Transportation to and from...
Are there any cheaper ways to get from JFK Airport to Midtown? From what I can see, it's $45 flat rate, plus tolls and tip. Or is it just worth it to save the hassle of the subways and light rail systems? Is there any other way that's not an arm and a leg?
Also, can anyone confirm to get back to JFK from Manhatten that it's more like $60-$65 metered?
According to gonyc.about.com (http://gonyc.about.com/od/gettinghere/gr/airtrainjfk.htm), the new Airtrain takes you from JFK to Penn station and it takes about 35 minutes costing you $7. I usually take subways and trains to and from airports when I can. The one thing reassuring about them (most of the time) is you know approximately how long it will take you to get to the airport whereas with taxis you're not sure as you could get stuck in traffic. If you're travelling with a lot of luggage, a taxi may be the way to go even if its more expensive.
I think the site also has a review of this service.
Thanks Lauralee, will check out the Airtrain.
Check the JFK airport website. They have a good description of "ground transportation". I have used the Newark airport website and shuttle to Grand Central ans if I remeber correctly it was $8 and a quick ride. I have heard JFK is similar.
The airTrain from JFK won't take you directly into Penn Station. You will have to make a connection at the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station "Jamaica". That's a MTA run train that will bring you into Penn Station; also on the weekend the ticket is just $3.25 because you don't leave the city limits.
A taxi is $45 flat rate from anywhere in Manhattan to JFK, and vise verse, but that doesn't include the tolls which are about $5 dollars nor the tip which you should leave anywhere from 15% to 20% just like at a restaurant. By far the most convenient way into and out of Manhattan to JFK is taking a taxi if you don't mind the traffic, which isn't all that bad with the exception of rush hour.
To take the subway into Downtown Manhattan you want to take the A train from "JFK/Howard Beach" towards downtown Manhattan. It takes about an hour, sometimes a little more, and always costs just $2. This is always the cheapest way to get into the city however, if you have a lot of bags or are completely wiped from a long flight the cab is just the best way to go.
Also under no circumstances should you ever hire a "black cab", these are normally Lincoln Town cars that are painted black and may try an offer you a ride to your destination. They are not allowed to pick up anyone from the street, but the sometimes do, and when they do it will be the most expensive cab ride of your life. Only hire medallion cabs, these are the classic yellow cab and will have "NYC TAXI" painted on the side.