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JFK Security Lines?

Olga, Washington
posts: 165
reviews: 30
JFK Security Lines?

We will be taking the train up to NYC from Philly and then the subway to JFK for a 5:30 PM Aer Lingus flight. I'm reading horror stories about the extra long lines for security caused by the sequester. How much earlier should we get to JFK? Would 2 hours be enough or should we add an hour or two?

Liverpool, UK
posts: 7,884
reviews: 13
1. Re: JFK Security Lines?

There is anecdotal evidence that the US budget issues are causing delays at airports - most airlines recommend checking in 3 hrs prior to departure for an international flight. I would expect JFK to be busy at that time of the day.

I personally would add a minimum of an extra hour, probably more to allow for train/subway problems, as the consequences of missing the flight purely in cost terms will be high especially if you have to buy a new last minute ticket to get to your final destination.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 23,084
reviews: 17
2. Re: JFK Security Lines?

The Aer Lingus website is really where you should be going. First of all--if you are flying up to and including April 2 you go to Terminal 4. If you are flying April 3 and forward you will be going to Terminal 5 which is the Jet Blue terminal. The website clearly says you should check in 3 hours before your scheduled departure.

It is hard for anyone to predict time to get through security. Terminal 4 has a new arrangement that is open less than a month, Terminal 5-integrating Air Lingus and Jet Blue passengers--also not sure. Do not forget that 5:30 departure doesn't mean you can stroll onto the plane at 5:28. Gates close anywhere from 20-40 minutes prior to departure.

Olga, Washington
posts: 165
reviews: 30
3. Re: JFK Security Lines?

OK we'll plan to be there 4 hours before departure. Certainly do not want to risk missing the flight.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 2,902
reviews: 260
4. Re: JFK Security Lines?

4 hours is certainly boring, but it is far better to enjoy a couple of drinks knowing check-in and security are behind than rushing and stressing with the ultimate rusk of missing the flight...

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
posts: 14,348
reviews: 50
5. Re: JFK Security Lines?

4 hours is long but its best to be safe than sorry enjoy your trip.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 19,363
6. Re: JFK Security Lines?

If you're running late when you get to Penn Station, take the LIRR instead of the subway. You'll save 20-30 minutes that way.

Romford, United...
posts: 1,613
reviews: 23
7. Re: JFK Security Lines?

Assume you are flying to Ireland so the only good thing to look forward to is the fact on your return flight you can clear US INS/Customs in Dublin so when you arrive back you are treated as a domestic arrival which should save you time

Olga, Washington
posts: 165
reviews: 30
8. Re: JFK Security Lines?

We are going to Milan via Dublin and returning the same way. Does that allow us to clear customs in Ireland? We have about a 3 hour layover in Dublin on the way back.

Thanks for the tip on the LIRR. I will look into it. I've only taken the subway before.

Romford, United...
posts: 1,613
reviews: 23
9. Re: JFK Security Lines?

As far as I know the answer is Yes-if you visit the Dublin Airport website there is a short video on US pre clearance which you should find helpful

Olga, Washington
posts: 165
reviews: 30
10. Re: JFK Security Lines?

Thanks for the tip on preclearance. Took a while to get the video to work. Could only see it in Chrome (not in IE or Firefox) and then only by clicking on the Preclearance button several times and then it stopped every 10 seconds and had to be restarted. Finally got it all. Does look like it will apply to us and it was something I didn't know about so thank you.