How to Get to JFK from Brooklyn: LIRR, Of Course

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JFK Airport from Brooklyn is part of the TPOL in NYC ongoing Trip Report.


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When I fly to JFK, I typically go to Manhattan via a combination of AirTrain and either subway or Long Island Rail Road. When I return to JFK, I am usually in a hurry and can’t be bothered to go to Penn Station to take the LIRR and I have no patience for the dozen stops on the subway. The perceived convenience leads to me blowing money on a rideshare program that usually takes longer because I’m stuck in traffic.

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Budget-conscious and Brooklyn based, this time I decided to test the LIRR + AirTrain combo on my return to JFK.

Pro

It’s considerably cheaper. The LIRR costs $10.75 and the AirTrain costs $7.75 This is considerably cheaper than the $50 rideshare.

Pro II

From the Sheraton Brooklyn, the walk to Atlantic Station is not bad. It’s less than a mile. Contrast this with Manhattan. Unless you’re staying in Midtown, you will have to pay for a ride to Penn Station or ride the dreadful NY subway.

Con

It’s not a direct ride. You have to take take the LIRR to Jamaica Station and then take the AirTrain from there. Can you believe in a city referred to as the capital of the world that there is no direct, efficient route to the airport?

Con II

At Jamaica Station, I did not see the sign for AirTrain and went up to the departing platforms before going back downstairs and going in the right direction. Though I was able to take these beautiful photos, the stress of thinking I got off at the wrong station is another reason why I opted for rideshare in the past.

Con III

I stopped to take a photo of the obscene line to purchase a MetroCard for riders looking to take the subway into the city or passengers looking to ride the AirTrain. As a savvy traveler, I applauded myself for having my MetroCard in my wallet. That was short-lived as I found out that I had insufficient funds on my card. Can you believe in a city referred to as the capital of the world that there is no fully developed app for using public transport?

Pro III

Even with my detours and mishap with the MetroCard, it is much faster than taking a car. I arrived with plenty of time to go to the critically acclaimed WingTips Lounge.

Overall

If I am in Brooklyn near the Atlantic Terminal, I will take the LIRR + AirTrain to JFK. It’s cheap, fast, and convenient. When I am in Manhattan, I will get over my hate of the subway and use the AirTrain combo which, all in, costs $10.50.


JFK Airport from Brooklyn is part of the TPOL in NYC ongoing Trip Report.

22 COMMENTS

  1. This is great post full of information. Whenever I travel, the biggest confusion happens due to transportation after landing at the airport. This article is of great help. Looking forward for such context based articles.

    • Every hotel review I write, I put how to get there right at the top. I agree that landing at the airport when I’m tired and confused is not a good situation.

  2. Just FYI – the train is cheaper than $10.75 off-peak (not during commuter hours, I believe 4-8pm) and on weekends it’s even cheaper if you buy a CityTicket.

    • I used the CityTicket LIRR/Airtrain combo earlier in the month.
      Was a little bummed the Airtrain went up in price since the last I used it, was $5 each way previously, but still couldn’t beat the $4.50+$7.75 fare. 30min-ish to Manhattan was better than trying to save a few bucks and taking the Howard Beach A subway an hour to Penn.
      The cons I can agree on… a direct ride to the 5 boroughs and a contactless card would be great.
      I usually check my metrocard at Penn Station so never had an issue of not having enough funds for the Airtrain once I got to Jamaica or Howard Beach.

  3. Here is a better way. Get on a Far Rockaway bound A train at Hoyt Schermerhorn Street and take it to the Howard Beach Station. (Its quick) then hop on the Air Train. Cheaper faster and less confusing. Taken it many times with no problem/

  4. Glad to see you are figuring out the non-tourist maneuvers. In all seriousness, I applaud your gangster in taking advantage of the PR tax advantages.

  5. From Brooklyn the A train is really not too bad. Anywhere after Jay St. you actually should be able to get a seat and it’s only 30 minutes to Howard Beach. It’s a moderately easier connection to the Airtrain than Jamaica there. I’m no fan of the subway either (and I grew up in Brooklyn) but this is one route where I’d be tempted to opt for it.

    • I prefer the subway to the train. I always get anxious about getting on the wrong train and about losing my ticket when the inspector shows up.

  6. Part of the reason for such hideous infrastructure is that the USA has long ago stopped investing in infra work. Investments, not just in terms of new development, but also maintenance of existing infrastructure. Ive never taken the NY subway, but the horror stories that have come out in the last few years have put me off the idea of travelling on it.
    For context, I regulalrly travel on the Central Railways line of Mumbai, in what are called “local” trains in our parlance. They may be packed, but they run to a schedule and the railways spend huge money maintaining & upgrading the technology.

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