John F. Kennedy International Airport, also known as JFK, is located in Queens, New York City. The busiest international passenger airport into the United States, the fifth busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest airport in New York City, it accommodates over 90 airlines and, in 2015 alone, nearly 57 million passengers. It operates nonstop flights to all six inhabited continents and serves as a hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and a base of operation for JetBlue.
Historically, JFK was a hub for the now defunct Eastern, National, Pan Am, and Trans World Airlines. The latter, frequently referred to as TWA, had its iconic eponymous terminal here. It was known first as the Trans World Flight Center and, since 2008, as Terminal 5. Designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen in 1962, it’s a much-adored exemplar of Space Age futurism. (Saarinen also designed Washington-Dulles’s striking 1958 main terminal.) In 2016, construction began to transform the abandoned terminal into a hotel.
John F. Kennedy International Airport opened in 1948 as a supplement to LaGuardia Airport, which had opened nine years earlier. Originally called New York International Airport-Anderson Field, it was commonly known as Idlewild, after the Idlewild Beach Golf Course that was demolished to make way for the airport. It was renamed John F. Kennedy barely a month after the president was assassinated. Owned by the City of New York, it’s operated by the by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
AirTrain links JFK’s terminals with the New York City subway system (at the Howard Beach A-train station, and at the Sutphin Boulevard E, J, and Z-train station) and the Long Island Rail Road (at the Jamaica LIRR station). Taxis charge a flat $52 rate to and from Manhattan—a trip that can take anywhere from 35 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic. It’s also accessible by ground transportation via the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678). The airport’s official express shuttle, the NYC Airporter, takes passengers on nonstop trips to and from Penn Station, LaGuardia, and JFK. The airport is also served by several MTA buses.