Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

advice re: getting from JFK to MTE and back...

advice re: getting from JFK to MTE and back...

Nov 27th, 2009, 05:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
advice re: getting from JFK to MTE and back...

hi fodorites,

DH and i will be in NY for a few days before christmas. we arrive on dec 18th at 6:30 pm.

i'm plotting out our route from JFK into the city and have a few questions ... we are staying at the doubletree metropolitan @ 51st and lexington. DH is planning only to have carry-on luggage. i will likely have one checked suitcase which would be fairly empty/light.

we'd like to take public transit from JFK and i've figured out the following route:

- catch the airtrain from JFK to jamaica station
- transfer at jamaica station to the E line
- take the E line to lexington/53rd station
- walk two blocks to the hotel

so, my questions are:

1. we're planning to buy a 7-day metro card. can we buy this at jamaica station? is there a machine? will we need cash?

2. how long will this route take us in the early evening on the 18th? i'm seeing a RANGE of different times depending on which site i'm on...

3. we depart on wednesday, december 23rd and we need to be at JFK by 7 am. what time should we leave the hotel to do the same trip in reverse?

4. depending on how heavy our bags are for our return trip, we may want to catch a shuttle to the airport instead. any recos on a shuttle to JFK?

thanks so much in advance!!

lilaki
lilaki is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 06:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
From JFK you take the Airtrain ($5) to the "E" train ($2.25) and you get off at the first stop in Manhttan, Lexington Ave and 53rd Street, two short blockd from the hotel.

You can buy a metrocard at all subway stops but not on buses, the machines accept cash, debit and credit cards.

Whole trip will take 45 minutes to one hour.

The shuttles from JFK are excellent if you are spenfing a month in the city.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 07:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Personally for the early Dec 23rd flight, I'd arrange a car service - Carmel or Dial 7 (both have 800# or can be booked online) - straight out to JFK. It's a flat rate, believe $45 + tip/tolls (if driver takes 59th St. bridge, no toll; if takes Midtown Tunnel then a toll).

At that very early hour of the morning, needing to be at airport 1-2/hrs ahead of flight (whether domestic or int'l), should take 30/min from your hotel. You're going east against traffic. Even hailing a taxi should be easy and quick, though on the meter + tolls/tips.
sandi is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 07:17 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,032
Taxis to and from JFk are also a flat rate of $45 plus tip and tolls.
williamscb13 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 07:29 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi all,

thanks for the advice.

sandi/williams ... are you recommending taxi/car service from a time perspective? i.e. it will be faster than subway/airtrain at 6 am on a wednesday?

i'd like to do things as cheap as possible ... hence my preference for the subway/airtrain. if we're loaded down with bags, then maybe we'll take a shuttle.

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 08:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
For an early morning departure I would definitely take a car service rather than public transit. For a 7 am flight you should be AT the airport at 5:30 at the latest (check with your airline - but I've seen security lines that take almost an hour that early - since much of the staff isn;t in yet) which would mean that you would have to leave your hotel around 4 am (trains don;t run very often in the middle of the night and you might have to wait on the platform for 20 or 25 minutes for one to turn up - versus 5 minutes in the middle of the day).

You can organize a shuttle - but it won;t bezmuch less than a car service for 2 people. Whatever you do do NOT use SuperShuttle, which has a reputation for not turning up/turning up very late and making passengers miss their flights.

For car service go to the web sites of Dial 7 or Carmel and check put the coupons and special offers.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 08:26 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi all,

sorry for the confusion ... our flight is at 10 am. we need to BE at JFK by 7 am (as per our airline).

if we were to take the subway/airtrain, how much time should we budget?
lilaki is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 09:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,188
FYI, if you travel by subway, there's no way you'll make thsi trip in 45 minutes. The E train alone takes 45 minutes. This is going to be an hour or more.

Unless you are flying internationally, you do NOT need to be at JFK 3 hours before your flight. If you are checking a bag 90 minutes is sufficient (2 hours if you are a really nervous traveler). Unless you are flying internationally, you need to be at the airport at 8:30. Leaving the hotel at 7:30 should be sufficient.

But at that time of the morning, it's impractical to take the subway for the reasons outlined above. You could check the Long Island Railroad schedule. You might be able to get a train to Jamaica at 7:30 and then hop on the Airtrain. That is practical and only costs about $4 more per person than the subway/Airtrain combo and cuts the travel time to about 40 minutes from over an hour.
doug_stallings is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 09:23 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
To play it safe i would leave 1.5 hours from leaving the hotel to arriving at JFK. Typically 3 hours is required for international flights only - and 2 hours for US flights. But- do listen to your airline - only they know how many agents they will have available to process passengers at any time. And security can take 15 minutes or 45 - depending on how many flights are going out at once.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 09:39 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi doug,

we're flying from/to toronto and our airline for this trip (LAN) has recommended 3 hours.

okay - so if i want to do the LIRR ... does that not mean i need to get to/from my hotel to/from penn station? via taxi?

i'm not sure if the extra costs + extra transfers required with a taxi (not to mention possibility of getting stuck in traffic) are worth it. but maybe i'm missing something?

for our arrival, we're not in a rush. we have no plans that evening ... so if the airtrain + subway option takes an extra 30 minutes, that's okay. and for the trip home, we can leave the hotel at 5:30 am...

am I missing something by ruling out the LIRR??

tks!
lilaki is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 01:17 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Again, at that hour, you're going against rush hour traffic coming into the City vs you'll be going in the opposite direction. If you're at hotel on Lexington Ave, to get to Penn Station have to go clear across town to 7th Avenue. Whether by train or taxi to Penn, with car service (or taxi) you can already be across the bridge (or thru the tunnel) and in Queens and half-way to JFK.

It's your choice.
sandi is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 05:06 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,189
Sorry, Doug, I think you are wrong to suggest the LIRR as a time-saving option. They will have to taxi from the east side to the west side to reach Penn Station. OR get on the very same E train headed in the opposite direction to get to Penn Station. I don't see any additional convenience to just walking two blocks to the subway and taking the E to Jamaica.

I don't think there will be that much of a problem taking the E train back to Jamaica--plenty of people are headed to work at that hour. I suspect you should allow an hour for the trip since it might be fewer trains so you may have some wait time. (I'm also wondering about the 3 hour ahead request by the airline, but that's another issue . . .)

The best part of your situation: You will have already made the Airtrain/subway trip into Manhattan, so you will have that experience to help you judge whether to do it again or just hail a taxi and splurge.
ellenem is online now  
Nov 27th, 2009, 05:53 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
hi ellenem...thanks for confirming my doubts about the LIRR. okay - we'll stick to the e train + airtrain. and if we've got heavy bags then we'll call for a car service or catch a cab.

thanks all for your input!
lilaki is offline  
Nov 27th, 2009, 06:14 PM
  #14  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,347
Keep in mind Wed 12/23 is one of the busiest travel days of the year. Security lines are made worse by families traveling with packages. Two days before Christmas is not the day to cut things close at the airport.
J62 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 03:00 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 567
One comment about your metrocard... your 7 day metrocard will not work for the airtrain fare. You will need to buy an additional metrocard with a fixed value in order to exit the airtrain system. The fare is $5 for each entry or exit from the airtrain.
gb944 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 11:41 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 651
j62 ... thanks for the reminder.

gb944 ... i'm planning to use the metrocard for the subway only. i.e. take the airtrain ($5) to jamaica station. buy a seven day pass at jamaica station and hop on the e train. if we end up taking the train back to JFK, then we'll use the metrocard for the E train and then pay $5 to get on the airtrain back to JFK. does that make sense?
lilaki is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 11:51 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,189
lilaki--you are correct.

(and your MetroCard will also work for a city bus.)
ellenem is online now  
Nov 28th, 2009, 12:05 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
Coming in late I think all the decisions you've made are good ones. If you can print out your boarding passes the day before your flight, that's one less thing to worry about. If your luggage has gotten too heavy to deal with the stairs for the subway, you can consider the shuttle bus from Grand Central for $15/person but it's a 10 block walk or cab and you'll have to leave quite early. http://www.nyairportservice.com/page.php?id=61
mclaurie is offline  
Nov 28th, 2009, 12:11 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,715
I just noticed you were questioning the E train for your trips and I still think it's the way to go given the location of your hotel. It makes a big difference that Buffalogirl is staying right near Penn station whereas you are not.
mclaurie is offline  
Nov 29th, 2009, 08:11 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
A lot depends on your luggage. to do either the E train or the LIRR you have to be able to carry your luggage up and down a couple of flights of steps easily. If you have more luggage than that I would do either a cab or the shuttle bus to Grand Central.
nytraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:40 PM.