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Penn Station - JFK via Airtrain time to gate or lounge?

Penn Station - JFK via Airtrain time to gate or lounge?

Old Nov 25, 12, 7:25 pm
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Penn Station - JFK via Airtrain time to gate or lounge?

My wife and I are flying JFK-MAD in January. We live in Baltimore and plan to take Amtrak to Penn Station connecting to the Airtrain. Our flight departs at 7:40PM and we are flying BE.

How much time should we allow? Train options are flexible but uncertain how much time we'll really need. Is three hours enough or too much?
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Old Nov 25, 12, 7:48 pm
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It takes around 1 hour 15 minutes to get from Penn Station to inside your terminal at JFK (E train + AirTrain). If you're not familiar with the subway system, you may want to add a few minutes. This, of course, is on top of any security/check-in times at JFK.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 7:58 pm
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First, you say AirTrain - - The AirTrain only runs from Jamaica Staion to the airport terminals, so first, you hafto get to Jamaica.

I've done the above a zillion times, via the E train. It can be anywhere from a breeze to a major pain.

If you're at Penn Station, you can also take the LIRR to Jamaica (which I have never done), but it's more expensive - $8.75/full fare - $6.25/off peak - $4.25/senior/disabled. The LIRR schedule shows 21 minutes on this route, which is faster than the E subway train. If you're flying BE, the LIRR option may be more relaxing than the rush hour, possibly jam packed E train.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:07 pm
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......I'll put in a vote for using the LIRR train to Jamaica Station from Penn Station......the LIRR train seems reliably quicker than the E subway, and less hassle with luggage (stairs, turnstiles, elevator at Jamaica), so worth it for an important-to-you flight.

more info at:
http://www.mta.info/mta/airtrain.htm
(scroll to bottom for LIRR Penn Station to JFK AirTrain info)
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:14 pm
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I vote for LIRR as well.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:16 pm
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The travel time of the LIRR train is much shorter - 21 mins to the Airtrain and count another twenty until the terminal (maybe a few minutes more for T8).

Also, the connection Amtrak-LIRR is much more convenient than Amtrak-E subway train. It is about $6 more as stated earlier but well worth it.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:19 pm
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You would have to look at the subway map and routes, but I took the bus from JFK Terminal 4 to a subway station (not near the AirTrain station) then took the subway from there right to Penn Station (that time I actually connected at Penn Station to Amtrak to Baltimore!). Easy to do in reverse. I think it is the same A or E train that goes from Penn Station to Howard Beach/AirTrain but it breaks off just before going to Howard Beach (some trains go to one destination, some to another). You can pay one fare at Penn Station for the subway and get a free transfer to the bus. Very easy and much cheaper since there is no AirTrain fee.

Once at Terminal 4 you can take the AirTrain within JFK for free to connect to other terminals if needed. Not ideal with a lot of luggage, but it works.

Also, avoiding AirTrain if possible is a good thing. Often in inclement weather it is replaced by buses with sometimes huge lines. I heard from other passengers how they waited a LONG time for the AirTrain whereas I had a crowded bus, but a relatively short wait coming from that direction.

Cost is the same +-$2.50 for the entire journey.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:26 pm
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LIRR hands down.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:28 pm
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As stated above, you have to take the E train to the Airtrain (or A train to JFK) from Penn Station. There are a lot of variables that could affect your transit time so I would plan the extra time by getting to Penn Station earlier. If you get to JFK earlier than expected, no problem, just hang out in one of Delta's partner lounges.

On weekdays, trains start to get crowded after 3pm when school is out for the day. This could affect your travel time, especially if you have luggage. And of course if there is any weather problems, your commute may take longer. I'd say, if you can be on the subway no later than 3pm, you should be good to go.

Also as stated above, LIRR may be a better option. The most expensive option is to take a cab from Penn Station ($45+tolls and tip). The wait at cab lines can vary.

Last edited by NYCflip; Nov 25, 12 at 8:35 pm
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Old Nov 25, 12, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by davetravels View Post
First, you say AirTrain - - The AirTrain only runs from Jamaica Staion to the airport terminals, so first, you hafto get to Jamaica.

I've done the above a zillion times, via the E train. It can be anywhere from a breeze to a major pain.

If you're at Penn Station, you can also take the LIRR to Jamaica (which I have never done), but it's more expensive - $8.75/full fare - $6.25/off peak - $4.25/senior/disabled. The LIRR schedule shows 21 minutes on this route, which is faster than the E subway train. If you're flying BE, the LIRR option may be more relaxing than the rush hour, possibly jam packed E train.
LIRR is $3.75 on the weekends. Select "City Ticket" on the first screen.
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Old Nov 25, 12, 9:26 pm
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I've done Penn Station to Jamaica (then to JFK) and vice-versa many times. I've never considered the E train as a viable option - I've always opted for the LIRR. During daytime hours, trains run at least every 10-15 minutes. Luggage racks on the LIRR as well, plus shorter travel time (20-25 minutes depending on if the train is making the stops in Queens).
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Old Nov 25, 12, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by aprutherford View Post
My wife and I are flying JFK-MAD in January. We live in Baltimore and plan to take Amtrak to Penn Station connecting to the Airtrain. Our flight departs at 7:40PM and we are flying BE.

How much time should we allow? Train options are flexible but uncertain how much time we'll really need. Is three hours enough or too much?
There are lots of subway/train/bus options to get from Penn Station to the Airtrain.

Time varies depending on date and time but is roughly under 1 hour in total from getting on the LIRR at Amtrak to JFK Airport. Cab is quickest but LIRR is the quickest mass transit method. Subway and bus options will be longer.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/transit/#mdy to check schedules.

Also MTA could experience issues with the trains and the like so check http://www.mta.info as well for the travel times for the date you are leaving.

Also check the Port Authority of New York website for any advisories related to the JFK Airtrain or the airport. http://www.airportinfoalerts.com/
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Old Nov 25, 12, 9:49 pm
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This is a no-brainer. Arriving into Penn Station via Amtrak, you should immediately buy a ticket on the next departing LIRR Train, since they all stop at Jamaica. Its 1 to 3 stops (depending on local or express) and is quicker and more convenient than the subway.

Just make sure you go ahead and get your tickets for the LIRR in advance because its more expensive to buy on board. Also, theres a good chance they may not even get to punch your ticket by the time you get to Jamaica, which means if you hold onto it, it will be good for the return!
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Old Nov 25, 12, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by adamj023 View Post
There are lots of subway/train/bus options to get from Penn Station to the Airtrain.
I knew our resident New York City Expert would chime in and save the day!

Originally Posted by Mega Boris View Post
Also, theres a good chance they may not even get to punch your ticket by the time you get to Jamaica, which means if you hold onto it, it will be good for the return!


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Old Nov 25, 12, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Mega Boris View Post
This is a no-brainer. Arriving into Penn Station via Amtrak, you should immediately buy a ticket on the next departing LIRR Train, since they all stop at Jamaica. Its 1 to 3 stops (depending on local or express) and is quicker and more convenient than the subway.
There are peak trains that do not stop at Jamaica and it can be up to 4 stops on some local trains.

Originally Posted by Mega Boris View Post
Also, theres a good chance they may not even get to punch your ticket by the time you get to
Jamaica, which means if you hold onto it, it will be good for the return!
Unlikely that you make it to Jamaica without seeing a conductor but if you do your ticket is now valid for 60 days.
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