New York City JFK Airport
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our New York City JFK Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
The TSA agent told me about the 24-hour Dunkin Donuts in the baggage claim area, as well as making some suggestions of where I can grab a snooze. - TheInfamousJ
Terminal 1. Photo by SleepingInAirports.net
Stayed here recently. Many others have commented about the Free WiFi and 24 hour Dunkin Donuts in Terminal 5. I'll mention that when I bought six donuts at night I was told that it was 2 for 1 at night time so I ended up with 12 donut for the price of 6! A good thing to have to share with other airport sleepers and travellers.
Terminal 5 has the food and the Wifi but only has armchair seats. You could sleep on the floor around here pretty easily, I saw someone in a sleeping bag on the second floor near the elevators having a good old snooze. I would reccommend heading over to T-4 and grabbing one of the comfortable bench seats in the food court for a sleep. You'll be covered slightly by a table so not everyone will be looking at you. I slept here during the day (lunchtime!) and nobody bothered me. The cleaning staff in T-5 ignored me but drove their loud cleaning machines pretty close to me and the announcements here were quite loud. I felt very safe with my belongings and would sleep here again anytime.
Have you been to JFK Airport recently? Tell us about it!
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
Terminal 1 Food Court
The conditions and facilities of each terminal vary. Terminal 5 currently receives the best feedback. In June 2012, I explored all of the landside areas of each of the terminals and made a tonne of notes, but here is a summary of my observations:
- Terminal 1 - If you have a long wait at any of the terminals, I suggest you take the AirTrain to Terminal 1 and hang out on the upper level food court. You can grab something to eat and watch the planes coming and going. The food court has a Starbucks, McDonalds, Wok and Roll, Greenvich Village Bistro, Sbarro, Hot Dog NY Coffee, Jikli (Japanese food). This was the largest landside food court in any of the terminals. What I liked was that it (1) had seats and (2) was nice and bright. There were some charging stations in the food court and on the Arrivals Level. There were 4 long benches on the Arrivals Level, but it was cold, so bring warm clothes.
- Terminal 2 - The Arrivals area is very small with only a few seats and a Starbucks playing loud Jazz music. There was 1 bench on the Arrivals Level and 5 on the Departures Level. This terminal is a long uncovered walk from the AirTrain station, so dragging your luggage through rain and snow will be problematic. You will be better off going to Terminal 3 and walking to Terminal 2 from there.
- Terminal 4 - On the Arrivals Level, there were birds flying around. Seating is limited and many people were stretched out along the window sills. The seating situation was no better on the Departures Level. I don't recall seeing any seats and again people were stretched out along the window sills. There were 4 or 5 multi-faith prayer rooms. There was a lot of construction at this terminal, but I think there will be a large food court/shopping area in the future.
- Terminal 5 - This is the cleanest and most modern of all the terminals. I spotted a few birds flying around the arrivals area. Loud late 70's music played (Hall & Oates). Very cold, so bring a sweater. Many people were sitting on the floor near outlets charging their phones and laptops.
Unless you are disabled, there will be no seats for you on the Departures Level at Terminal 8. Everyone has to sit on the floor.
- Terminal 7 - This terminal had lots of tall, high back seats with armrests. Some seats had little desks but no electrical outlets nearby. Very cold, so bring a sweater.
- Terminal 8 - There was not one seat on the departures level with the exception of a roped off senior citizen/disabled seating section guarded by a security officer. Why they don't have any seats is beyond comprehension! On the Arrivals level there was a section of wired metal seats. The area was dark, but crowded and noisy as the seats are in tight clusters.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at New York City JFK airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- Airspace Lounge - Location: Terminal 5, Airside, Gate 24. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 25.00).
- American Admiral's Club - Location: Terminal 8, International Departures, Airside, Concourse B, Mezzanine Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- American Admiral's Club - Location: Terminal 8, Domestic Departures, Airside, remote concourse C, 3rd Floor, across from Gate 42. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Admiral's Club Membership.
- Delta Sky Club - Location: Terminal 2, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$50.00) • Delta Sky Club Membership.
- Delta Sky Club - Location: Terminal 4, Airside, Concourse B near Gate 31. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$50.00) • Delta Sky Club Membership.
- United Club - Location: Terminal 7, Airside, above Gates 7 and 8. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (US$ 50.00) • Priority Pass • United Club Membership.
Other airline lounges that are accessible through a membership:
- KAL Business Class Lounge - Location: Terminal 1, Airside, Gate 3. Showers are available. Hours: 2pm - 830pm. Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
- Wingtips Lounge - Location: Terminal 4, Airside. Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
Additionally, there is a USO Center for members of the military and their families. The lounge features entertainment, food, and free WiFi. Location: Terminal 5, across from baggage carousel 2. Hours: 5am - 11pm.
- WiFi is available at New York JFK Airport in most public areas (landside) within most terminals, as well airside. You can buy a pay as you go plan for US$ 4.95 or a Day Pass with unlimited access within the 24-hour period for US$ 7.95. Wireless access is provided by Boingo.
- According one one airport sleeper (as of 31 May 11) Jet Blue offers Free WiFi in Terminal 5.
There are no hotels at or connected to any of the terminals. So if sleeping in the New York JFK Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport that offer free airport shuttle.
- Hampton Inn (Shuttle Hours: pick-up on request)
- Courtyard by Marriott (Shuttle Hours: pick-up on request, use courtesy phone)
- Fairfield Inn (Shuttle Hours: pick-up on request)
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near JFK Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - Yes, throughout all terminals (landside and airside).
- Chapel: Terminal 4 - Landside, Departures Level
- Car Rentals - Avis • Budget • Dollar • Enterprise • Hertz • National. Location: Car rental counters or courtesy phones can be found on the arrivals level near the baggage claim in all terminals. To pick-up the car you will take the AirTrain to Federal Circle Station.
- Cots - In the event of bad weather or delays, this airport has a supply of cots for stranded travellers. At the moment, we are not sure where you can find them or how you can get your hands on one, but they do exist. If you have any information or photos, please email me.
- Currency Exchange - Locations: Terminal 1 (Landside, Arrivals West • Airside, Concourse W, Gates 1-3) • Terminal 4 (Landside, Arrivals Hall • Airside, Gate B32, B22, A4 & the Retail Hall) • Terminal 5 (Airside, Marketplace) • Terminal 7 (There are 4 foreign currency ATMs, as well as 3 kiosks located Landside, Arrivals • Airside, Food Court and Retail Hall) • Terminal 8 (Landside, Arrivals • Airside, Gate 4, 10, 39 and the corridor to Concourse C).
- Food & Drinks -There are many dining options landside and airside. There is a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts airside in Terminal 1. In Terminal 4, you'll find a 24 hour McDonalds (landside).
- Information Desk - Information not available
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - Terminal 1 - Arrivals (Landside) • Terminal 2 - Arrivals (Landside) • Terminal 4 - Arrivals (Landside) • Terminal 5 - Arrivals (Landside) • Terminal 8 - Arrivals (Landside). Rates from: $4.00 (up to 20") - $11.00 (27"-32"). Hours: No access to bags overnight. The office is open 7am - 11pm.
- Power Outlets: Not available in Terminal 5
- Showers - Information not available
- Traveler's Aid:
An organization that assists stranded and distressed passengers. Visit Travelers Aid if the airlines have been unable to assist you.
Terminal 1 - Arrivals (Landside)
Terminal 3 - Arrivals (Landside)
Terminal 4 - Arrivals (Landside)
Terminal 7 - Arrivals (Landside)
Terminal 8 - Arrivals (Landside)
open 24 hours
To download the New York JFK Terminal Map.
Airport Transportation: Getting There
- Subway / Metro- Take the A Train to/from southern Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Use the Howard Beach Station to connect to/from the AirTrain. Fare: US$ 7.25 ($2.25 Metro Fee + $5.00 AirTrain).
- Subway / Metro - Take the E Train to/from central/western Queens, northern Brooklyn, midtown Manhattan and the Bronx. Use the Jamaica Station to connect to/from the AirTrain.
Fare: US$ 7.25 ($2.25 Metro Fee + $5.00 AirTrain). Duration 60-75 minutes. Hours of Operation: 24 hours
Airport Transportation: Getting Around
The AirTrain interlinks JFK's 7 terminals, as well as connects travellers to the New York Subway and the Long Island Rail Road. Fare: Free within the airport (there is a US$ 5 fee when you use it to connect to the Subway or LIRR). Hours of Operation: 24 hours
- If you have questions about this airport that are not answered here or in the airport reviews, post a question on our Facebook Page. If you post a question, remember to mention the airport or nobody will understand what you are asking about.
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Plan Your Trip to New York City
Ramada New Yorker Hotel - I've stayed here probably 8 times over the years. Great location close to the Empire State Building and across from Penn Station! If you take the "E" subway from JFK Airport, the train stops at 34th street outside the hotel. The hotel was renovated a few years ago and they increased their rates. Boo!
Last Updated: 04 February 2014
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you du ring your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.