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6 Hour Layover at JFK

6 Hour Layover at JFK

Old Jan 15, 09, 11:25 am
  #1  
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6 Hour Layover at JFK

Hello all. I'm new to the forum and I have a question or two about JFK that I haven't been able to figure out through my research. I've never flown to/through JFK, so I'm hoping to tap some of the more experienced JFK flyers.

My wife and I are arriving at JFK at noon on Delta. We will be connecting to a British Airways flight departing at 6:20pm on a separate ticket. I think I understand the difference in terminals and transportation between them. However, I'm wondering a few things:
1) Do we have enough time to claim our luggage from Delta, re-check them with BA, and maybe make it into the city for an hour or so via Subway?
2) What time should we be at Terminal 7 for the 6:20pm international departure? We will have checked in online already, so all we'll need to do is check luggage.
3) If we don't have time to make into the city, will we have any trouble with re-checking our luggage immediately, or does the BA check-in only open a certain amount of time before flights. If we won't be able to immediately re-check and pass security, are there any places to eat (non fast food) outside of security in any terminal?
4) Finally, any suggestions on where to eat, either in the city or at JFK?

Thanks a lot!
Matt in Florida is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 2:18 pm
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the new jet blue terminal has been getting good reviews for their food selection.

6 hours would be kinda tight in my opinion. by train, you should plan on at least 90 minutes of transit each way.
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Old Jan 15, 09, 2:49 pm
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No chance of getting in to the food court in T5 (which is wonderful) unless you buy a refundable ticket, check in, go through security and then cancel the seat. And JetBlue isn't used to that so it is a bit difficult for them. I went through that when I went to T5 on opening day.

I think that 6 hours is a bit tight to try to get in to Manhattan. Assuming an on-time noon arrival you won't be in Manhattan before 1, and closer to 1:30-2 with checked luggage. You'll want to head back out at 3:30-4 for your 6:20 flight, I think.

I'm not sure if BA will be open to receive checked bags at noon/1ish or not.

And I think that T4 is the best bet for land-side food. They have a pretty good selection, IIRC.
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Old Jan 17, 09, 3:13 am
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Are you sure you can't through-check baggage? I believe delta and BA have an interline agreement. (http://www.britishairways.com/trade/...t/public/en_us)

The issue is if delta would through check the bags. I bet they would - its worth a shot asking them. I know BA has been sticklers about through-checking to non OW carriers - but this only affects you on the way home. Perhaps you can call Delta to "link" the PNRs to help.

BA might accept your bags earlier. They have some CX and NH flights. They could wait until 3 hours before flight time, however - I don't know.


Assuming you through-check the bags or can check them in at BA shortly after arrival, you have plenty of time. Fastest would be to take a cab to the city and then public transit to the airport due to rush-hour (assuming its a weekday). A taxi is $45 plus tolls and tip - so maybe $55 all-in. You could go to times square and have at least 2 hours to eat lunch and walk around.

A taxi using the midtown tunnel assuming moderate traffic would be 40 minutes to midtown. Coming back, its either about 1 hour on the E train to T7 or 40 minutes from Penn station using the LIRR.
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Old Jan 17, 09, 10:11 pm
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thats a shame about t5 considering how much advertising and fanfare the food court has received.
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Old Jan 18, 09, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Matt in Florida View Post
Hello all. I'm new to the forum and I have a question or two about JFK that I haven't been able to figure out through my research. I've never flown to/through JFK, so I'm hoping to tap some of the more experienced JFK flyers.

My wife and I are arriving at JFK at noon on Delta. We will be connecting to a British Airways flight departing at 6:20pm on a separate ticket. I think I understand the difference in terminals and transportation between them. However, I'm wondering a few things:
1) Do we have enough time to claim our luggage from Delta, re-check them with BA, and maybe make it into the city for an hour or so via Subway?
2) What time should we be at Terminal 7 for the 6:20pm international departure? We will have checked in online already, so all we'll need to do is check luggage.
3) If we don't have time to make into the city, will we have any trouble with re-checking our luggage immediately, or does the BA check-in only open a certain amount of time before flights. If we won't be able to immediately re-check and pass security, are there any places to eat (non fast food) outside of security in any terminal?
4) Finally, any suggestions on where to eat, either in the city or at JFK?

Thanks a lot!
I'm going to advise you in a different direction. You can take it for what it's worth.

I think if you don't mind the schlep, you indeed can grab a quick bite of lunch in Manhattan. Since you should arrive back at JFK 2 hours in advance, that gives you 4 hours of time with which to work.

Take the Airtrain to Jamaica (read the signs and when the airtrain pulls in, make sure it's the one marked "Jamaica"). You can buy your $10 metrocard ($20 for two) at Jamaica. Then buy 2 roundtrip tickets for the LIRR train and take it to Penn Station. This is faster than taking the subway into Manhattan. Trains leave for Penn Station every 5-10 minutes. 23 minutes later, you'll be in Manhattan. Pick a pub, a Korean joint, whatever and have a nice lunch. Walk around a bit or head into Macy's if that's something you like. Be back at Penn Station by 3 and take a train back to Jamaica. Nearly every train leaving Penn except those marked for "Port Washington" line goes to Jamaica. Then take the airtrain to your terminal. Only one train from which to choose so this is easy.

If you're in the city a lot and don't feel like doing this, ok. But if not and either you or your wife (or maybe both of you) really wants to come into the city, it can be done. You might spend more time on the trains but you know what, it's something fun to do. Besides, you can sleep on the int'l flight.

That's my opinion. I might be in the minority but I'd do it.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 1:24 am
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Take the LIRR. I recommend it. I just took the A with a transfer to L at Broadway Junction to Union Square about 6 hours ago, and my arm still hurts from carrying my 35lb rollaboard up a dozen flights of stairs and/or broken, slippery escalators.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
I'm going to advise you in a different direction. You can take it for what it's worth.

I think if you don't mind the schlep, you indeed can grab a quick bite of lunch in Manhattan. Since you should arrive back at JFK 2 hours in advance, that gives you 4 hours of time with which to work.
...

That's my opinion. I might be in the minority but I'd do it.
I agree that it is possible. The only reason I wouldn't is because of the baggage. I wouldn't want to schlep that much baggage around town for a quick lunch or a walk through Macy's.

Assuming the bags can be checked through from DL to BA then I think it is a great way to spend a few hours in the area.

And it really will just be time for lunch - probably ~2-2.5 hours - if they have to claim bags and re-check them. If they don't have to touch their bags in NYC the available time goes up about 60-90 minutes, I think.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I agree that it is possible. The only reason I wouldn't is because of the baggage. I wouldn't want to schlep that much baggage around town for a quick lunch or a walk through Macy's.

Assuming the bags can be checked through from DL to BA then I think it is a great way to spend a few hours in the area.
I am assuming that the bags can be left at JFK.

And it really will just be time for lunch - probably ~2-2.5 hours - if they have to claim bags and re-check them. If they don't have to touch their bags in NYC the available time goes up about 60-90 minutes, I think.
To me, that's better than 6 hours at JFK.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 8:25 pm
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I did a search on google for "baggage storage jfk" and found that Terminals #1 and #4 have this facility--at a fee between $4-$16/day.
The Airtrain on a few recent trips to jfk, between 1pm and 4pm, was NOT running as frequently as the "advertised" 10 minutes--more like 20+ with lots of packed cars. So, if one were to "just" miss a Jamaica bound Airtrain, the wait until the next one, could get closer to 40+ minutes--so one has to check for AT frequency (that day) before leaving the airport for Manhattan.
Buying a lounge daypass, might be better than "gambling" on leaving the airport and getting back in time for the flight.
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Old Jan 20, 09, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
I'm going to advise you in a different direction. You can take it for what it's worth.

I think if you don't mind the schlep, you indeed can grab a quick bite of lunch in Manhattan. Since you should arrive back at JFK 2 hours in advance, that gives you 4 hours of time with which to work.

Take the Airtrain to Jamaica (read the signs and when the airtrain pulls in, make sure it's the one marked "Jamaica"). You can buy your $10 metrocard ($20 for two) at Jamaica. Then buy 2 roundtrip tickets for the LIRR train and take it to Penn Station. This is faster than taking the subway into Manhattan. Trains leave for Penn Station every 5-10 minutes. 23 minutes later, you'll be in Manhattan. Pick a pub, a Korean joint, whatever and have a nice lunch. Walk around a bit or head into Macy's if that's something you like. Be back at Penn Station by 3 and take a train back to Jamaica. Nearly every train leaving Penn except those marked for "Port Washington" line goes to Jamaica. Then take the airtrain to your terminal. Only one train from which to choose so this is easy.

If you're in the city a lot and don't feel like doing this, ok. But if not and either you or your wife (or maybe both of you) really wants to come into the city, it can be done. You might spend more time on the trains but you know what, it's something fun to do. Besides, you can sleep on the int'l flight.

That's my opinion. I might be in the minority but I'd do it.
There's a diversity of opinion, and I respect that.

I would never even consider this though. This would be a nightmare of schlepping up and down escalators and train stations with a very limited payoff.

If you've literally never seen NYC and want to stare up at the Empire State building and then go back to the airport then don't let anyone stop you. But this would be a lot of seriously annoying travel for no discernable reason. JFK is not that convenient to midtown, that airtrain/train transfer is a lot of walking and changing trains and navigating unfamiliar and sometimes confusing stations. And then what? An hour at the least-desirable-in-the-city neighborhood of midtown at 34th street and a Tad's Steak or similar? All the while stressing about making it back in time for your flight?

I'd pass on that.

If you *really* want to leave the airport and see something you haven't seen before check your baggage onwards and take the airtrain over to the subway station but walk across the street and get a slice of pizza and a beer and enjoy Queens and skip spending 88% of the layover waiting on a train platform for a transfer.

Or just find a way to get lounge access and have a cocktail and a magazine. That's what I would do.
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Old Jan 21, 09, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
The Airtrain on a few recent trips to jfk, between 1pm and 4pm, was NOT running as frequently as the "advertised" 10 minutes--more like 20+ with lots of packed cars. So, if one were to "just" miss a Jamaica bound Airtrain, the wait until the next one, could get closer to 40+ minutes--so one has to check for AT frequency (that day) before leaving the airport for Manhattan.
You've had to wait more than 20 minutes for the Airtrain? I've complained about them too but I don't think I've ever had a wait that long. Still, leaving Penn Station by 3:15 gets the OP to the airtrain waiting area by 3:40. That gives him a full 45 minute to get to JFK from Jamaica (which is MORE than enough IMHO) to be there 2 hours prior to boarding. If their bags are already checked in, that's plenty of time IMHO. My two cents.

Buying a lounge daypass, might be better than "gambling" on leaving the airport and getting back in time for the flight.
That certainly could be better. But I don't think it's a gamble.

Originally Posted by c stanley
I would never even consider this though. This would be a nightmare of schlepping up and down escalators and train stations with a very limited payoff.
The payoff is lunch in the city and maybe a little bit of a walk. To me, it would be a nightmare WITH LUGGAGE. That I would not recommend especially if someone has a bad back. 6 hours in a lounge at JFK? Maybe for some, but not for me.

If you've literally never seen NYC and want to stare up at the Empire State building and then go back to the airport then don't let anyone stop you. But this would be a lot of seriously annoying travel for no discernable reason.
6 hours of free time? Why not if they aren't carrying luggage. They can "stare" and then get some lunch.

JFK is not that convenient to midtown, that airtrain/train transfer is a lot of walking and changing trains and navigating unfamiliar and sometimes confusing stations. And then what? An hour at the least-desirable-in-the-city neighborhood of midtown at 34th street and a Tad's Steak or similar? All the while stressing about making it back in time for your flight?
Tad's? I wouldn't recommend that either. But there are GREAT Korean restaurants in the area plus some decent pubs. It's midtown. There's a hockey bar we go to when the Rangers are in town and we can't get seats....what's it called? UGHHHH. I don't think it's as bad as you think it is but I guess that's a matter of opinion. I think it's a nice way to make 6 hours go without being bored out of your mind at the airport. Maybe it would be a nice change to take the airtrain (monorail) and then hop on the Long Island Railroad to the city. LIRR trains are always going into the city from Jamaica (like every 5-10 minutes) True, it could take an hour or so to schlep in and out of the city but so what? I'm allowing essentially 90 minutes to get back to JFK and I think that right there is way too much but I'd rather the OP have more time than less. The city may be unfamiliar but midtown is easy. It's a grid. The streets are numbered as are the avenues. Done. (Ok, Broadway isn't but it in that area, it's right by 6th Ave)

If the OP hates the idea of trains, then yes, perhaps sitting in the airport lounge and then spending hours on the plane heading to Europe might be something he and his wife would like.

I'm the kind of person that if I have something like 6 hours, I would want to see where I am and get out of the airport assuming I could check in my bags. I would feel even more so given that I would be spending the next 7 or so hours on a plane heading to Europe. Again, that's me. I think it's very possible to do this. It's up to the OP to decide if he wants to remain at a JFK lounge or go see Manhattan. Yup, it means taking a monorail and a train. Is that a big deal with no luggage? The signage is quite good. The airtrain improved that a while ago.

I'm still very much the minority here w/r/t to leaving JFK. That's just me. If I have a chance to see a city (and 6 hours is indeed a chance) I do it. I know that probably the majority would rather sit in the airport lounge. If that works for them, then that's great.

Last edited by Analise; Jan 21, 09 at 10:25 am
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Old Jan 21, 09, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by c_stanley View Post
And then what? An hour at the least-desirable-in-the-city neighborhood of midtown at 34th street and a Tad's Steak or similar? All the while stressing about making it back in time for your flight?
That neighborhood is indeed pretty uninteresting - but as Analise suggests, there are some good Korean places a (relatively) short walk from Penn Station. For a quick bite, Bon Chon Chicken has great Korean fried chicken (in a completely different league from KFC and such). For a sit down meal, Madangsui is excellent, and right by the Empire State Building.

But, yes, only consider doing this if you can have your bags checked through. And keep an eye on the time!
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Old Jan 21, 09, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by ttjoseph View Post
That neighborhood is indeed pretty uninteresting - but as Analise suggests, there are some good Korean places a (relatively) short walk from Penn Station. For a quick bite, Bon Chon Chicken has great Korean fried chicken (in a completely different league from KFC and such). For a sit down meal, Madangsui is excellent, and right by the Empire State Building.

But, yes, only consider doing this if you can have your bags checked through. And keep an eye on the time!
Little Korea is great, don't get me wrong. I love it there. It's the one (vague) exception to that rule of the neighborhood being mostly a loss. Another is the restaurant Artisanal a few blocks over on 5th Ave.

But the idea of having 6 hours from landing to departure and trying to make the city is pretty crazy to me for a person who's likely to be able to get back to NY for a proper trip. If it were a Hong Kong resident transiting NYC for the first time ever and perhaps last time for awhile I might change my tune and say hey, might as well see midtown. For an American living in Florida? It's a big fire drill for no reason.

AND those train connections to the city are a complete pain. I don't know why people espouse them. Outside of a serious, serious rush hour just get a taxi like a normal non-poverty stricken New Yorker and save a mess of hassle. Whoever said 23 minutes is hilarious. It's 90 minutes gate to midtown at best.

Unless you just HAVE to see New York -- and I understand that if it's your one shot at it, but only then -- then hang at the airport, or if you really just want to get out for a bit then go somewhere nearby. Check out Howard Beach and get the "other" New York and some great pizza. Check out the very unique Broadchannel or hop over to the Rockaways and watch the ocean waves roll in if it's not bad weather.

Or do none of those things, like a sane person. Come to New York and actually see it. Next time. For more than 128 minutes if possible.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by ttjoseph View Post
That neighborhood is indeed pretty uninteresting - but as Analise suggests, there are some good Korean places a (relatively) short walk from Penn Station. For a quick bite, Bon Chon Chicken has great Korean fried chicken (in a completely different league from KFC and such). For a sit down meal, Madangsui is excellent, and right by the Empire State Building.

But, yes, only consider doing this if you can have your bags checked through. And keep an eye on the time!
Some might prefer 6 hours in an airport lounge. Others might not.

Originally Posted by c_stanley
But the idea of having 6 hours from landing to departure and trying to make the city is pretty crazy to me for a person who's likely to be able to get back to NY for a proper trip. If it were a Hong Kong resident transiting NYC for the first time ever and perhaps last time for awhile I might change my tune and say hey, might as well see midtown. For an American living in Florida? It's a big fire drill for no reason.
Well you prefer staying in an airport lounge. Maybe there are others (no matter what state they call home) who wouldn't mind something to do instead of 6 hours at the airport followed by 7-8 hours stuck on a plane.

AND those train connections to the city are a complete pain. I don't know why people espouse them. Outside of a serious, serious rush hour just get a taxi like a normal non-poverty stricken New Yorker and save a mess of hassle. Whoever said 23 minutes is hilarious. It's 90 minutes gate to midtown at best.
You take LIRR trains from Jamaica that are 90 minutes? Talk about bad luck; that does indeed explain quite a bit.

Some of us espouse public transport because it's actually good and certainly not a pain without luggage. Luggage on escalators can be cumbersome but otherwise, escalators aren't exactly taxing.

And this might be a wakeup call to you but some of us poverty stricken types, as you label people like me, take the the SUBWAY to the airtrain whenever we travel! It doesn't take me 90 minutes to get to JFK. Sorry that you've endured this even with all of your money. We "poverty stricken" types make do with travelling among others in a subway or train car.

Unless you just HAVE to see New York -- and I understand that if it's your one shot at it, but only then -- then hang at the airport, or if you really just want to get out for a bit then go somewhere nearby. Check out Howard Beach and get the "other" New York and some great pizza. Check out the very unique Broadchannel or hop over to the Rockaways and watch the ocean waves roll in if it's not bad weather.
Now couldn't you have made these good recommendations without the nastiness of mocking those of with less money than you? "Poverty stricken"? Wow....

People of all classes, races and religions take trains and subways. You sound like John Rocker.
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