Van Wyck Expressway
General Information telephone: (212) 435-3640
There's an excellent rail shuttle service to Manhattan. If you don't mind carrying your own luggage and you'd like to enjoy the sights on the way to the city centre on public transport, you'll love the airport's new AirTrain service. New York has a fantastic public transport system and the AirTrain links you up with all the options seamlessly. It only costs seven dollars, takes an hour and is an exciting start to any trip. You'll need to transfer to a subway or regular train to get to Manhattan, which makes it even more fun! A tip for your return journey... if you're travelling back to New York JFK on the Subway, take the A train for Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park. Don't get the Lefferts Boulevard train – you'll probably miss your flight if you do!
There are smart, clean, friendly airport shuttle buses from half six in the morning to ten past eleven at night. They leave the airport for the city every 15-30 minutes and the journey takes around an hour. The fare is $13, two dollars more if you want to be dropped off at your hotel. If you are on a tight budget you can save cash by buying your return tickets online, where they're a bit cheaper. If you buy a single ticker online you'll also save a few dollars. You're allowed to take one child under twelve for free, included in the fare for each ticket. Choose from various drop-off points: get out at Grand Central railway station, the Port Authority or Penn railway station. Or get off at your hotel – they drop off at various hotels between 31st and 60th Streets. A great way to watch the world go by and acclimatise yourself at leisure!
You'd be hard pushed to miss New York JFK airport. It is clearly signposted from miles all around. Head for the Van Wyck and JFK expressways, both of which lead you direct to the airport's main Central Terminal. There are simple colour coded signs on both expressways which give you all the information you need to track down the right car park and terminal for your journey. Take the Belt Parkway East from Manhattan and keep going 'til you reach exit 19 for the Van Wyck Expressway, numbered 678. If you're driving in from Eastern Long Island, you need to look out for the Belt Parkway West's exit 20. Coming from New Jersey? Then take the New Jersey Turnpike and keep going until you hit exit 14C and the Holland Tunnel.
JFK car parks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from short stay to long stay and parking garages. Thankfully, all the car parks are colour coded so you should be able to find your way around easily, despite its size. The airport provides long and short term parking in the Central Terminal Area, coded CTA. If you're using terminals 4-6 bear in mind that there's very little parking at any of these terminals. They recommend you use the 'Blue' parking garage, from which there's a fast, frequent and free shuttle service.
The Central Terminal Area's CTA car park is also colour coded. The long term car park is actually four miles from the terminals, which shows you just how big this airport is! But not to worry – the efficient, fast Howard Beach Station AirTrain runs between the Central Terminal and long term parking stations at A and B. They run every four to eight minutes so you'll never have to wait long. Trains run every 4-8 minutes between 6am and 11pm then every 12 minutes throughout the night, 11pm to 6am. The journey between long term parking and the Central Terminal Area only takes around 8 minutes. It's a good idea to factor all this in so you don't have to rush around and risk missing your flight!
JFK Airport provides plenty of convenient parking for disabled customers. As long as you have your disabled person card with you, displayed clearly, you can use a variety of reserved spaces across every CTA car park. They're all close to the terminal buildings. You'll also find special disabled parking at the Blue car park and Green parking garages.
There are information booths, staffed with friendly, helpful people, at every terminal. Plus drinking fountains and special staff, known as 'planemates', ready to help you board, disembark and get around the airport. There are bookshops, gift shops, comfy and spacious places to put your feet up, quiet lounges and lively restaurants. In fact they provide everything you need for a smooth journey.
They take disabled access seriously. There are plenty of amplified telephones for the hard of hearing. Every terminal has one or more toilets and wash rooms accessible to wheelchairs.