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Best way from Washington, DC to JFK

Best way from Washington, DC to JFK

Old Jan 30, 20, 8:19 am
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Best way from Washington, DC to JFK

I will be flying out of JFK T4 on SQ to SIN (via FRA) and am trying to figure out the best way to get to JFK from Washington DC.

Which option would be best for me?
1) Fly Delta from DCA to JFK. I would have to pick up and re-check in my luggage.
2) Take a long ride to IAD and fly UA to JFK. Given that UA and SQ are both on Star Alliance, am I able to check in my luggage all the way from IAD to SIN?

I guess there are no direct trains to JFK?

Appreciate your help!
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Old Jan 30, 20, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Dragonblufly View Post
I will be flying out of JFK T4 on SQ to SIN (via FRA) and am trying to figure out the best way to get to JFK from Washington DC.

Which option would be best for me?
1) Fly Delta from DCA to JFK. I would have to pick up and re-check in my luggage.
2) Take a long ride to IAD and fly UA to JFK. Given that UA and SQ are both on Star Alliance, am I able to check in my luggage all the way from IAD to SIN?

I guess there are no direct trains to JFK?

Appreciate your help!
UA has not served JFK for a few years now.

AA also flies DCA-JFK.

No direct train service between Washington and JFK.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 5:45 pm
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There are various Amtrak services from DC to NYC (and onwards) so an option could be Amtrak from DC to New York Penn Station, then Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to Jamaica then the Airtrain to JFK
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Old Jan 30, 20, 7:56 pm
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The worst of all options is to fly WAS-JFK on a separate ticket. Not only must you allow sufficient time to reclaim your bag at JFK and meet the SQ check-in / bag drop deadline, but the risk of a no show falls on you. If you are sufficiently delayed into JFK and no show for SQ, your ticket will be cancelled and will retain whatever value it has under its fare rules, most likely $0. This means having to purchase a new ticket at walk-up prices. The micro-hauls on that route are often delayed or cancelled when there is the slighest hint of weather and you must account for that too.

As you are in Washington, it makes sense to take Amtrak WAS-NYP. There is a train pretty much every 30 minutes, alternating between Acela (F & J) & NE Regional. From NYP you can either take public transportation or an Uber and be relatively assured of maintaining schedule.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Dragonblufly View Post
I guess there are no direct trains to JFK?
Bwwwaahhaahhaaa!

But seriously...you could do Amtrak from DC to NY Penn (~3-3.5 hours) then change to LIRR to Jamaica (25 minutes) to the Airtrain to T4.
However, I think flying DCA-JFK on DL (or AA if you absolutely have to) would be much much faster and easier. I would probably allow at least 3-4 hours connection time at JFK.

If you were doing the EWR-SIN nonstop, there are some direct trains to EWR (well to the Airtrain) from Washington, but most don't stop at the airport so the schedule may or may not work.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Bwwwaahhaahhaaa!

But seriously...you could do Amtrak from DC to NY Penn (~3-3.5 hours) then change to LIRR to Jamaica (25 minutes) to the Airtrain to T4.
However, I think flying DCA-JFK on DL (or AA if you absolutely have to) would be much much faster and easier. I would probably allow at least 3-4 hours connection time at JFK.

If you were doing the EWR-SIN nonstop, there are some direct trains to EWR (well to the Airtrain) from Washington, but most don't stop at the airport so the schedule may or may not work.
Thanks so much for the info! Unfortunately, Iím not on the EWR SIN flight.

I think I prefer the less complicated route and will fly out of DCA. I guess the DL flight that arrives will at 1915 will be too tight for my 2115 departure?

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Bwwwaahhaahhaaa!

But seriously...you could do Amtrak from DC to NY Penn (~3-3.5 hours) then change to LIRR to Jamaica (25 minutes) to the Airtrain to T4.
However, I think flying DCA-JFK on DL (or AA if you absolutely have to) would be much much faster and easier. I would probably allow at least 3-4 hours connection time at JFK.

If you were doing the EWR-SIN nonstop, there are some direct trains to EWR (well to the Airtrain) from Washington, but most don't stop at the airport so the schedule may or may not work.
Thanks so much for the info! Unfortunately, Iím not on the EWR SIN flight.

I think I prefer the less complicated route and will fly out of DCA. I guess the DL flight that arrives will at 1915 will be too tight for my 2115 departure?

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:20 am
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2 hours seems a lot but what is the check in / bag drop deadline for your SQ flight to FRA?

I’m going to say an hour so that leaves you with an hour to deplane, collect bags and get to the SQ desks. not so large a margin now is it?

IF DL were to through check your bags to SQ at DCA that would make it easier but I don’t know if DL would do that on separate tickets?

personally I would leave at least 4 hours but ideally I would want to be in NYC the night before when separate tickets and travel arrangements are involved.
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Last edited by UKtravelbear; Jan 31, 20 at 6:26 am
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Old Jan 31, 20, 5:31 am
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Originally Posted by Dragonblufly View Post
I guess the DL flight that arrives will at 1915 will be too tight for my 2115 departure?
Delta operates from two terminals at JFK; Terminals 2 and 4 and the JFK flights are operated by smaller regional jets. The flights will either arrive at a regional jet gate at the end of Terminal 4 (likely) or Terminal 2 (less likely). Regional flights tend to be among the first to take delays if the crowded airspace in the Northeast Corridor gets too congested. Also, DL does not normally interline baggage to non-partner airlines on separate tickets; this means if you ask DL at DCA to check your bags through to SIN, they will likely say no.

If Terminal 4, the walk from exiting the plane to baggage claim is about 15 minutes. There is a shuttle bus (JFK Jitney) operated by DL that one can take from the far end of T4 to a gate closer to baggage claim, but it will not save much, if any, time. You'll then wait for your bags to arrive at the carousel and then need to go upstairs, check your bags (before the cutoff) and then re-clear security (without PreCheck/Clear or a priority boarding lane, this can take 30+ min).

If Terminal 2, it's a very small and compact terminal so the walk to baggage claim is no more than five minutes. But, you will still need to wait for your baggage, then walk out of the terminal to the AirTrain (about five minutes) and then get to T4.

Bottom line - I would give myself ample time to do such a transfer and I don't think two hours is enough.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jan 31, 20 at 5:37 am
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Old Jan 31, 20, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
2 hours seems a lot but what is the check in / bag drop deadline for your SQ flight to FRA?

Iím going to say an hour so that leaves you with an hour to deplane, collect bags and get to the SQ deals. not so large a margin now is it?

IF DL were to through check your bags to SQ at DCA that would make it easier but I donít know if DL would do that on separate tickets?

personally I would leave at least 4 hours but ideally I would want to be in NYC the night before when separate tickets and travel arrangements are involved.
Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian View Post
Delta operates from two terminals at JFK; Terminals 2 and 4 and the JFK flights are operated by smaller regional jets. The flights will either arrive at a regional jet gate at the end of Terminal 4 (likely) or Terminal 2 (less likely). Regional flights tend to be among the first to take delays if the crowded airspace in the Northeast Corridor gets too congested. Also, DL does not normally interline baggage to non-partner airlines on separate tickets; this means if you ask DL at DCA to check your bags through to SIN, they will likely say no.

If Terminal 4, the walk from exiting the plane to baggage claim is about 15 minutes. There is a shuttle bus (JFK Jitney) operated by DL that one can take from the far end of T4 to a gate closer to baggage claim, but it will not save much, if any, time. You'll then wait for your bags to arrive at the carousel and then need to go upstairs, check your bags (before the cutoff) and then re-clear security (without PreCheck/Clear or a priority boarding lane, this can take 30+ min).

If Terminal 2, it's a very small and compact terminal so the walk to baggage claim is no more than five minutes. But, you will still need to wait for your baggage, then walk out of the terminal to the AirTrain (about five minutes) and then get to T4.

Bottom line - I would give myself ample time to do such a transfer and I don't think two hours is enough.
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain!! I now have a better idea of why I need more time. I will take the earlier flight that gets in at 4pm.

Now Iím wondering if I have enough time to check out the TWA hotel! Lol!
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Old Jan 31, 20, 9:44 am
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I think 2 hours is probably fine if there are no delays. DL uses a mix of regional and mainline on this route. I think landing at the far end of T4 vs. T2 is a wash given the landside transfer you'd have to make from T2 to T4 (I would probably just walk and not bother with the Airtrain), and your bags will probably be out at T4 by the time you get to baggage claim. (Though, FWIW, JFK is the *only* place where DL has not met its 20-minute baggage delivery guarantee for me -- I think more often than not I claim the miles.)
That said, if there is any ATC congestion, this route is most likely to be delayed as it's apparently rather difficult to slot the planes into the flow heading into NYC since it's so close to NYC.

So as others have said, it's probably too risky. The 4 hour connection should be fine, and if you're on time you should have time for a quick visit to the TWA hotel!
Plus with 4 hours, if there is some issue getting into JFK you can at least try to get a flight to LGA as a backup; they run hourly (at least on weekdays). Making that transfer (by taxi) is obviously not ideal, but with 3-4 hours it's totally doable.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 10:02 am
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At that time of day, the DL departure will be at the head of the list for cancellation or hold (delay) if there is any form of traffic management program in effect (very common for the corridor between WAS and BOS, including of course the NYC area. A 2-hour ticket transfer means one hour because that is the bag check deadline at JFK and that deadline means checked, not standing in line.

It is all about your risk tolerance, but there is no way that I would risk the 2-hour transfer. If you insist on flying, take the 13:15 flight and have the train schedule in your pocket in case there are weather or other problems. You can always hop in an Uber to Union Station and then Amtrak.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 12:21 pm
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https://thepointsguy.com/news/racing-from-nyc-to-dc/

This article is a race from Manhattan to Washington, DC. May have some helpful information. The article compares Amtrak, Amtrak Acela trains, Delta, American, Megabus.
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Old Feb 2, 20, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It is all about your risk tolerance, but there is no way that I would risk the 2-hour transfer. If you insist on flying, take the 13:15 flight and have the train schedule in your pocket in case there are weather or other problems.
I would not think of flying on a separate ticket into JFK to catch a same-day longhaul, especially with so short a layover. Amtrak will be least prone to delays and almost as fast, downtown to downtown, as flying. The Penn --> Jamaica --> Airtrain transfers are much less tedious than they sound. Definitely the train.
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Old Feb 3, 20, 5:44 am
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We rented a car at Reagan and drove it one way using the alternate city dropoff. It's a four hour drive from Reagan to JFK. With the Delta/Hertz partnership, you walk to your car; get in; and drive off. Drop off is instant as well. Very convenient and no risk of connections.
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