JFK - Manhattan Taxi - what to expect?

For a foreigner (that’ll be me) arriving at JFK and needing to get to a hotel in Manhattan. I don’t want to tackle subways or the like as soon as I arrive - that’ll be even more confusing.

I presume there will be a row of taxis outside the airport, like every other airport in the world? Are there different types, anything I should be wary of?

What sort of price should I expect? How long is the journey? Do I need any extra US coins and the like on me for bridge tolls and whatnot, or is that part of the fare (I remember last time I did this - years ago - the driver asked for toll money at a booth and, having just arrived in the country, and spending nearly 5 minutes trying to decipher his New York accent [he was NOT trying to make it easy for a foreigh tourist) all I had was larger bills.

Plus, how much do I tip? Do I just automatically add that on to the fare at the end? Do I give it separately? What’s the custom?

This page should fill you in. Looks like there’s a flat fee of $45 plus tolls to Manhattan (you should be able to get to Manhattan without tolls, though). Tip 15-20% in addition to the fee.

There are also shuttles that will take you to Manhattan for less than a taxi. In that case, just make sure you have some cash to tip.

I’m afraid I don’t have your answer but but for this sort of info I would start with the Trip Advisor NYC forum. A quick check shows there is a separate pageabout getting to and from theairports.

Ask for a driver named Bah.

Yep - taxi stand outside. There’ll be a long line and yellow cabs. There will be other options, such as guys asking if you need a ride, a limo, or a car service. These are usually safe, but there are a few bad apples who will squeeze you if they can tell you’re a tourist, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Shuttle franchises are safe and some of the airports have kiosks where you can request to ride with the next one. Personally, I hate these, since they cram people in like sardines and they’re sometimes rough with luggage, but Chuck is right that they’ll be cheaper than a cab.

All the drivers use EZPass now, so you won’t need cash at the booth. (If you take the 59th Street Bridge [aka the Queensboro, or the Ed Koch, but no one calls it the Ed Koch], there won’t be a toll but the trip will be longer. No extra charge, just some mild inconvenience.) The meter will automatically add the price of any toll.

The easiest thing to do [and the only thing I’ve ever done] if you only have big bills is to hand the driver more and request a specific amount back. For example, if you owe 45, hand him three twenties and ask for, say, eight dollars back. That covers the cost of the trip plus a 15-16% tip and the driver will have change.

If the driver claims not to have change, he’s lying. If he claims not to take credit cards, he’s probably telling the truth.

Cool - so I should expect to pay $45 plus a $7 tip? That sounds easy enough!

If you take a cab this is correct. If you aren’t in a hurry you might go to the Super Shuttle desk and get them to take you to your hotel. It takes an extra 30-45 minutes in my experience but it is $13-$18 per person. If there are 2 of you it then becomes pretty cost efficient to take a cab but if you are there by yourself it would be much more affordable to take the shuttle.

I’ve only been to NYC once, but they all took cards. nyc.org seems to agree.


(For those who missed it, this refers to this thread.)

I’ve found that while I’d like to look out the windows at the sights, I’m much happier with my eyes closed so I don’t see impending death coming at me every two minutes or so.

Yeah, they’re all supposed to take cards, but I’ve been in enough cabs with broken machines to make it a habit to ask before I get in.

My experience with taxis in NYC is not that good. The English of the drivers is so marginal that trying to get anywhere other than the major hotels and landmarks is pretty tough. I’m sorry, but as a tourist I can’t really give the driver directions on how to get someplace. And even if I could my Croatian is rusty.

If you encounter a “Broken credit card machine” call 311 and report the license number.

Don’t pick up a cab at the airport from ANYWHERE but a manned taxistand. If you have a question, ask the dispatcher guy. Don’t get into any car but a regulation yellow one bearing the NYC logo and it’s rates printed on the door. Those guys at luggage pick up whispering for a ride? VERY illegal, and they prey exclusively on ignorant tourists as no New Yorker would dream of giving them the time of day. They charge double to triple a licensed cab right waiting outside the luggage pickup door!

Honestly, I know that you want to take a taxi, but I really think that the two trains to Midtown is simpler, cheaper ($7), and more environmentally responsible. It is only 60-65 minutes as well compared to 35(very optimistic) to 75 minutes depending on traffic.

The directions are backwards on this site but even google maps will give you the correct public transportation times (just not the rates) and just ask NYers about how to do things if you have questions. They are used to tourists and it is really easy. We had a four hour layover at JFK last month and made it to Columbia and Times Square with a half hour at each and 10 minutes in Central Park and back to the airport easily using the trains.

After a transatlantic flight (and friggin’ immigration), I think I’d rather just pay a little extra for the convenience of a cab; I won’t want to lug luggage around, learn a foreign subway system, or deal with any hassle. Get in a car, get out at the hotel, collapse - that’s the plan!

Sorry about that. It’s been a while since I tried to pay with a card. This was accurate a while ago, at least. :wink:

No kidding, but that doesn’t help you when the guy has already driven you to your destination and is waiting for his money. He’ll happily drive you to an ATM to get it, to be sure, but I find it’s just better all around if you ask before you get in whether or not the machine is working.

NYC taxi in August? What to expect? Stink…

I’ve not seen this in NYC (as I took subways rather than taxis when I’ve been there) but I have encountered “broken” credit-card machines in Chicago taxis, which are required by city ordinance to accept credit cards. When a taxi driver tells me as I present my credit card to pay that the machine is broken, and I tell him that I have no cash – holding up my open wallet so he sees I’m not lying – the cabbie says “I’ll try the machine again” and, lo and behold, it works now. :rolleyes: Haven’t had the machine “stay broken” yet. :stuck_out_tongue:

If I have (1) the need to take a cab in the first place (I’m in a hurry, or I’d be walking or taking a bus) and (2) sufficient cash to pay the fare, I wouldn’t be taking twice or more time to pay by credit. :smack:

This bears repeating, as I’ve told friends this before and they still ended up getting scammed. Wait in the taxi line, take a yellow taxi, and decline all invitations from anyone else offering a ride.

Plus tolls. I forget the exact amount for going to manhattan, but budget about $5 or so for it.