Your Guide to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport

Airport Guide

Photo by Benet J. Wilson

JFK Airport, formerly known as Idlewild, handled its first commercial airline flight  in 1948. Since then, it has become the flagship international airport for the United States wit more than 80 airlines operating from six terminals.

The airport was renamed on December 24, 1963, to honor Kennedy, the nation’s 35th president, a month after he was assassinated. Today, JFK is the nation’s leading international gateway, with more than 80 airlines operating from its terminals.

The airport has been managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since June 1, 1947. It sits on 4,930 acres, including 880 acres in the Central Terminal Area. It has six airline terminals, with more than 125 aircraft gates.

Getting to the Airport:

The light-rail service AirTrain connects JFK with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York City subway and bus lines.  At the airport, AirTrain provides fast, free connections between terminals, rental car facilities, hotel shuttle areas, and parking lots. 

The airport has myriad parking options:  On-Airport Short-term/Daily Garages, $33 daily; On-Airport Long-Term Lot 9/Economy Lot, $18; and On-Airport Lot Rates for Persons with Restricted Mobility, $18.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations  Charging your electric vehicle at Kennedy International is easy.  Five EV charging stations are available in JFK's Yellow Lot, Ground Level by Terminal 5.  They are tied into Chargepoint, the largest EV charging network in the U.S.  Access the station with an RFID enabled credit card or Chargepoint access card.

Electricity is provided free of charge.  All parking lot fees will be collected when you exit the lot

Travelers can check their status on the airport's website by flight number, airline or route.

Airport Amenities                      

Baggage Storage        

Charging Station

Medical Office                        Building 22A

Paging Someone        Pre-Security    Please see a red-jacketed customer care agent to find out how to page someone in the terminal.

Pet Relief Areas: Terminal 1 and 2, outside at the arrivals area. Terminal 4, outside of the arrivals hall and in Concourse B between Gate B31 and B33. Terminal 5, pre-security next to baggage carousel 6. Also a "wooftop" area on the terminal's 4,000 square-foot outdoor garden patio. Terminal 8, departure level. 

Welcome Center

Wi-Fi:  free 30-minute Wi-Fi service is available throughout the terminals, along with hundreds of free power poles and charging stations, with many featuring USB ports, to allow customers to recharge portable electronic devices.

There are nearly 200 hotels in the vicinity of the airport.

  1. Fairfield Inn New York JFK Airport
  2. Courtyard New York JFK Airport
  3. Hampton Inn NY - JFK
  4. Crowne Plaza JFK Airport New York City
  5. Hilton New York JFK
  6. Days Inn Jamaica - Jfk Airport
  7. Holiday Inn Express At JFK
  8. Sleep Inn JFK Airport Rockaway Blvd
  9. The Five Towns Inn
  10. Surfside 3 Motel

Unusual Services

Nursing mothers have access to clean, comfortable and secure areas where they can breastfeed or use a breast pump. The Port Authority worked with Seventh Generation, which manufactures and distributes environmentally safe household products, to install a freestanding suite in JFK Terminal 5 near Gate 12. Each suite has a bench seat, a fold-down table, and power supply for pumping. It also has space for luggage or a stroller. 

And the airport has deployed a team of red-jacketed Customer Care Representatives (CCRs), who can answer any customer questions and offer personal service for thousands of travelers every day. They are stationed at the airport's state-of-the-art Welcome Centers, terminal frontages, ticket counters, doorways, AirTrain stations, federal inspection facilities and anywhere else customers may need help.