTA subway map.

subway mapMetroCard Guide

  • The total cost for this transfer is $10.50 per person ($7.75 for the AirTrain + $2.75 for the subway)

NYC Airporter Bus

The second option you have is the New York City Airporter Shuttle Bus. It leaves every half an hour between 11 am and 7 pm. The shuttle bus is a great way to save money due to the competitive price point per person and is an easy and non-complicated way to organize a New York airport transfer. This transfer is particularly useful if you wish to travel from JFK to Times Square, JFK to Port Authority Bus Terminal or JFK to Grand Central Terminal.

You can pre-book your tickets, so you won’t have to search for NYC Airporter sales agents or counters at JFK Airport. With a mobile ticket ready, you can head straight to the bus, departing from Terminals 1, 4 & 8.

You can get off at the following bus stops:

    • Grand Central Terminal
    • Port Authority Bus Terminal
    • Times Square
  • The total cost for this transfer is $19 per person

2. Book a Private Transfer

Private Transfer from JFK to Manhattan

Starting at $22 per person, you can also book a private JFK airport transfer to Manhattan. These private transfer services are available 24/7 making them a very convenient option. Once you arrive at JFK Airport, call the number provided on your booking confirmation and your car will arrive promptly. This is the family-friendliest and also fastest transfer from JFK to Manhattan.

JFK to Manhattan MANHATTAN TO JFK

  • The total cost for this transfer varies between $22 – $110 per person

3. Use the Shuttle Bus

Airport Shuttle from JFK to Manhattan

The Manhattan Shuttle bus is a group taxi that takes 1-8 passengers to Manhattan for around $24.50 each. This is a great way to get from JFK to Manhattan if you are looking to save some money or are traveling in a large group. The shuttle transfer will take you straight to your hotel. If there are only two of you, keep in mind that other people may be dropped off first, meaning the transfer could take a little longer.

JFK TO HOTEL ROUNDTRIP

  • The total cost for this transfer is $24.50 per person

4. Take a Taxi

Taxi from JFK to Manhattan

Taxis between JFK and Manhattan offer a flat rate of $52 per ride. 50 cents are added in NY State tax and an additional $4.50 may be added if you are riding the cab during peak hours. Unfortunately, you will also have to pay for tolls and tip.

When taking a taxi from JFK to Manhattan, the screen should read “Rate #2- JFK Airport”.

  • The total cost for this transfer is $52.50 (+ tolls, tip, and surcharge, if applicable)

5. Call an Uber or Lyft

Transfer from JFK to Manhattan

Ordering or hailing a taxi to JFK is easy, however, it will cost quite a bit. A slightly cheaper alternative to get from JFK to Manhattan is Uber. We recommend checking the estimated fare of your journey before you order your Uber, as fares can fluctuate according to the time of the day. If you’ve used Uber before, you know it’s easy to order one. All you have to do is enter your information into the app and you can be sure that your Uber to Manhattan is only a few minutes away. If you’re new to Uber, you can sign up using the promo codeselwynt1″ to get $5 off your first ride.

Sign up Get a fare estimate


6. Take a helicopter

You could even take a helicopter between Manhattan and JFK! If you thought Uber was limited to cars, I have to correct you. Uber launched “Uber Copter” in July 2019, offering helicopter rides between JFK and Manhattan. Uber Copter can show up in your app as an option provided you have entered an origin and destination in the designated zone. That would mean your pickup or dropoff would be limited to a heliport. The service is only available from Monday through Friday between 2 and 6 pm.

I have not tested out Uber Copter from JFK to Manhattan or vice versa but imagine it may not be the best and most economical transfer between Manhattan and JFK!

About Uber Copter

JFK to Manhattan

My personal pick

I am a big fan of public transportation and always use the subway or bus system where available. If this is your first time in New York or you are carrying a lot of luggage, however, I would not recommend taking the subway as you do have to change trains a couple of times. It can be intimidating and tiring.

My recommendations:
Traveling alone or as a couple? ➡️ Shuttle
Traveling as a party of 3-5? ➡️ Private transfer
Traveling as a party > 5? ➡️ Multiple private transfers or a shuttle
Traveling with kids? ➡️ Private transfer

Getting from Manhattan to JFK

In order to transfer from Manhattan to JFK, you can just take one of the options listed above and reverse it! That means you can transfer from Manhattan to JFK by:

  • taxi directly to the airport
  • private transfer directly to the airport
  • shuttle bus directly to the airport
  • subway, followed by AirTrain
  • bus from Grand Central Station, Port Authority, or Times Square, followed by AirTrain
  • rideshares (like Uber or Lyft) directly to the airport
  • helicopter ride by Uber Copter

Always allow extra time when traveling from Manhattan to the JFK as traffic can be unpredictable. It is recommended to be at the airport at least two hours before your departure when traveling domestically and three hours when flying internationally.


FAQ

How much is a taxi from JFK to Manhattan?
If you’re thinking about taking a cab from JFK to Manhattan, expect to pay around $70, including tolls. You can easily grab a taxi at the airport anytime, however, it is not the cheapest transfer from JFK.

How much does the AirTrain at JFK cost?
The fee to use the AirTrain at JFK is $5 and is paid upon exiting, meaning you don’t need to purchase a ticket in advance. The cost for the AirTrain will automatically be deducted at Jamaica or Howard Beach Station when you purchase your subway ticket.

Can I buy a MetroCard at JFK airport?
You will find plenty of vending machine upon exiting the AirTrain. There, you can buy any type of MetroCard to continue your journey.

Can I use an Unlimited MetroCard for the AirTrain?
No, you can’t use an Unlimited MetroCard to pay the AirTrain fee. You would need to pay an additional $5. Should you have a pay-per-ride MetroCard, you can use your MetroCard to pay for the AirTrain without a problem.

What is the fastest way to get from JFK to Manhattan?
Generally, the fastest way to get to Manhattan from JFK is by private transfer. They take about 45-60 minutes, whereas buses and shuttle services can take anything from 60-120 minutes. In case of heavy traffic, however, your best bet is taking the AirTrain, followed by the subway or LIRR into the city.

What is the cheapest way to get from JFK to Manhattan?
The cheapest way to get to Manhattan from JFK is by taking public transportation. Using the AirTrain and the Subway will cost you less than $10. Other transfers, such as a taxi or a shuttle, will typically cost you around $15-20.

How far is JFK from Manhattan?
JFK is about 15 miles away from Manhattan, making it the second closest airport in the New York City area

Is there luggage storage at JFK airport?
Yes! If you need to store your luggage at JFK for some reason, you can easily do so. Locker prices start at $4 and are available in Terminals 1, 4 and 8. To find out where exactly you can store your luggage, including opening hours, price lists and luggage size regulations, take a look here.

Is the airport transfer included in the New York Pass?
The airport transfer is not included in the New York Pass. However, the transfer back from Manhattan to the airport is included in the Sightseeing Pass! If you already have a day pass, it’s practically free! If you have the FLEX version, you can use on attraction to book the transfer from Manhattan to the airport (JFK, EWR or LGA). For more details, please read here.

About the author
Maureen

Oh, how lucky I am… always at the pulse of the greatest city in the world – what could be better? New York City is my passion and I’m happy to be able to share my experiences along with insider tips and helpful tricks with you. With me by your side, you’ll never miss a beat!

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6 Comments

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Sherene Moodley

Require return transfers
JFK to Millenium Hilton One UN Plaza NYC

RETURN
Residence Inn by Marriott Weehawken to JFK

Maureen Steinert

Hi Sherene,

what transfer are you looking for? For your arrival, we recommend a private transfer or a shuttle if you prefer not to take public transportation.
Unfortunately, there’s no shuttle departing from NJ, so you’d need to take the bus to the city and catch the shuttle from there. Alternatively, you can use an UBER for the entire ride, which will cost you a bit more.

Maureen

Tarun Patel

Slightly confused by how excited this article gets about transfers and then lets you down with a complete lack of detail on what could be preferred options. It seems to focus entirely on private transfers but drops into a paragraph that taking the LIRR is faster but slightly more expensive than the subway. Doesn’t explain how much it costs or how long this option takes. Sorry, unimpressed.

Maureen Steinert

Hi Tarun,

thanks for your feedback! I will review the article. You can always shoot us an email at hello@loving-newyork.com if you need further assistance in your planning.

Maureen

Robert Daniel

Hi were flying to new york on 29th dec from england and have booked a private transfer thru th virgin holidays.On my itinerary it says we can take 2 x 23kg case each but the sedan picking us up only allows 3 cases and 2 hand luggage what do we do about the other case, sounds daft but is there an answer?

Maureen Steinert

Hi Robert,

it’s best to reach out to the operator directly.

Maureen

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