Traveling From Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn to JFK Kennedy Airport

Take the Train to the Plane from Brooklyn to JFK!

Air Train
Ramin Talaie / Getty Images

Going to the airport? Meeting someone there? Forget the expensive, stressful, traffic-crazed cab ride. Take the train to the plane. The "train to the plane" is called Airtrain.

To access the train to the plane, or Airtrain, use the mass transit connections available from the Atlantic Avenue terminal in Fort Greene at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue.

  • The first step is to get to Atlantic Avenue station, presumably by subway.
  • Then hop a quick ride on the LIRR, a slight step up in style and comfort.
  • Finally, enter the 21st century on a sleek, fast, fun train to JFK Airport, arriving at every terminal, including yours.

Conveniently, the Atlantic Avenue subway station is a huge hub, accessible from many other New York City subways. So, unless you are dragging a too-heavy suitcase, save some money and time, and use mass transit to get from Brooklyn to JFK.

The Basics

To get to JFK from Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue station, you'll be using three different trains. The first, of course, is the subway. The second is the Long Island Railroad, which connects the Atlantic Avenue Station to Jamaica, which is where you can pick up the AirTrain.

The AirTrain is a spiffy, fast, short train that runs around JFK airport and connects to various other transportation hubs, including the LIRR's station at Jamaica. You can use a MetroCard to get a discount on the AirTrain ($5). But you have to buy the LIRR ticket separately, at the station. (If you buy a LIRR ticket on the train, you'll pay more.)

Step-by-step, here's how to get to JFK from Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue subway station, using the train to the plane connection:

  1. Without getting out of the Atlantic Avenue station, follow the signs from the subway to the LIRR. (It's much easier than at Penn Station.)
  2. Buy a ticket to Jamaica. They run $5 to $15 depending on when you go, and whether you buy the ticket on the train (don't) or before you board (do). These are commuter trains and they run frequently.
  3. The train ride lasts about 15 minutes. Exit at Jamaica but don't leave the station. Look for signs for the AirTrain, which is in the same station. It's a pleasant station, well lit and with good signage.
  1. Buy a ticket for the Airtrain, and get on board. Use your MetroCard to get a $5 ticket (kids under 5 are free). These trains also run every ten minutes or so, and the train ride to JFK takes about ten or fifteen minutes.
  2. Get off at your terminal; the Airtrain stops at all terminals.

The total trip will take about a half hour from the Atlantic Avenue terminal, and cost under $15.

TIP: The AirTrain JFK has escalators and elevators, but the NYC subway doesn't always have services for the disabled or people who cannot carry their own bags. Think in advance about whether you can manage your own luggage on the subway leg of this trip, which is the most inconvenient part of it.