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JFk - what to do on 10 hr. layover?

Okay, I know this is a Europe forum/helpline, but I have a predicament of what to do at JFK between my early morning arrival (7:30) and the flight out on AerLingus (5:30 pm) for eventual arrival in Rome. Some of you well seasoned travelers who have connected flights in JFK must have some ideas other than my IPad, books & airport food & drink. I reviewed the airport map and found some ideas but really want some input from my helpline friends. Thanks all.

Posted by
732 posts

Michael, about how long do you think it would take me to get to Manhatten? Should I be worried about security getting back into JFK?

Posted by
125 posts

Two websites nycgo.com and nyc.gov have info on getting from/to the city; basically taxi $45 flat rate plus tip and tolls or AirTrain and connect to either the subway or Long Island Railroad (LIRR) or shuttle service to a hotel. There is also an express bus that runs from JFK to Grand Central Terminal where you can get the subway or walk around; GCT is mid-town and is a short walk to Times Square. Subway and bus info can be found at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) web site, mta.info I would allow an hour for the trip, more depending on the month, day of the week and the weather. Seems you have about five hours to see something, you should read a guide book for NYC and decide where you want to go and what you want to see.

Posted by
732 posts

Sounds all good and I will check out all the suggested links & websites. I have been to New York but it was many years ago; am a little concerned about getting turned around somehow &then being late for my flight.

Posted by
2788 posts

You expressed concern about getting turned around and being late for your flight. I agree; that would be foremost in my mind. I would stay at the airport and read your Rick Steves Rome guidebook. Less stress, no chance of missing your flight. That said, if you choose to go into the city, my pick for what to do would be to go directly to The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), at 11 W 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. It is my favorite museum in NYC; visited it every other weekend when I lived in Manhattan. The collection includes Van Gogh, Mondrian, Chagall, Rousseau, Picasso, Dali, Magritte, Miro, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Andrew Wyeth, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, Edward Hopper, Freda Kahlo, the sculptors Alexander Calder and Giacometti, and much more. World class collection. The museum is walking distance to the Empire State Building if you want to go up for a view from the top. It's also right off 5th avenue if you want to walk up and down that. Other museums in the city are fantastic also, but the Guggenheim, Whitney, and Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met") are north of midtown. Midtown is a very convenient location for you if you are coming in by train from the airport.

Posted by
9861 posts

I'd get a hotel room nearby, take a nap, watch a movie, shower, get decent meal before flying. If you have to spend $90 on taxis to and from Manhattan, plus admissions, might as well rent a room and relax like you would at home.

Posted by
2949 posts

ugh, JFK to Manhattan takes a long time and is expensive as others have noted. I've been stuck in major traffic in a cab. I hate using JFK for this reason. I'd just stay in the airport, sadly. It seems like a good opportunity to see a little bit of New York but between the cost, hassle, going back through security, you would only have a few hours and probably feel anxious about missing your flight the entire time.

Posted by
239 posts

We bought a one day pass for our airlines club when we had an eight hour layover there. More relaxing, more space, snacks and drinks, etc. But, I do like the hotel room idea too.

Posted by
8960 posts

That's why you should take the train into Manhattan:) In regards to club day passes, most airlines won't sell them to you unless you are flying with them that day. You'll need a boarding pass to prove it.

Posted by
3696 posts

I would never count on NY traffic to be dependable when it comes to planning time. I would probably also get a day pass for the airline lounge if you don't have a CC that will get you in for free... and I don't know about all of them, but many Delta World Clubs have showers as well, so you can eat, drink, relax, shower, nap and do whatever you need to fill up 10 hours.... also free internet in the clubs.

Posted by
732 posts

Well, I took advice and borrowed a NYC tour guide and have been studying up. Also searched out the Delta One Day Pass, since my flight is on Delta connecting with AerLingus to Rome. The One Day Pass still an option to me. The reason for the long layover is that I only had enough air miles for my domestic portion and it seemed the best deal. After contemplating, I believe there will be a good solid 5 hours to spend in the City. I'm still deciding since there is plenty of time - Sept. 2012 is my trip. Thinking of spending the time in mid-town Manhatten as suggested by others here on this thread. Times square, Rockefellar center -maybe Top of the Rock, Grand Central Station; pick up some fabulous food for my flight & then head back to JFK. Thanks for all the advice. Planning is fun, but it kind of consumes me for a while, then I put the planning aside and come back to it. Before I know it, the time for the trip arrives and excitement starts all over again. Linda

Posted by
2788 posts

I would skip Times Square. First of all, there's nothing to see there. It's overhyped by tour books, and I don't know why! No museums or landmark buildings. Just el cheapo electronics shops, large neon billboards and heavy traffic. Every tourist thinks they must go there, but it's a real waste of your time. Locals hate the place and avoid it. Nasty, dirty, with trash on the sidewalk. Hookers and various toughs hanging around. Ugh! Other parts of the city are, of course, not like that. The other places you have mentioned are relatively safe. But keep your eyes open. I used to work in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and there are plenty of restaurants located on the first floor of the buildings facing the skating rink where you might get your fabulous food to take back to the airport with you. Also, there is an underground mall (Accessed through the lobby of many of the Rockefeller Center buildings; one floor down) that has shops and restaurants.

Posted by
8960 posts

"Every tourist thinks they must go there, but it's a real waste of your time. Locals hate the place and avoid it. Nasty, dirty, with trash on the sidewalk. Hookers and various toughs hanging around. Ugh! Not sure when your last visit to Times Square was...but the hookers, garbage, and even the camera stores were forcibly removed from the area over 20 years ago. Since then the area has been completely "Disneyfied", and big-box retailed. A couple of years ago a big chunk of it was pedestrianized. The most offensive thing one will find on TQ these days is the world's largest Olive Garden, and a three story building selling nothing but M&Ms;)

Posted by
2788 posts

LOL! Thanks Michael for the update! Last time I had to travel through Times Square...1986. Sorry to give outdated information; that's just the way I remembered it. Very glad to hear the area got cleaned up. I've been to other parts of NYC recently, just not Times Square. The info I gave about Rockefeller Center restaurants is still good, because I was just there recently(within 6 months).

Posted by
1986 posts

it would depend on the dy of the week. In similar situations on a saturady, I got into NY and then walked up the streets near Central Park, good cafes and people watching; i have also used imilar time to visit the metroplitan Art Museum (name?) on the east side of Central park- some fascinating exhibits, they also have a cafe inside the Museum. Circle Island boat tour; walk through Central park.....

Posted by
732 posts

I may just tour Grand central Station and MOMA instead of my earlier plans. We' ll see. Thanks for all the ideas.

Posted by
2788 posts

Brian, You are referring to the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met") located at 5th Avenue and 82nd Street.

Posted by
1804 posts

Really suggest you only undertake this plan if you are comfortable with taking public transit to get from/to the airport. Traffic can be downright horrific some days and being stuck in a taxi or airport shuttle van trying to get back to JFK to catch an international flight would not be a great way to start your trip. Grand Central has lots of decent places to get a good meal, as does Midtown without resorting to eating at the world's biggest Olive Garden. And agree with Michael that Times Sq is completely safe and completely boring as there is nothing there you can't already visit in any suburban shopping mall across the US - it's all big box retail and chain restaurants that can afford the sky high rents. No hookers, porno shops and no street thugs (unless you consider those guys selling pirated DVDs off a card table to be thugs).

Posted by
732 posts

After reading about Times Square, it will probably be just a quick walk through as I am not a typical "shopper" - as I frequent second hand stores instead of dept stores. I am very comfortable using public transit. I get around my own area on public transit all the time. Have tried transit in San Francisco, Chicago, D.C. And Rome, to name a few. Oh, and I guess NYC in my teens. I relied on my cousins to know where to go since they lived on Long Island and would go to the city with their parents. Well, we got lost in the meat packing district and called my uncle to pick us up. Adventures in travel. Got to love it. It is all sounding so exciting. But my trip is too far away. That is why I am a Helpline junky. LOL

Posted by
1 posts

You are obviously leaving SEA on a late night flight. Unless you are of the lucky few who can sleep sitting up, I highly recommend getting a hotel room at JFK and be ready for another night of sitting on an airplane. Good luck with your trip!

Posted by
732 posts

I am still going back and forth with just chilling @ a lounge at Delta and enjoying some of NYC. Thanks for everyone's ideas and thoughts

Posted by
2788 posts

Linda, My vote would be to just chill @ the Delta lounge, as you said. Your flight out is at 5:30, so the absolute latest you'd need to leave NYC to get back to the airport would be 2:30 or 3:00. New York City is great, but honestly, I'd leave it for another time. Perhaps do a trip some time when NYC is the destination for your whole trip, and stay 5 or 6 days. There is A LOT to do there. You might be cutting it too close this time. Just my take on it.

Posted by
87 posts

Remember that Queens, the borough JFK is in, is also part of NY City and has things worth seeing, too. But you should be back at the airport by 3:30 or so. If you only do one thing, head to Katz Deli for the best sandwish you'll ever eat. It's a deservedly famous place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan: http://katzsdelicatessen.com/