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New York City JFK Airport Guide

new york city jfk airport guide

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

Airport Overview

To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, we are here to give you the low-down on what travellers have reported back to us during their time at John F Kennedy International Airport.

What to Expect

  • JFK is a large airport comprised of six terminals, connected by AirTrain on the landside.
  • Flight cancellations and delays due to inclement weather, especially during the winter. Some reviewers missed flights because they underestimated the long lines at Check-In.
  • 24-Hour dining is available in Terminals 1 (airside) and 4 (landside).
  • Free WiFi is available for 30 minutes, a major bummer for a major airport! See WiFi in the airport guide below.

Where to Sleep

jfk airport
Terminal 1 (landside)
  • Most reviewers describe JFK Airport as uncomfortable and unwelcoming, with no quiet or comfortable places to sleep.
  • The airport’s seating is mostly cold, hard metal benches with armrests, so have a travel mat or sleeping bag handy and snag a choice spot on the floor!
  • Most areas of the airport are very bright and VERY noisy all through the night, so have a sleep mask and earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones handy. Be advised, one of our reviewers claimed that even his noise-cancelling headphones were no match for the noise at JFK!
  • Dress warm and have a travel blanket handy as the terminals are cold day and night!
  • For a day time nap, there are two sleep pods in T5 (airside). Nap time is limited to 20 minutes.
  • For uninterrupted sleep, there are hotels near the airport that provide a free airport shuttle. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.

Good to Know

  • Economy class passengers can pay to use one of the first class lounges. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.

SleepingInAirports Terminal Notes

  • Terminal 1 - If you have a long wait at any of the terminals, 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. This was the largest landside food court in any of the terminals. There were some charging stations in the food court and on the Arrivals Level.
  • 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 - Seating is limited and many people were stretched out along the window sills. The seating situation was no better on the Departures Level.
  • no seats at jfk terminal 8
    Unless you are disabled, there will be no seats for you on the Departures Level at Terminal 8 (landside). Everyone has to sit on the floor.
    Terminal 5 - This is the cleanest and most modern of all the terminals. Loud late 70's music played (think Hall & Oates). Very cold, so bring a sweater. Many people were sitting on the floor near outlets charging their phones and laptops.
  • 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. 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.

For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our New York JFK International Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.

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New York JFK Airport Information

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.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Military Lounge

There is a USO Center that is free of charge to active members of the military and their families. The lounge features entertainment, food, and free WiFi. Location: Terminal 5, across from baggage carousel 3. Hours: 5:00AM - 11:00PM.

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Airport Hotels