Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Through JFK International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is one of the nation's busiest hubs, with more than 70 airlines flying to destinations around the United States and world. Located in Queens, JFK is one of three major airports serving the New York City metropolitan area — Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and LaGuardia Airport in Queens are the city's other primary airports.
First opened in 1948 as New York International Airport and later renamed after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the airport has undergone a number of expansions and renovations, some of which are still in progress. There are six terminals at JFK airport: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8.
There are three locations at JFK where both airport employees and travelers can be tested for COVID-19: Terminal 1 on the departures level, Terminal 4 on level 1, and Terminal 5 at the AirTrain stop. There are PCR, rapid, and antibody tests available, depending on the location. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some shops, restaurants, and services may not be available.
Here's everything you need to know about the airport before you fly, starting with a JFK airport map.
Related: More airline and airport guides
JFK Airport Map
JFK is a hub airport for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue. Other airlines operating out of JFK include: Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air China, Air Europa, Air France, Air Italy, Air India, Air Serbia, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca Brasil, Azerbaijan Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cape Air, Caribbean Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cayman Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Copa Airlines, EgyptAir, El Al, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Eurowings, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, Icelandair, Interjet, Japan Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways, LATAM, LOT, Lufthansa, Neos, Norwegian Air, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Virgin Atlantic, VivaAerobus, Volaris, WestJet, and Xiamen Air.
JFK Airport Terminals
Throughout JFK's six terminals, you'll find a variety of dining locations, shops, and amenities to make your travels easier. Here, we've gathered the basics you'll want to know for each.
JFK Terminal 1
A number of international airlines fly to and from JFK's Terminal 1, including Air France, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, and more. There's a wide variety of shopping, ranging from luxury designer brands like Cartier and Bvlgari to duty-free stores to newsstands. Several fast-food and casual dining options like McDonald's, Soy & Sake, Starbucks, and more are available.
Services in Terminal 1 include a pet relief area, nursing station, currency exchange, and baggage storage. There are several lounges in this terminal, including an Air France lounge, a Lufthansa lounge, and a Primeclass lounge (which sells day passes and offers access for members of select lounge networks). Plus, there's an XpresSpa.
JFK Terminal 2
Next is Terminal 2, one of the terminals served by Delta. Shopping and dining options include markets, World Bean, Wendy's, Croque Madame, Shiso, and more. Services available here include two pet relief areas and nursing stations, and there is a Delta Sky Club.
JFK Terminal 4
Delta, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, LATAM, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Swiss are a few of the airlines found at JFK's Terminal 4. There's plenty of shopping, with stores like Brooks Brothers, Coach, and duty-free shops, along with the standard airport newsstands and markets. There are several dining options, too, ranging from fast-food chains like Shake Shack and Dunkin' to eateries like Canal St. Noodle House and Bento Sushi.
Services offered at Terminal 4 include baggage storage, an interfaith chapel, nursing stations, pet relief areas, and currency exchanges. Air India, Delta, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Swiss, and Virgin have lounges in this terminal, and there is a Wingtips Lounge available to passengers on select airlines (or members of select networks, like Priority Pass), as well as an American Express Centurion Lounge. There are also an XpresSpa for anyone looking for a preflight massage.
JFK Terminal 5
JetBlue is the main airline flying from Terminal 5, but others include TAP Air Portugal, Aer Lingus, Cape Air, and Hawaiian Airlines. Shopping includes grab-and-go markets, duty-free, and gift shops, and restaurants range from national chains like Starbucks and Dunkin' to local favorites like Artichoke Basille's Pizza, Baked by Melissa, and H&H Bagels.
Services available include a USO center, pet relief areas, nursing suites, and a Be Relax for on-the-go manicures or massages.
JFK Terminal 7
Several international airlines, including ANA, British Airways, Iberia, and Icelandair, plus Alaska Airlines, fly from Terminal 7. Duty-free shopping, newsstands, and other retail outlets are available, and a food court offers something for every appetite.
Services available at Terminal 7 include currency exchanges, pet relief areas, and nursing suites, and British Airways' Concorde Room and an Alaska Lounge are here, too.
JFK Terminal 8
With flights from American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and more, you can reach destinations all around the world from Terminal 8. You'll find similar retailers here — bookstores, duty-free shops, and the like, as well as dining options like Starbucks, Abitino's Pizzeria, and more.
Services at Terminal 8 include nursing stations, baggage storage, currency exchanges, and pet relief areas. There's also an American Airlines Admirals Club.
JFK Airport Parking and Transportation
JFK parking options include short-term/daily parking by the terminals with daily maximums ranging from $36 to $42, and long-term/economy lot parking with a maximum daily rate of $20. These parking lots are connected to the terminals via AirTrain. You can prebook parking online before your trip.
The JFK AirTrain connects the airport's terminals to the parking lots, rental car center, hotel shuttle pickup area, and the Jamaica and Howard Beach public transportation stations. It is free unless you're beginning or ending your journey at the public transportation stations — the fee is $7.75, and you have to pay using a MetroCard.
If you're using public transportation to get from Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens to the airport, you'll take the E, J, or Z subway lines or the Long Island Rail Road to the Jamaica station, or take the A to Howard Beach and then the AirTrain to your terminal. You can find detailed instructions and bus routes on the JFK website.
You can also take a cab or rideshare to and from the airport. There is a flat fare of $52 (plus tip and toll fees) between JFK and Manhattan for taxis, though fares range for other NYC destinations and for rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. Shared ride shuttles are also available.
JFK International Airport Hotels
There are several hotels near the airport, including the Radisson Hotel JFK Airport, Crowne Plaza, Comfort Inn & Suites, and Days Inn & Suites. However, the best JFK airport hotel is undoubtedly the TWA Hotel, the on-property hotel known for its iconic '60s design and rooftop pool overlooking the airport.