Subway in JFK Airport

The Affordable Subway Lines from JFK Airport to the NYC

JFK AirportTransportationSubway

JFK Airport Subway Connections

To begin with, New York Airport doesn’t have an inside-the-terminals subway station. Thus, passengers wishing to use the NY subway lines for their transfer, have to use the AirTrain to reach the airport’s nearby Jamaica Station or Howard Beach Station. Overall, the JFK subway is considered easy to use while being cost-effective. However, it remains time-consuming. Explicitly the airport’s subway pros and cons can be listed as follows:



  • It is one of the most affordable options.
  • The two subway stations near JFK Airport are accessible.
  • There are subway connections to both midtown and uptown Manhattan and to the downtown area.
  • These connections are direct. Hence, AirTrain excluded, no line change will be required for your transfer.
  • NYC subway operates around the clock, with frequent itineraries.


  • It is a time-consuming option, at least in comparison with the Long Island Railroad. However, it ends up faster than NYC taxi rides during rush hours.
  • When traveling with lots of luggage, the JFK subway isn’t recommended, as it doesn’t have designated luggage areas, while some of the subway stations are served only by stairs.
  • Subway carriages often get overcrowded, leading to both uncomfortable rides and pickpocket incidents.

The Subway Lines at JFK Airport

If opting for a subway transfer from New York Airport to your destination, you’ll find several available lines. In any case, you’ll have to take the AirTrain calling at all JFK terminals. The Jamaica Station Line heads to Jamaica Station and the Howard Beach Line to Howard Beach Station. AirTrain runs around the clock, on a 7-15-minute frequency depending on the time of the day, and needs 10-15 minutes to reach the two stations. Despite being free for transfers inside the airport complex, rides to either of the two stations come with a fee.

From Howard Station, you can hop on the Subway Line A heading to downtown Manhattan. Please note that during the night, Line A makes local stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, raising its ride’s duration.

When reaching Jamaica Station, you’ll follow the signs to Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue/JFK Airport Station. This station is served by Subway Lines E, J, and  Z, handling transfers to midtown and uptown Manhattan (Line E traverses Queens and runs to midtown Manhattan while Lines J and Z head to Brooklyn and lower Manhattan). The Long Island Railroad also calls at Jamaica Station.

Our Tip: If hopping on the Subway Line E, you’ll most probably disembark at the following stops: at World Trade Center when heading to the World Trade Center or the Financial District. On the other hand, if your destination point is Madison Square Garden or the Empire State Building, your subway stop will be 34 St-Penn Station, while you’ll hop off the subway at Times Sq-42 St for Times Square or other areas in midtown Manhattan.

Subway in JFK Airport: the Time Schedule

The NYC subway runs 24/7. Thus, no matter the time or day you arrive at New York Airport, you’ll find an available subway route traveling from JFK to downtown NYC. Naturally, the subway’s frequency is lower at night. Still, as AirTrain also runs day and night, airport subway transfers are always an option. All subway lines operate on a 5-20-minute basis, depending on the time of the day. Overall, they need about one hour to reach the Manhattan area. Still, lines that run locally, making a lot of intermediate stops, may take 60 minutes to get to the furthest parts of NY city center. Therefore, the ride’s duration when adding the AirTrain transfer as well will be almost 80 minutes.

The New York Airport Subway Fares and Prices

A one-way subway ticket for the NYC subway costs as much as 2.75$/2.75€. However, you’ll have to pay an extra 8$/8€ for the AirTrain ride to Howard Beach or Jamaica Station. Thus, a subway transfer from JFK Airport is priced at 10.75$/10.75€.

Payments can be made via credit/debit cards, Apple pay, Wallet pay, and with an OMNY card or a Metrocard. Nevertheless, the OMNY contact system doesn’t apply to the JFK AirTrain. Hence, it is recommended to opt for a Metrocard from the automatic machines lying right before the AirTrain exits at Jamaica and Howard Beach Stations. This rechargeable card costs 1$/1€ and can be used for subway or bus rides. After purchasing it, you should load it with money (cash and cards are accepted) and continue your transfer with one of the JFK airport subway lines.

Our Tip 1: Children up to 44 inches (111cm) don’t pay for their tickets.

Our Tip 2: If you face any difficulties in using the subway, you’ll find MTA employees around the subway stations, happy to offer their help.


Does JFK Airport have a subway station?

No, New York Airport doesn’t have a subway station inside its premises. To take the NYC subway, you’ll have to use the AirTrain from your terminal to Jamaica Station and head to Sutphin Boulevard/Archer Avenue/JFK Airport Station, or use the Howard Beach Line to Howard Beach Station. Both stations lie within a 10-15 minute distance from JFK airport terminals.

Does JFK Airport sell MetroCard?

You can buy your Metrocard when arriving at Jamaica or Howard Beach Stations, paying 1$/1€. Right before the exits of the AirTrain, you’ll spot automatic ticket machines available for your Metrocard purchase. After buying the rechargeable card, you should charge it using either cash or a credit card, and continue your transfer.