Not sure which JFK Manhattan airport transfer to opt for? There are several options to reach downtown New York from JFK airport. I explain it all in this article 🙂
On your trip to New York, it is very likely that you will land at JFK Airport, which is about 20 miles from Manhattan and downtown New York. It is therefore important to know the different ways of getting to and from the airport– whether you are arriving or departing – especially as it is often best to book your journey beforehand. I will explain everything in this article to help you better prepare your stay in New York – so follow the guide!
taxi to manhattan from JFK
New York's famous yellow cabs are often the most obvious way to get into the city once you've landed at JFK. As you will see once at the airport, you’ll merely have to step outside to find plenty of them.
These taxis are regulated by the New York City government, so they offer a flat rate of $52 (£40) to Manhattan, no matter where in the district you decide to go. However, if your destination is outside Manhattan, you will have to pay by the metre.
In addition to the fare, you'll have to pay the toll ($9.50 or £7.50) and an additional fee if the ride happens during rush hour (between 4 pm and 8 pm Monday through Saturday) or if you're going south of 96th Street.
Taking all of this into account, a taxi ride in the city will cost you between €50 and €60 (£42 and £50). In New York, it is customary to tip the driver 15-20% of the fare, which in this case represents about €10 (£8).
The driver can bring you directly to your hotel. Taxis can take up to 3 passengers, and the price does not change depending on the number of people. This means of transport can therefore be particularly practical and advantageous if you are travelling with several people.
However, if you are travelling alone or with more than three people, taxis are not the most economical option. Moreover, even if you will find many taxis in front of each terminal on your way to Manhattan; taxi drivers are usually much less motivated to go from Manhattan to JFK for the return journey. It is therefore often wiser to plan an alternative means of transport for your journey to the airport, at the end of your stay.
Is the Shuttle the best choice for a JFK Airport transfer in Manhattan?
This is the option that will be the most interesting for many people. These shared shuttles can get you to and from JFK and Manhattan for less than €20 (£16.70) per person, tolls included.
With the shuttles, you and other travellers will sit in a minibus that will take you to your destination. Each person making the journey is picked up or dropped off directly in front of their accommodation, so the trip often takes longer than by taxi. But taking a shuttle is also a good opportunity to meet people who, like you, have just arrived in New York, or are in the last days of their stay. That’s the perfect moment to exchange information and meet new people!
Note that it is necessary to reserve your seat in order to take the shuttle. Don’t wait until the last minute, you can start planning your trips from and to the airport as soon as you know the date of your stay in Manhattan.
From this page, you can choose where the shuttle will pick you up and where it will take you. The site is entirely in English, and is simple and intuitive to use. In addition to taking you to your hotel or to JFK airport, the shuttle can also bring you to major transportation hubs in the city, such as Grand Central Station or the city’s other airports: LaGuardia and Newark.
When you make your reservation, you will also need to provide all your flight details, date and time of arrival, as well as the number of adults and children who will be travelling (the transfer is free for children under 3 years old). You will be offered several types of vehicles, after which you can confirm your booking of the journey.
This shuttle service is a great way to arrange your JFK-to-city transfers well in advance for peace of mind. If you're not travelling with three people and want to make sure you’ll be able to travel with some comfort, this is the most economical way – and its only drawback is that it is not the fastest. You may have to wait a while at the airport to be picked up, and if you're one of the last to be dropped off at your arrival point, the journey will have taken considerably longer than with non-collective transport.
For my part, I most often opt for this option when I want a JFK airport transfer to Manhattan 🙂
AIRTRAIN AND subway
This is the most economical solution of all, though it is not the most convenient or comfortable one. The classic Airtrain ticket is $ 7,75 (£6.50), but the AirTrain JFK MetroCard allows you to take 10 trips for $25 (£21) This card can be used by up to four people on a single trip. If you are travelling with several people, it is therefore possible to benefit from a fare that defies all competition. However, you will need to change to the underground before you can get to Manhattan.
The New York City Subway System will undoubtedly be the most economical way to reach your hotel in Manhattan.
The Airtrain and the underground are often the fastest ways to travel, as you will be assured of avoiding traffic. On the other hand, you may have to stand during the journey, especially during rush hour. In addition, you will have to keep your luggage with you during the trip, carry it through the changeovers, then all the way to your hotel.
Don’t forget to look into the MetroCard if you plan to use the underground as a means of transport during your stay (which is a very smart thing to do!).
There is also an NYC Airporter bus, which runs specially from JFK to two locations in the Manhattan borough: Times Square and Grand Central Station. Free for children under 3, this bus will get you into the city for about €15 (£12.50) per person.
Unlike the Shuttle, however, this bus will not take you directly to your hotel, which can be very inconvenient if you are carrying luggage. On the return journey, you will also have to go to one of the two stations served to catch the bus. The shuttle is therefore often a better choice, unless your accommodation is very close to one of these two bus stops.
Private chauffeurs will be more than happy to meet you at the airport and drive you to Manhattan. You can choose between private taxi companies, limousine companies, and UBER or LYFT vehicles.
It's not always easy to tell the difference between legal and illegal services when it comes to private taxis in New York. You can be greeted on arrival by a driver who offers to take you around the city, but the safest option is to book a ride. By choosing a private company that has a website from which you can book your trip, you can be sure that you are choosing a legal service.
You will be able to choose the date and time of your journey, select the vehicle that suits you, and you will even be able to pay for your journey in advance if you wish. As far as prices are concerned, the rates of private companies are often a little lower than those of the city taxis (about ten euros less or eight pounds less). In addition, the vehicles can often carry 4 people instead of 3. Some companies even offer vans, which may be interesting if you are travelling with more than 4 people.
If you've decided to go all out during your stay in New York, you can also take a limousine from the airport. The little plus? You will meet your driver at the airport: he will be waiting for you, and holding a little sign with your name on it – you will feel like a VIP.
I'm not going to surprise you by telling you that this is the cheapest way to get to New York, but you'll probably remember it all your life. Depending on the company and the vehicle you choose, prices vary greatly. The cheapest packages will get you into New York in a luxury sedan sedan for around €150 (£125). To travel in a full-fledged limousine, you will have to pay around €250 (£209)– which may actually turn out to be quite affordable, since this vehicle can accommodate up to 8 people.
UBER and LYFT
The services of the transport companies UBER and LYFToperate in exactly the same way in New York and the United States as they do in other countries. The principle is simple: using the mobile application, you order a ride and a driver will pick you up as quickly as possible.You can then easily travel to the destination of your choice, with an all-inclusive fare that includes tolls, and no surcharges during rush hour. Prices for these trips vary depending on the type of driver's vehicle, but they are often quite attractive. The main constraint is that you will need to have internet access on your phone, which requires a plan that allows access to mobile data on US soil.