Fastest way from JFK airport to Penn Station


What’s the fastest way to get from JFK airport to Penn Station in Manhattan? Please exclude taxis from the answers, as I am on a budget. Thanks!

AirTrain to Jamaica Station, then LIRR to Penn.

AirTrain costs something like $5, and the LIRR ride will be around $7.50.

If you want to spend even less, you can take the subway from Jamaica. The E train will take you to 34th & 8th (adjacent to Penn) but it’s a lot slower.

Thanks, I think the Air Train sounds good. I’m looking for speed, so I’ll grab the LIRR into Manhattan.

The AirTrain is fun. It drives itself. And one of these days it will develop a mind of its own. :eek:

The good and bad thing about the LIRR is that it runs on a schedule. Good because you have some certainty, but bad because it may be faster than the subway, but not if you have to wait 25 minutes for the train.

There’s a company that runs regular bus service between Manhattan and JFK. Time from JFK to Penn Station is given on their website as one hour and thirty-five minutes. Time to Grand Central is one hour, which means that it might actually be faster to walk from Grand Central to Penn (depending on how much luggage you’re carrying, of course). The fare is $15.00.

Schedule and other details here:

Jamaica Station is one of the busiest stations outside of Penn, and you usually don’t have to wait 25 minutes for a train to Penn (all bets are off if you are landing after 10:00p).

If you’ve got anything larger than a small overnight, LIRR is best (though I see plenty of people rolling bags on my E train).

Are you OK from Penn to your final destination?

I’m taking a train to Baltimore. The only thing that concerns me is that airlines and Amtrak have different size restrictions for luggage. I’m not planning to check any luggage on Amtrak; I just hope I’m not hassled about luggage size.

I never understood the size differences, especially since Amtrak stops at Newark Airport. How do they expect international travelers to be able to ride the trains if they have larger luggage?

They don’t expect int’l travelers to ride the trains, for the most part. I roll my barely-fits-in-overhead bag onto the Acela and put it up top same as on planes. I’ve never had a problem with that.

At Jamaica, you’ll never have to wait more than 10 minutes; during the day rarely more than five. All the LIRR lines (except one) use it as their hub.

But I’ll have real luggage, and I’m fairly sure it won’t fit overhead.

My wife was taking a train from Baltimore to Newark Airport, where she was flying back to Israel. The Amtrak guy in the station said she could go down to the train and take her chances. “If the conductor sees you with all that luggage, he won’t let you on the train.” She was saved by the fact that a very dear friend drove her to the station - he put her and the luggage back into the car, and drove from Baltimore to Newark.

Ah. That’s good to know.

I had a bad experience at the US Open / Shea stop, where the LIRR was faster than the 7 train in theory but I had to wait 29 minutes for a train that ran every 30 minutes.

That’s on the Port Washington branch, the one line that doesn’t run through Jamaica.