The Best Way To And From JFK (John F. Kennedy) Airport

Last Updated on December 12, 2018 by Greg Bessoni

There are many ways to get to JFK from Manhattan. You could walk (wouldn’t advise that), you can drive (probably wouldn’t advise that either), heck you could even swim through the Hudson (definitely wouldn’t advise that). 

If you’re like most travelers, price influences how you decide to get from place to place. Here, we’ll take a look at the viable ways of going to and from JFK and how each one will affect your pockets.

Ridesharing can have outrageous prices during travel peak times.

Uber has an estimated price of $60-$75 to get from Manhattan to JFK ( for only a one way), though obviously that depends on your destination in New York City, the time of day, and the amount of time it takes to get to where you want to go. Lyft has similar prices.

However, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft can up their prices during times of high demand for cars aka “surge-pricing.”

Uber won’t fail to surge their prices when consumers need a car most. In the past, they’ve even surged during a weekend full of snowstorms. 

One passenger was charged almost $100 for a ride that took less than 15 minutes. Another passenger was charged $277 for a ride that should’ve costed around $65! At the worst of times, Uber has be proven to make prices 6x more expensive than normal during surge pricing time. And based on Uber’s past with surge pricing, they can activate it at any time of day. During that snowy weekend, surge pricing was used in the morning at 11am, in the evening at 8pm, and late-night at 2am. 

Surging-pricing usually only happens during peak travel times. So you needn’t work about possibly being charged $100 for your Uber ride every time. However, if you happen to arrive at JFK during rush hour then this is a fair warning. 

And “When is rush hour?” you might ask, “Potentially 24 hours a day , 365 days a year,” says Catherine, a New Yorker. In response to a Quora question on when rush hour was, she answers,  “Anytime can be rush hour in any borough in NYC. Sometimes all it takes is one accident or stalled vehicle.”

Shuttles are better + cheaper because there’s more space for groups and has a fixed price and don’t surge.

Another option to get to and from JFK are airport shuttles. They’re best for when you’re traveling with a large party (more than 4 adults) and want to save some cash on the commute because the shuttles are spacious and they have fixed prices for any trips to and from JFK from the city. You can find information on availability, private and shared ride reservations, and pricing at

You can also look for the Ground Transportation help desk to get information on where and when to catch a shared shuttle. You have access to the courtesy phones in the baggage claim area as well. Just a heads up, you may not be the only passenger in the van, and may go along for the ride while other passengers are dropped off at their respective destinations.

There are several companies that offer shared and private shuttles to and from Manhattan. Here are a few:Go Airlink NYC: Go Airlink NYC offers shared transfers from JFK (starting at $18/person), as well as private transfers via sedan or van for groups. Rides are available 24 hours a day, though wait times for shared transfers at night may vary. You can book your next Go Airlink NYC ride here.

NYC Airporter: There is also complimentary hotel shuttle service for hotels between 23rd and 63rd Streets from Grand Central. The official bus service of NYC area airports offers transportation between Penn Station, Port Authority and Grand Central and JFK. The service operates 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. There is also complimentary hotel shuttle service to hotels between 23rd and 63rd Streets from their Grand Central stop.Super Shuttle: Available 24 hours a day, this shuttle provides door to door service for your party. No reservations are required to get from the airport to your destination, but they are required for your return trip to the airport. You book your next Super Shuttle ride here.

Trains are the cheapest but not as convenient.

You can either take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) from Manhattan to JFK Airport, or you can take the subway. It’s best to use Google Maps from wherever you are to get the best idea on what trains to take! The subway ride from Manhattan to JFK Airport can take close to 90 minutes. The price of the subway ride ($2.75 as of right now) plus the AirTrain ($5.00) into JFK will likely be $7.75.

If you’re taking the subway keep in mind that you’ll be carrying your luggage over many stairs and through crowds of people.