John F. Kennedy International Airport, or JFK, is a major public airport serving the New York City area. The airport is located in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York, about 16 miles southeast of Midtown Manhattan. JFK airport is the sixth busiest airport in the U.S., with over 60 million processed passengers in 2019.
Kennedy airport operates flights to over 70 domestic and international destinations worldwide, including North American, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Major airlines operate at the airport, including Emirates, Delta, American Airlines, Aeroflot, Air France, Alaska Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
JFK airport is a hub for both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and it is the primary operating base for JetBlue. Kennedy airport was also formerly a hub for Pan Am, TWA, Eastern, National, and Tower Air.
JFK airport is the 21st busiest airport in the world.
Airport Stats & Facts
- The airport was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport following the assassination of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
- The airport’s initial name was New York International Airport or Idlewild Airport.
- In February 2020, authorities approved a $3.8 billion plan to expand Terminal 4 of JFK airport. This is part of a broader expansion plan worth $13 billion approved in 2018.
- The Bay Runway functioned as a space shuttle emergency landing spot.
- Several famous movies were filmed at the Kennedy airport, including Catch Me If You Can, Death Wish and Terminal 5
Airport Traveling Tips
- JFK airport peak hours are between 5am & 11am and between 7pm & 9pm. The busiest days are usually Thursdays and Fridays.
- During peak hours, you should drop-off your passenger at curbsides of the departure terminal. Do not park on curbsides. You can wait in Cell Phone Parking lots which are located at Van Wyck Expressway and the JFK Expressway.
- According to airport guidelines, you should arrive two hours prior to your domestic flight and three hours prior to your international flight. TSA security wait times could cause delays. To avoid the risk of missing your flight, make sure to reach the airport well before your flight time.
It’s also helpful to take a look at New York airport terminal map before leaving for the airport.
Passenger Pick-up and Drop-off
- If you are going to Kennedy airport to pick up a passenger, make sure to identify the terminal where your passenger would be arriving. Each terminal has its own parking.
- Green Lot is designated for Terminal 1&2. Blue Lot is for Terminal 4, while Yellow Lot is reserved for Terminal 5. Terminal 7 and 8 are assigned colors Orange and Red, respectively.
- You cannot park at the pickup sections. If your passenger hasn’t arrived yet, the best option is to wait in free Cell Phone Lots, which are less than five minutes from all terminals.
- You can also park your car at short-term parking sections. Short-term parking at JFK costs $5 for 30 minutes.
- For arriving flights, check out our JFK Arriving Flight status page which shows JFK arrival times, delays, time-to-land and gate info.
- For departing flights, see our JFK Departing Flight status page to check actual and scheduled departure times, flight delays, map tracking and JFK Kennedy airport gate info.
- You can also book a flight at JFK directly and check the best fares and offers at the airport.
John F. Kennedy International Airport has six terminals with 128 gates. The terminals are arranged in a U-shaped structure. They are interconnected via AirTrain, which is free and operates 24 hours.
Terminal 1: Terminal 1 has 11 gates.
Major carriers like Aeroflot, Air France, Korean Air, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines operate at this terminal.
Terminal 1 Arrivals level has baggage claim, U.S. Immigration Office, ground transportation information points, ATMs and hotels.
Check-in desks are located at the Departures level.
Terminal 2: This terminal of New York Kennedy airport is operated by Delta. The airline operates 11 Jetway-equipped gates (C60-C70).
All domestic flights by Delta Airlines are processed at this terminal.
Terminal 4: Terminal 4 is the busiest at the airport. Most of the airport’s international arrivals are processed at this terminal. Delta Airlines uses this terminal for its long-haul flights.
Terminal 4 has 38 gates split in two concourses, A and B.
Terminal 5: JetBlue Airways is the major airline operating on this terminal. It has 29 gates.
Terminal 7: This terminal is primarily used by British Airways. It has 12 gates. The terminal has three levels: arrivals, departures and the concourse level.
Terminal 8: This is the biggest passenger terminal in the JFK airport, having twice the size of Madison Square Garden. American Airlines is the main operator at this terminal. This terminal has 29 gates and two concourses.
- Kennedy airport serves about 70 domestic and international airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Copa, Delta, Frontier Airlines, British Airways, JetBlue and Thai.
- The airport is a major hub and operating base for American Airlines and Delta Airlines. The airport is also the primary operating base of JetBlue.
- View the full list of airlines served at JFK.
There are several parking options available at the Kennedy airport. Each terminal has a parking lot. To identify parking lots, keep in mind the following color codes:
- Terminal 1, 2: Green
- Terminal 4: Blue
- Terminal 5: Yellow
- Terminal 7: Orange
- Terminal 8: Red
The following parking options are available at the New York JFK airport.
All terminals have short-term parking lots.
Short-term parking costs $4 for every 30 minutes at Green, Orange And Red Parking Garages.
Short-term parking at Terminal 4 (Blue Lot) and Terminal 5 (Yellow) costs $5 for 30 minutes.
You cannot use short-term parking for more than 24 hours.
Economy parking for long-term periods costs $18 for 24 hours. Each additional 8 hours would cost you $6.
Long-term economy parking lots are located at Lefferts Boulevard, approximately 4 miles from Terminals 1 through Terminal 8.
For general parking information, call at (347) 468-3231.
JFK airport also offers an option to book a parking spot in advance. You can book a premium parking spot online.
Keep in mind that cash is not accepted for payments at JFK parking. Accepted payment methods include credit card, debit card, EZ-Pass Plus and contactless payment (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay).
Cell-Phone Waiting Lots
This is the best parking option if you plan to wait for your passenger. Cell phone parking lots at the New York Kennedy Airport are free.
Cell Phone Lots are located at Van Wyck Expressway and the JFK Expressway. Both Cell Phone Lots are less than a five minute drive to all terminals.
There are several ground transportation options to reach JFK or access your destination from the airport.
The AirTrain at Kennedy airport is the best option to reach the airport or your destination from the airport. The AirTrain links all passenger terminals with NYC’s Subway system at Jamaica and Howard Beach Stations.
You can take the A, E, J or Z lines to reach your destinations in the main city.
If you want to reach JFK airport via Subway, disembark at Sutphin Boulevard Station on the E, J and Z lines or at Howard Beach Station on the A line to access the airport’s AirTrain network.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority also offers bus service to and from the airport. The bus service operates between the airport to New York’s famous destinations, including Queens and Brooklyn.
Relevant bus routes are Q3, Q6, Q7, Q10, Q10 LTD and B15.
Several rental car companies operate at the New York Kennedy Airport, including Budget, Avis, Dollar, Hertz and Payless.
You can take the AirTrain to the Federal Circle Station to reach the car-rental hub.
You can use a taxi to reach your destination from the airport. Taxis charge a flat fare of $52 for the airport to Manhattan route. However, a $4.50 surcharge applies during peak hours. Meter should start at $3.
You can also use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft at JFK airport. Head outside from arrivals or baggage claim at Terminals 1-4 to hail your ride. For Terminal 5, you can call an Uber or Lyft at the departures level.
Amenities & Services
There are plenty of options at Kennedy airport for shopping, dining, entertainment and relaxation. The airport houses outlets of almost all the famous restaurants and chains, including Burger King, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s,
The airport features:
Shopping stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars
Electronic gadgets vending machines
Travel and VIP lounges
Kids play area
Nail Care center
Address: John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, NY 11430.
Phone: (718) 244-4444
Have you lost an item at the airport? Lost & found.
JFK Airport: A Brief History
- In 1943, the airport was named Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport, after a Queens-based officer who commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States
- The Avro Jetliner was the first jet airliner to land at the airport on April 16, 1950.
- Architect Wallace Harrison made the first proper design of the JFK airport.
- The airport had to be modified to accommodate the weight of Boeing 747 in the 60s.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in July 2015 that the TWA Flight Center building would be transformed into a 505-room hotel.