Returning a car to JFK

Mar 22nd, 2007, 04:08 PM
  #1  
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Returning a car to JFK

At the end of our Manhattan stay in May and June, we'll be renting a car in the city and driving up to see clients for a few days in Marion, Mass. We then return it to JFK, arriving there on a Friday night as we have an 8:30 AM flight to London on Saturday. I've booked a free night at the Marriott Courtyard at JFK for Friday night.
Since we need to be at the airport no later than 6:30 AM, what do you think is the best plan? Should we return the car on Friday night and take either a taxi or shuttle to our hotel and back again in the morning? Or should we keep the car overnight and drop it in the morning about 6 AM and let Dollar take us to the terminal?
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Get rid of the car the night before when you have time. You don;t want to have to deal with anything extra in the am - when the airport is busy and security lines can be humongous.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:10 PM
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I guess that's what I've been thinking, but I'm not sure that getting a taxi or hotel shuttle from the Courtyard to the terminal is going to be less difficult than returning the car to Dollar. I did look at Trip advisor for the hotel and saw some comments about people waiting and waiting for the hotel shuttle and another about the hotel supposedly getting them a taxi, but none showed up. Most airports I've been to, I've never had a problem with the car rental agency getting me to the terminal immediately. I guess I was looking for someone to say the Dollar return is really easy or maybe it's difficult to get a taxi at the Courtyard in the morning.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:24 PM
  #4  
J62
 
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Returning a car at JFK is simple. There is a centralized rental car center (Federal Circle), from which you take a shuttle train to the terminals. Trains run every 5min, and it's <5min to terminal 1, and less than another 10 all the way around to AA Terminal 8/9.

Airport hotel shuttles also run to the same Federal Circle stop - they do not go directly to the terminals. So either way on Sat am you will drive from the hotel to the rental car center/hotel shuttle stop, either in the hotel van or in your rental car. The added time dropping off the rental car may just as likely be spent waiting for the hotel shuttle, so in my opinion the time factor is a non issue.

If it costs you no more to keep till Sat am, and the hotel does not charge for parking, then I say just keep the car.

If you wish to save $, then you can return the rental car and take shuttle back to hotel. You may wish to checkin first so you can just drop off the rental car without lugging bags around.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:30 PM
  #5  
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FYI, AA now allows international checkin at kiosks which can greatly speed up checkin - see www.aa.com for details. If your're flying BA or VA I don't know their policies.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:39 PM
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hmmm. Thanks for the additional information. There's no charge for keeping car the extra night, but Courtyard charges $20 plus tax for parking.

I'll have to think about this one for awhile -- at least I have plenty of time to think about it. I was thinking of keeping the car for the night so we could drive somewhere (God knows where, though) for dinner instead of being stuck at the Courtyard. Or I guess we could return the car after dinner (since we'd be without luggage anyway).
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:41 PM
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We're flying American -- and it's business class, so don't anticipate horrendous lines anyway -- or at least until we get to security.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 07:09 PM
  #8  
J62
 
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You also don't need to be at AA at 6:30am

From AA website:
"For international departures from a U.S. city, standard baggage acceptance cutoff time is 60 minutes." AA has good business class lines as well.

Unfortunately AA is still using the old terminal 8 for international flights, but security lines still aren't usually bad. Don't be alarmed by the crowds - they are for Caribbean flights, which have a separate checkin, security, and gates, altogether.

Checkin and security at the brand new terminal 9 is a breeze - not sure when international flights switch over to T9 though.
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Mar 22nd, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Interesting comment about the one hour. Also from the AA site:

"For international flights, we recommend you arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to departure to allow sufficient time to complete all necessary international requirements."

I do know that when we did this flight two summers ago, the taxi from midtown got us to JFK in no time, and we were through the lines and sitting in the Admiral's Club with what seemed like hours to spare.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Security lines can vary - based on all sorts of things. and on a Saturday am flight it will be mobbed with packs of tourists - most of whom take longer to do anything than business travelers who have the while proces down pat.

And you're supposed to get to the airport 2 hours before flight time - so you can check in luggage AT LEAST an hour beforehand (and IMHO the closer you cut ithe greater rtisk oflost luggage). If you're business that's better - but I've seen American have luggage check in lines that werre hundreds of people long at times.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Actually, if I remember the last time correctly, there were almost no lines because at 6:30 AM there are almost no European flights lining up for check in. I think there are only a couple of them for American at that hour -- no? As J62 says, the Caribbean flights are separate.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 11:03 AM
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According to flightstats.com the average wait times for security at terminal 8a and 8b at 6 a.m. is 6 minutes and the maximum at 8a is 8 minutes and the longest at 8b is 7 minutes.

I think you are fine. Don't forget, as long as your luggage makes it one the plane, it doesn't matter when you get through security, just that you get through before they close the boarding door.
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Mar 23rd, 2007, 11:04 AM
  #13  
GoTravel
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What about returning the car the night before an ordering a car for the trip to the airport?
 
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