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Layover At New York’s JFK Airport

| January 2, 2016

New York layovers at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) offer plenty to do for travelers both inside and outside the airport. JFK airport is located in Queens roughly 12 miles from downtown Manhattan, making it an accessible destination for those on a long layover. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your New York layover, click here for useful tips.

JFK layover stopover New York

If you’re stuck on a layover inside New York’s JFK airport, there’s plenty to do while you wait. Shops, restaurants and services are listed here by terminal. Wireless Internet service is available throughout the airport.

If you’re looking to store your bags, there’s luggage storage located in Terminal 1 Arrivals (first floor – (718) 751-2947), Terminal 4 Arrivals (first floor – (718) 751-4020) and Terminal 8 for passengers of American Airlines ((718) 995-9292). Call ahead for hours of operation and rates. Luggage wrapping is also available in Terminal 4 in the Arrivals Lobby.

CLICK HERE for the Layover Guide to LaGuardia Airport, New York

The Lounge JFK is available for select first-class passengers, and an additional fee of $40 per person ($20 for children) for other passengers. Open from 4a.m. to 1:30a.m. daily, it is located in Terminal 4. Additional airline lounges are located throughout the airport including British Airways in Terminal 5, American Airlines in Terminal 8 (day passes are available for $50) and Lufthansa in Terminal 1. Here’s info on additional lounges.

If you arrive on an overnight JFK layover, or are looking for a nearby hotel, there are many options to choose from. Most offer courtesy shuttles (to connect to a courtesy shuttle, take AirTrain to Federal Circle Station). For a comprehensive list of New York hotels at varying price points, click here and for hotels specifically near the JFK airport, click here.

CLICK HERE for the Top Ten Restaurants on a New York Layover

If you’re planning on leaving the airport, taxis are available outside of Arrivals. A flat fare of $52 is available between the airport and Manhattan – the receipt should show that it is a flat fare – and the ride takes roughly a half hour depending on traffic. For more pricing samples, click here. In addition there are public transportation options including the AirTrain, Subway, and Transit Bus Service – click here for more information. Private transfers can also be booked.

Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A New York Layover (for Overnight NY layovers, click here):

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline in New York City, NYNew York Tours

There are so many New York tours to choose from – you can book New York cultural tours to museums, Ground Zero, and the Statue of Liberty, or take a trip above the skyline with helicopter tours, book show tickets to Broadway, cruises, and tons more! Also, with the New York City Explorer Pass you can get access to over 50 top attractions, tours and activities.

The Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline, New York City, NYStatue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, to visit where roughly 12 million immigrants entered the United States. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Ellis Island. There are security checks, so make sure you don’t have any sharp objects. Don’t miss the audio tour at Ellis Island – it’s full of interesting history. You can check out ferry times and locations here.

New York layoverGround Zero Museum Workshop

It’s hard not to visit New York without remembering the tragic attack on September 11, 2001. Head through the Financial District to Ground Zero to visit the location where the twin towers stood. It may surprise you how big the space was — about 12 million square feet. Check out the Ground Zero Museum Workshop.

Times Square in New York, NY


Broadway Show

Nothing says New York like Broadway. There are dozens of different types of shows to watch, including musicals, dramas, comedies, and so much more. Book ahead online here.

New York layover



Pizza Tours

New York is known for their pizza, and for those who love a slice, there’s no better way to spend your day then trying the best pizza in the city. These tours include a great selection of New York pizza, as well as visits to the city’s top pizzerias.

New York Layovers


Central Park

Central Park is a great way to enjoy New York’s biggest park. You can enter the park at 59th and check out all the artists. Inside the park you can ride the carousel, skate at Wollman rink, visit the zoo, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, see Strawberry Fields and you can’t miss the ducks at the pond. You can also stop for a bite at the boathouse. Click here for Central Park bike and pedicab tours.

New York layover

Rockefeller Center & Home Of The Rock Observation Deck

Rockefeller Center is where you’ll find the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, as well as shopping, restaurants, the NBC Studio Tour and the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. If you need a quick view of New York, the observation deck is much less crowded than the Empire State Building, yet has great views. It is a 3-tiered observation deck on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors and you can enter on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.

New York layoversEmpire State Building

If you have the time to battle the tourists, don’t miss heading to the top of the Empire State Building. It’s quite a sight, from 102 stories high. For those in a rush, a $35 “Express Ticket” gets you on the deck within 20 minutes. You can book ahead for Empire State Building Tickets – Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets.


Have a NY layover tip? Leave suggestions below for New York layovers

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Category: Featured, layover, New York, North America, United States

Comments (20)

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  1. Family in New York offers layover tours, originating from all New York area airports and cruise terminals. They pick passengers up, tour them around and bring them back.

    • Kathy Prescott says:

      Hi there

      I am travelling to Sacramento for my sons wedding. Changing at JFK I have an 11 hour wait on 23 April, Easter Saturday.

      Can you give me some idea of a tour and the cost amount.

      I live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

      Kind regards

      Kathy Prescott

    • 12 October 2012 Would be free of baggage checkout by 5 PM.

  2. New York Luagge Store says:

    What if you have a day to spend sightseeing but need to store your luggage? Your options are rather limited, but there are solutions.

    Most of Manhattan’s finer hotels have a luggage storage room. If your hotel does not store luggage, you might ask the concierge of a nearby one that does. You might also find that a generous tip can possibly help find you a solution if the hotel clerk hasn’t got an answer. However, less expensive hotels might not be of any help at all, at which point you need to consider other options.
    On a similar note, if you just stepped off a cruise ship and have eight hours before your flight, what to do? If you are the persuasive sort and well-dressed, you likely could store your luggage at a four-star hotel simply by approaching the concierge. Again, a generous tip would be in order, in addition to any fee the hotel might charge.

    A mention of places that currently do NOT store luggage: The Port Authority Bus Terminal; LaGuardia Airport; and Newark Airport. Advance airline check-in does not function here as it does in some European countries, whereby your luggage can be delivered to the airline 24 hours in advance. Thus, an early trip to the airport would be a waste of time anyhow. Some foreign carriers do make special arrangements for their first-class passengers; inquire of the airline.

    Although JFK airport does have two luggage storage facilities, unless you intend to fly into JFK and fly out again from JFK, it’s a waste of your time to travel so far just to store your luggage. This service is most useful if you have just arrived after a long-haul international flight and have a day to spend before your onward connection. The facility operates 24 hours per day, and charges $4.00 to $16.00 per day depending on the size of your luggage. For more information, phone (212) 643-1369the size of your luggage. For more .

    Pennsylvania Station does store luggage, but the facility can be hard to find. Do ask a uniformed Amtrak employee for assistance at the station if you have difficulty finding it. Generally, you need to be able to present a train ticket to use this service, but not always. Costs are moderate. This option is most useful if you intend to travel via Amtrak, or if you will take NJ Transit/AirTrain to Newark Airport. Perhaps less stressful and more convenient would be New York Luggage Storage which offers luggage storage, luggage forwarding, and a modest self-storage facility. They charge $5 to $10 per bag per 24 hour period and are open daily from 8 am to 11 pm.

    In sum, with a bit of planning you can arrange to store your luggage should you find you have a day or so to spend in New York minus your possessions. A final note: Always lock your luggage before storing it!Obviously under no circumstances should you leave any valuables your luggage (camera, passport, money).

    Public transit; A,C,E,B,1, train to 34th street

  3. Jerry says:

    One thing that should be noted, perhaps, is that a base-rate cab ride from JFK into Manhattan is somewhere upwards of $50 now…

  4. Linda says:

    HI, i will arrive from singapore flying with china estern arriving at 1.15pm. then I will take a separate flgiht to BNA which leaves at 659pm on the same day. so i hv about 5hrs and a bit of layover in JFK. would i be able to hv a quik peek of Ny within tht 5 hrs? i just hv a big backpack with me

  5. M says:

    I have a flight to JFK arriving at 9am and a SEPARATE flight leaving at 11pm to Israel. What are my options as far as staying in the airport or should I leave and go explore? I’ve been to NYC a handful of times so the big sight seeing attractions aren’t something I’m dying to do. Is there good places to nap at the airport prior to entering security check for my second flight?

  6. Mohamed bah says:

    Hi I have flight from guinea , morocco ,jfk to Trinidad and Tobago ……. M a Sierra Leone citizen I wanna know if possible to leave jfk airport because I’ve 6hr layover to visit a Facebook

  7. hadi says:

    hi i will be going from iran to haiti and in between i have 10 hours in jfk . i don’t have a visa because haiti doesn’t need one . can i leave the airport fir like 7-8 hours to see the nyc ?

  8. elad newberger says:

    i am flying to sao paulo from tel aviv is it ok if i ordered an flight on delta airlines together i have dual citizenship and i have a 14 and a half layover in terminal 4 can i leave the airport

  9. Erica liana says:

    Hi! I will be going to Colombia from the Philippines, and one of the connecting flight is in New York JFK with 10 hour layover. Do i need to have a visa? Because i dont have ine since Colombia doesn’t require one for just 2 week travel. Im not planning of going outside the airport, i’d just stay in and wait for my next flight. Is My philippine passport enough? I need an answer ASAP, thank you so much!

  10. navin says:

    I have a 15 hrs layover in JFK airport Newyork.I have a US C1D visa.Can i go out of the airport.

  11. Lisa says:

    Travelling to the Dominican Republic from California on 7/8, returning 7/16. I will fly into JFK On 7/8 I will have close to a 4 hour layover and on the way back on 7/16 I will have a 6 hour layover. Any suggestions on things I can do nearby in NY? I have always wanted to visit NY since I was a child so I am hoping there is something close by that I can check out. Thanks!

  12. lisa says:

    hey fellow lisa? I would have said don’t leave on the 4-hour one, but i was wondering what you did.

  13. Ahlam says:

    Ahlamnas · 1 forum post
    Sep 26, 2016, 5:49 PM
    Hello everyone. I was hoping somone could help me out. I am glying on Royal Jordanian from Kuwait to San Fransisco. We will have a layover in Jfk for about an hour. My flight from JFK to San Fran will be operated by American Airline. I am a US citizen with 2 checked bags. Can anyone tell me the following…

    1. Will I need to reclaim and check in my bags again?

    2. Will they need to weigh them again?

    3. What is expected of me as a transit flyer?

    4. Will an hour be enough time?

    Please Help…Thanks

  14. A says:


    I arrive JFK Sat night 11pm, depart JFK Sun morning 11am.

    Gives me 8 hours of night time in NY.

    Any suggestions? Grab a taxi and have them drive me around for hours in the dark?

    I have never been to NY, so interested to see what it is like.

    Thanks for any answer,


  15. Nita says:

    I have a 3 hour and 20 min layover wondering would it even be worth leaving the airport to meet a friend? Not sure how busy the airport will be and don’t know if I can risk t ? Suggestions ?