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Old Jun 7, 12, 7:22 am   #1
 
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8 hour layover in NYC/JFK

Hi everyone! I'm looking at booking an itinerary from Europe to Mexico. On the way back (arriving on Aeromexico), I have a 8 hour layover till my delta flight in the evening. In your opinions, is this enough time to go out and see the city? I've never been there before and it sounds very interesting.
Thanks.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 8:04 am   #2
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Welcome to Flyertalk.

It's tight. Assuming it takes an hour each way to get to and from the airport (Airtrain / Train), and adding the time it takes to get off the plane and clear customs, and the required hour or two you need to be back at the airport for to check in (whatever Delta's policy is), you could do it, but have to accept that when you add that all together you may only have three or four hours in the city.

There are some good previous threads about the subject (well not all are exactly eight hours ). Start here, some are linked in this thread

7 Hours in New York

But if you have specific things in mind, it's totally possible to hit a few things in a very short time.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 8:55 am   #3
 
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Well... Its actually more like 9 hours (8 hours 50 min)... Would that be a bit better in regards to time in the city?
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:00 am   #4
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FlyerTalk's Destinations->New York is an ideal forum to discuss the OP's questions and I'll move this there. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:06 am   #5
 
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I think you should have enough time for a quick visit. Probably the best thing to do would be take the Airtrain from JFK to Jamaica station, and then grab the LIRR train into Penn Station. It would probably take you a bit under an hour (I think - someone more familiar with LIRR can chime in if I'm wrong), and that would leave you enough time to get a meal in Manhattan, wander around a bit, do some shopping, maybe hit a museum...

Just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get back to JFK. I'd shoot to be there two hours before your flight leaves - the airport is a mess, security lines can be a PITA, and the airport layout is a nightmare to navigate.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:37 am   #6
 
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An alternative would be to visit one of the many interesting neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens, which would save you a lot of transport time.

You could go hang with the hipsters in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) where there are great bars and restaurants. Or you could go to Astoria (Queens) where the the ethnic food scene is just off the hook. Or you could go to Flushing Meadows Park (Queens), the site of the 1939 and 1965 World's Fairs. You can't miss it. The park still has this big silver globe called the Unisphere in the middle, as seen in Men in Black. Flushing also has better Chinese food than you will get in Manhattan's China Town. Or you could go to Coney Island and walk up the boardwalk to Brighton Beach for some blintzes and borsch.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 9:42 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by id_est View Post
An alternative would be to visit one of the many interesting neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens, which would save you a lot of transport time.

You could go hang with the hipsters in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) where there are great bars and restaurants. Or you could go to Astoria (Queens) where the the ethnic food scene is just off the hook. Or you could go to Flushing Meadows Park (Queens), the site of the 1939 and 1965 World's Fairs. You can't miss it. The park still has this big silver globe called the Unisphere in the middle, as seen in Men in Black. Flushing also has better Chinese food than you will get in Manhattan's China Town. Or you could go to Coney Island and walk up the boardwalk to Brighton Beach for some blintzes and borsch.
All excellent ideas - if you're interested in seeing a more "authentic" NYC, these are all good options. Most visitors (and many residents, too!) forget that NYC is really five cities in one, and there's a lot to do outside Manhattan.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 10:15 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uaflyer123 View Post
Hi everyone! I'm looking at booking an itinerary from Europe to Mexico. On the way back (arriving on Aeromexico), I have a 8 hour layover till my delta flight in the evening. In your opinions, is this enough time to go out and see the city? I've never been there before and it sounds very interesting.
Thanks.
It's definitely "do-able." What day are you arriving? If you're thinking about travelling around by car, traffic differs from workday to weekend, from morning to afternoon. And since it's your first time, what would you like to see? With this information, I think it would be easier for us seasoned New Yorkers to help you better plan it out.

I agree with others that there's more to see in the outer-boroughs of New York City. But having been a first-timer once in a big City, I tend to target the hotspots first and am not sure if you are the same.
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Old Jun 7, 12, 10:16 am   #9
 
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Could you guys also give me some info on the connecting process? If I choose this itinerary, I would be arriving in JFK from Europe and would have a 3:50 connection to aeromexico? Is this feasible and if so how hard will it be?
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Old Jun 7, 12, 12:44 pm   #10
 
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You have more than enough time. The key question is how tired will you be to walk around and navigate?

Assuming you clear immigration/customers (and have checked your bags through after clearance so you are lightweight) - you can get into Manhattan in about 1-1.25 hrs and same duration back.

If you have 9 hrs. - Want to get back to airport 2 hrs before your departure, 1.25 hr from Manhattan to JFK (by public transportation) = T-5.75.
Subtract 1.25 hr from JFK to Manhattan = 4.5 hr subtracting when you leave the airport and immigration.

AirTran to Jamaica Station -> LIRR to Penn Station.
Alternative - (depending what time you arrive avoiding rush hour traffic) there is a van/shuttle at most terminals which will drive you to Grand Central Terminals (others will comment on how efficient it is)?

Assuming no delays you should have a good 3 hrs in midtown - enough time for shopping, dining, or casual walking and sights - I don't suggest doing any destination with lines (Empire State, Status of Liberty).
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Old Jun 8, 12, 2:21 am   #11
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It's tight.
Tight? 8+ hours? You're joking, right?
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Old Jun 8, 12, 10:27 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by uaflyer123 View Post
Could you guys also give me some info on the connecting process? If I choose this itinerary, I would be arriving in JFK from Europe and would have a 3:50 connection to aeromexico? Is this feasible and if so how hard will it be?
The connecting process may be a question that's better to post in the specific airlines forums. This forum targets NYC and the people answering it are typically from NYC, so we really don't connect through JFK - we END at JFK.
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Old Jun 8, 12, 10:56 am   #13
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Originally Posted by LGANightOwl View Post
The connecting process may be a question that's better to post in the specific airlines forums. This forum targets NYC and the people answering it are typically from NYC, so we really don't connect through JFK - we END at JFK.
The connection process generally is the same, irrespective of the airlines, except to the extent one needs to change terminals. All passengers arriving on flights from Europe must first clear immigration, then claim their checked luggage, and then clear customs. They then can recheck their luggage to their final destination.

AeroMexico operates out of Terminal 1 at JFK. If the OP's flight comes into Terminal 1, then after clearing customs he can go directly upstairs to AeroMexico. If arriving to another terminal, the OP will have to take the AirTrain to Terminal 1. After exiting customs, follow the signs to the AirTrain and board the "All Terminals" train to Terminal 1.

Either way it's easy, and 3:50 is more than enough time.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 3:10 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post

It's tight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
Tight? 8+ hours? You're joking, right?
If all the transit and traffic is on a normal and non-delayed schedule, then sure, why worry? I don't speak for cordelli, but I know I am thinking of the regular traffic and transit "irrops" we seem to have daily. Why else is this such a popular topic on the news, e.g. New York1 "Rail and Road Report, "Traffic and Transit on the Ones" on WINS, etc., etc.? CBS alone broadcasts 12 traffic and mass transit reports an hour just on its AM stations.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 8:32 am   #15
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If all the transit and traffic is on a normal and non-delayed schedule, then sure, why worry? I don't speak for cordelli, but I know I am thinking of the regular traffic and transit "irrops" we seem to have daily. Why else is this such a popular topic on the news, e.g. New York1 "Rail and Road Report, "Traffic and Transit on the Ones" on WINS, etc., etc.? CBS alone broadcasts 12 traffic and mass transit reports an hour just on its AM stations.
Because it gives them something to talk about.

There are rarely issues so significant that they'd affect someone trying to make a visit as described.
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