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JFK International Airport

South Africa
Level Contributor
328 posts
124 reviews
JFK International Airport

I've ascertained that my daughter-in-law's flight from SA will be arriving at Terminal 4 at JFK, and my domestic flight from Chicago at Terminal 3. I have also Google'd JFK and got a wonderful printout of all the Terminals, and some info on a Skytrain. Would appreciate advice here pse. It seems it might be possible to get on the Skytrain and travel from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4? If so, I really need to know what meeting point we could arrange for Terminal 4 pse. Would prefer that she stayed at Terminal 4, bearing in mind she's never been to JFK, and I'd rather try to find her, than vice versa. (Not that it is not going to be one heck of a mission for me!).

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Wakefield
Level Contributor
6,185 posts
44 reviews
1. Re: JFK International Airport

IMO the best thing is that one of you travels to the other AirTrain station, and meet at the station. The signposts are clear, and in T4 the AirTrain is very close to the terminal.

It is a fair trek from T3 to the AirTrain station up a ramp around a corner.

M

South Africa
Level Contributor
328 posts
124 reviews
2. Re: JFK International Airport

Thanks M. Would it be better / easier for me to take a cab from T3 to T4 to meet her? If you say quite a distance, difficult to walk with luggage? Distance approx?

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
26,984 posts
3. Re: JFK International Airport

No, taking a cab would be pretty ridiculous to go from one terminal to the one next door. The AirTrain will be faster.

It's not a particularly long walk from Terminal 3 to the AirTrain - if you really want to meet your daughter-in-law inside her terminal, the baggage carousel for her flight is the obvious place to meet up.

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
7,332 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: JFK International Airport

The baggage carousels for international flights are within the customs area, open only to arriving international travelers. You have to wait at the exit of the customs area, which could be confusing if there is more than one exit, or at the air train station.

South Africa
Level Contributor
328 posts
124 reviews
5. Re: JFK International Airport

Does every terminal have its own Airtrain 'station' pse? In other words, I assume I will get on the Airtrain at the Terminal 3 'station', then travel to Terminal 4 and get off at the Terminal 4 'station'? Am I understanding this correctly? If this is correct, is there any specific area at Terminal 4 Airtrain 'station' where I could ask her to wait? Or should I be able to see her clearly if she were to be waiting at any area at the Terminal 4 'station'? (Iver, you are correct, I would not be able to meet her at the baggage claim area).

As a last resort I guess I could ask her to meet me outside Terminal 4 by the yellow NYC cabs, and that I then take the Airtrain from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4, exiting at the same place she would have in order to get to the yellow cabs, and then meet her there. ?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
41,354 posts
40 reviews
6. Re: JFK International Airport

Every terminal DOES have its' own airtrain station.

There is only one exit from Terminal 4, after customs to the general open non-secure area of the terminal. I would suggest that you meet her there. When she exists the restricted area and goes into the open terminal she does have a choice of turning right or left. Decide on a direction in advance--and then you can stand and wait for her. YOu will see her as she walks out of the secure area.

Edit: I would NOT meet her by the cabs for two reasons. .1. It is cold out there and why stand in the street 2. you do not have to go outside the building to get to the free airtrain--it is cold out there, why stand in the street!

Edited: 9:12 am, December 17, 2010
South Africa
Level Contributor
328 posts
124 reviews
7. Re: JFK International Airport

Sounds like that is then how I should arrange it. Lastly, would it be better to take a cab to downtown NY, or would the Airtrain be sufficient - not even sure if it travels to town?

New York NY
Level Contributor
11,144 posts
104 reviews
8. Re: JFK International Airport

The JFK AirTrain is free and it operates most frequently in ascending terminal number order. The intra-terminal AirTrain goes in one direction (the wrong direction for you) and the Jamaica and Howard Beach AirTrains (which operate more frequently - like every 90 seconds to 2 minutes) operate in the direction you want to go.

Delta Terminal has one AirTrain stop terminals 2 and 3 and the AirTrain is not inside the Delta terminal but it is easy to find and clearly marked.

Terminal 4 (International airlines) is a newer and more modern terminal with the AirTrain inside. It is clean, safe, well-lit, not too large, comfortable, easily accessible to the rest of the terminal.

Why not consider meeting at the Au Bon Pain coffee shop (like Starbucks). It is opposite one of the Duty Free places and opposite a big newstand.

http://www.jfkiat.com/shops.html - Click on "Location of Shops"

This seems like it would make life easier.

South Africa
Level Contributor
328 posts
124 reviews
9. Re: JFK International Airport

Meeting at a coffee shop would be wonderful! At least she can sit down and have something, read a book, etc., for the 2 hours she has to wait for me.

However, I'm getting rather nervous now. You are saying on the same line as the Airtrain, there are the trains for Jamaica and Howard? At the same station as the Airtrain? So I would get on one of these - going in the opposite direction of the Airtrain, and be able to get off at Terminal 4? From there I could also find the coffee shop I presume?

new york city
Level Contributor
19,059 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: JFK International Airport

Please understand that the airtrain between terminals is different than the one that takes you off property and to the subway... Given the direction that the inter-terminal train goes and given that daughter in law is going to have loads of time the best solution would be for her to board the airtrain from terminal 4 after clearing customs and take it one stop to terminal 3 about a 1 minute ride and then find the best meeting shop like a coffee shop that you predetermine by looking at the previous list. If you don't do this then you will have to get on at terminal 4 and go around the entire loop of the airport just to get to terminal 3.

Hopefully your son picked someone bright enough to figure this out as it clearly is the best solution.