Before Leaving

What NOT to Pack

Before packing a suitcase or carry-on bag, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most flammable and/or potentially explosive material is prohibited, while federal regulations apply to food products, firearms, athletic equipment, liquids, and various sharp objects.

Please visit the official TSA website for a full list of restricted items.

How early to arrive at the airport

To allow enough time to pass through the mandatory airport security screening, it’s recommended that travelers plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time (not including transportation time to the airport).

To prepare for any unforeseen issues, like traffic or car trouble, why not plan to arrive an extra hour early? To make the travel experience as pleasurable as possible, URW at JFK has many wonderful restaurants, shops, and places to relax before your trip.

Things to Know Before You Go

Do you know the proper protocol for locking luggage? The procedure for motorists to pick up passengers at baggage claim? With new and changing airport regulations, the amount of information can be overwhelming.

The official TSA website has the answer to most questions, but for a quick guide, print out a cheat sheet for airport and travel tips.

Getting Here

John F. Kennedy International Airport is conveniently located approximately 40 minutes from New York City and is easily accessible from major highways. From taxi services to bus lines and long-distance vans, getting to the airport has never been easier. To find the best option for you, choose from one of the alternatives below.



By Car

The airport is accessible by most major interstates and state highways.

By Taxi

Several Taxi cab companies provide service to JFK. Click on one of the options below to arrange a pickup.

For those departing JFK, each terminal has a taxi stand located curbside on the arrival levels.

By Limousine

Several limousine companies provide service to JFK. Click on one of the options below to arrange a pick up.

By Rideshare

Shared ride van companies operate out of JFK and serve surrounding counties. Click on one of the options below to arrange a pick up.

By Public Transportation

For travelers departing from New York City, the MTA NYC subway service is accessible to JFK International from Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn, via designated JFK subway stations. The AirTrain then commutes travelers directly from the subway to the airport. Please contact the MTA website for more information.

By Bus

The NYC Airporter makes trips from the airport every 30 minutes to Grand Central Station and Penn Station.

Three NYC bus routes operated by the MTA also provide direct service between the airport and nearby neighborhoods. Please contact the MTA website for more information.

By Long Distance Van

SuperShuttle and other long-distance companies provide services that operate out of JFK and serve surrounding areas. Arrange a pick up at your home or another location by using the contact link below.

For those departing JFK, please visit the SuperShuttle booth located in the baggage claim area.

By Hotel Shuttle

Most nearby hotels and motels offer complimentary airport transportation via courtesy vans. Those who are arriving at JFK and staying in a nearby hotel or motel are welcome to use the courtesy telephones in the baggage claim area to request a pick up. Contact the hotel concierge for schedule and information.

By Rental Car

Several rental car companies, including Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis, are conveniently located at the airport and can be accessed via the AirTrain. Those arriving at JFK can drop off rental vehicles and take the AirTrain directly to the terminal, while those departing can find the AirTrain at stations located in each terminal.




Terminal Parking

Each terminal is equipped with its own short-term parking facility, located across the street, outside of baggage claim.

Parking is available for extended stays and overnight trips, with daily flat rates or hourly rates. These lots are easily accessible to the AirTrain or bus shuttle service, which transports travelers between the parking lots and terminals in a matter of minutes.

Economy Lot 9

The economy lot is located just minutes from the terminals. The lot can accommodate all vehicles, including larger trucks and campers, available for extended stays and overnights, for daily flat or hourly rates. Complimentary shuttle service is available 24/7, please call 718.244.4444.

In the Airport



Checking In

Upon arriving at Terminal 8, travelers can check any luggage and get a boarding pass with gate number and flight information. American Airlines offers online check-in, and self-check-in kiosks to make transit smoother. Please note, additional luggage fees and weight limits may apply.

Passport Control

In addition to showing a valid passport to cross national borders, international travelers will need to pass through customs upon arrival at foreign airports, and then again upon returning to the United States. Visit the official TSA website for more information about procedures and items to declare.

Security Control

Passing through the mandatory security screening can take longer than expected. Be sure to become familiar with security protocol before arriving to make the process as smooth as possible. Visit the official TSA website to find the answers to common security questions.

Getting to your gate

Once cleared by security, feel free to explore the multitude of shopping and dining opportunities on the way to boarding gates. Use URW’s convenient digital directories to find the perfect place to grab a bite, pick up last minute gifts, or use the extra time to unwind.

Passenger Pick Up

Greeting travelers at the gate is no longer allowed in any U.S. airport, due to federal regulations, but you can meet your loved ones in the baggage claim area or outside of the terminal on the arrivals level. Immediate passenger loading is allowed curbside, but drivers are not permitted to park or wait outside the terminal, they must park in the nearby parking lots.

Leaving the Airport

Once you’ve found your luggage, there are several convenient ways to exit the airport. From rental car services to bus lines and taxi stands or the train station, information is readily available to help you reach your final destination.

Airport Amenities and Services

To help facilitate your experience at JFK, a variety of services are available to accommodate any special travel needs, from nursing mother stations to convenient Wi-Fi access. Browse below to learn more.

Currency Exchange and ATMs

For arriving and departing international travelers needing to exchange foreign currencies into US dollars, currency exchange booths are conveniently located near each terminal and can easily transfer bills and coins in a one-stop transaction. ATM cash machines are also located near each terminal, available to customers of all banking institutions (additional fees may apply).


JFK makes every effort to accommodate the needs of all travelers. Contacting the airport in advance is recommended to make arrangements for any special assistance for those with disabilities.

Information Services

Don’t get lost trying to navigate the airport. Welcome Centers are established on both departures and arrivals levels, where digital directories and Customer Care Representatives are on-hand to provide answers to travel questions or help assist travelers in transit.

Lost and Found

Losing luggage is never an ideal situation, but it can happen. Please notify your airline of any items missing on the aircraft, while anything misplaced in the airport can be reported to the TSA or the local police department for insurance purposes. Place a lost and found claim at


For urgent medical care, call 911 for an ambulance, or ask an airline employee for assistance. For non-emergencies, the AirTrain shuttle provides service to the on-site medical center.

Pet Relief

For those traveling with furry friends, Terminal 8 is equipped with a designated area outside of the departures level, and in Concourse C close to Gate 44, for pets to take a potty break. Plastic bags and trash cans are provided for owners to clean up after their pups.

Public Charging

Power poles and power charging stations equipped with several electrical outlets and USB ports are conveniently located throughout the airport, pre and post security, to offer convenient device charging at no cost.


Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the airport, there are no designated smoking areas. Smokers must exit the terminals and smoke outside.


Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. The first 30 minutes of service are complimentary, then additional fees will apply.

Discover more at JFK




Have a pleasant flight!