Layover at JFK Airport

Things to Do and Useful Tips for your Layover at JFK

JFK AirportGuideLayover at the Airport

Your Layover at JFK will Resemble No Other

Do you have a layover at JFK Airport and you are obliged to wait for your transit flight at the airport? Are you filled with unease at the thought of spending so much time inside a terminal building? Put your concerns aside, as JFK isn’t another ordinary airport. It’s the main aviation hub in the city that never sleeps, NYC. Hence, it doesn’t “sleep” either!

Things to Do at New York Airport

There are so many things you can do during a short airport layover. Apart from the ordinary “shopping-eating-drinking” options, you can catch up on your latest project, pamper yourself in a spa facility, take a rest, and so on. Spread over a vast area and six terminal buildings, New York Airport is the place to be for an unwinding transit experience. Check out how you are going to spend your spare time at JFK:

“Shop Till You Drop” at JFK Airport

A layover at JFK Airport is the perfect opportunity to explore the airport’s shopping options. No matter your landing terminal, you won’t be disappointed by the stores’ variety. Buy gifts for your loved ones, refresh your wardrobe, benefit from the duty-free discounts, or settle on window shopping if traveling on a tight budget. You’ll still be informed about all the latest trends!

Eat and Drink at New York Airport

Fast food chains, snack shops, and even fine-dining facilities are to be found at every JFK terminal. Even though American cuisine is undoubtedly dominant, international dishes are also at your disposal, while fusion restaurants are an excellent choice for the more “indecisive” types of travelers. Eager to have just a refreshing drink or beverage? JFK offers you a wide variety of alternatives as well.

Our Tip: Scattered around the airport’s premises, you’ll spot big white cubes lit on. A QR code is displayed on those cubes. Scan it, and you’ll find all the close-by food and shop options!

Exploit JFK Airport’s Wi-Fi

JFK Airport provides you with free Wi-Fi. Therefore, you can use it to make the most of your free time at the airport. Check your socials, watch your fav movie or series, or even sort through your emails, finish your latest work project and tie up potential loose ends. How often do you have time to spare?

Let your Children Play

If an airport layover is a hassle for you, imagine how your little ones might be feeling! Luckily, JFK terminal 5 has designated playgrounds and kids’ areas near Gates 12 and 26. Your kid will love every minute of your stay at New York Airport, and you’ll keep your peace of mind at the same time!

Pamper yourself at JFK Airport

A short layover at JFK Airport gives you the necessary time to treat yourself. From beauty treatments to massage sessions, New York Airport houses the facilities that will make your free time at the airport an unforgettable spa experience!

Enjoy a Quiet Time at JFK Airport

And find your inner peace. JFK terminal 4 hosts four chapels. Thus, no matter your religious and spiritual beliefs, a synagogue, an Islamic center, a Protestant chapel, and a Catholic church are at your disposal to perform your religious duties or just relish a quiet and peaceful time at the airport.

Take in the Airport’s View

The JetBlue Rooftop Terrace lies in JFK terminal 5, near Gate 28. It is the only outdoor option after passing the security at JFK, and it offers unlimited views of the airport’s runaways. Nevertheless, you should note that it is not an actual lounge. It is just a pleasant open airport area where you can enjoy a quiet time.

Sleep at New York Airport

JFK Airport isn’t the ideal place to take a nap between flights. The airport’s chairs are quite uncomfortable, while the vast majority of them have armrests. What’s more, JFK is one of the busiest hubs worldwide. Hence,  it is also a noisy one. In any case, JFK terminal 4 is equipped with 4 sleeping pods. Nevertheless, you are allowed to use them for up to 20-minutes. Alternatively, you can head to one of the many JFK lounge facilities, offering premium and lavish services.

Check-in at TWA Hotel

Located inside the airport’s complex, adjacent to JFK terminal 5, TWA Hotel offers day packages (with a minimum 4-hour stay). Nevertheless, you should head to the JFK airport hotel, even if not planning on staying. From its various eating and drinking amenities to its rooftop pool and its vast fitness center (the biggest hotel gym in the world), the retro hotel’s lobby is full of exhibits from the New York Historical Society, being an “informal museum” itself. However, the hotel’s major attraction is “Connie Cocktail Lounge”, the lounge area lying inside an actual ’58 plane, which is listed among the top hotel bars in the world. Unfortunately, even if landing at JFK terminal 5, you’ll have to pass through security and re-check in to visit TWA Hotel.

Travel between JFK Airport Terminals

The AirTrain provides free transfer between all the airport terminals. Running 24/7, it has available routes every 7 minutes during rush hours and every 15 minutes at other times. Hence, transferring from one terminal to another during your layover won’t be difficult. However, it’ll be time-consuming, as it requires passing through security and checking in once again when returning to your terminal for your upcoming flight.

Our Tip: Should you travel with pets, you’ll find pet relief areas in all JFK terminals.

Leave JFK and Visit the Big Apple

During a long layover, you’ll simply have to go visit New York City. The “city that never sleeps” is only a 16-mile (26km) ride from JFK Airport, so waste no time and take a glimpse of one of the most iconic destinations in the world. If you opt for a NYC airport taxi or a private transfer, you should expect a 45-minute transfer to Manhattan. Nevertheless, traffic jams are a common fact in New York that may even double your trip’s time. On the other hand, a subway journey from JFK to New York City should last one hour, whereas a train ride 35 minutes. Still, you’ll have to also add the waiting time for the next metro or train. Hence, you should have at least a 7-8-hour layover at JFK Airport to be sure that you’ll make it back on time to check in for your next flight.

Hence, as long as you have the time, check out the top things to do in New York City during a long JFK layover:

Wander around Brooklyn and Queens

Cosmopolitan Manhattan isn’t a one-way street. You can also settle on a Brooklyn or Queens tour. The two-near-JFK neighborhoods are some of the most vivid NYC areas, reflecting a different-than-Manhattan yet more authentic New York lifestyle. In fact, you’ll find several guided tours if you want to avoid the hassle and stress of navigating yourself around.

The Sightseeing Bus Tours

Instead of trying to narrow down the NYC attractions that you’ll have the time to visit during your layover, you can opt for a sightseeing bus tour. The Hop-on, Hop-off buses travel around Manhattan while offering live guides as well. Opt for an open-top bus and relish the views of Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, etc., while being able to hop off the bus wherever you feel like it.

A Cruise tour of NYC

Why stay on land when you can take a good look at New York City from the water? Various cruise tours are at your disposal, providing premium services. Observe the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, and so much more, completely hassle-free, sitting comfortably on your boat’s deck.

Visit One of the most Moving Places in NYC

You won’t find a more touching place in New York than the 9/11 Memorial. Feel the beat of recent history by visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and you won’t be the same ever since.

Wall Street is Only a few Miles Away

If economics is your passion, you can’t leave New York without visiting Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve, and Wall Street are a few-minute drive away from JFK. Exploit your layover time and go meet the financial center of the entire world.

The Cultural Center that is New York

The artistic and cultural significance of New York is undeniable. Hence, if you think a trip to the Big Apple isn’t worth it unless including a museum visit, you’ll have many options in your hands. For instance, you can take part in one guided tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or get in real touch with our planet’s history by choosing a tour at the NYC American Natural History Museum.

The Magical Observation Deck

Not recommended if you have acrophobia, Observation Deck is a lifetime’s experience. Take in the view of Manhattan’s skyline, standing on “The Edge” -1100 feet above the ground- and enjoying a 360° panorama of the area. History lovers will also appreciate the given details about the history of Hudson Yards, whereas travelers who have a passion for architecture will find the architectural significance of the construction incomparable.

Opt for a Food Tour

You’ll find many guided tours around NYC. Nevertheless, when food is the main objective, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood is the destination. Still, if you are interested in exploring other areas as well, food tasting around Chinatown or Little Italy will be proven equally interesting.

The Romantic Option

Central Park is undoubtedly a must-destination in NYC. However, can you think of a more appropriate way to explore it than with a horse carriage? Enjoy a delightful and private totally out-of-the-ordinary tour of Central Park while discovering its landmarks and learning all the interesting info about them.

Get to Know New York in the Uniquest Way

That is by booking a private helicopter tour. Can you imagine something more thrilling than watching the Big Apple from above? If money isn’t an issue and you want to live one of the most remarkable experiences of your life, you should go for a helicopter New York ride during your long layover at JFK Airport.