New York's public transport system is relatively good and cheap, including buses and the subway. There are also the iconic and ever-present yellow cabs, although they are more expensive. Visitors should avoid unlicensed cabs, sometimes called gypsy or pirate cabs. One can use a combination of these or just get around on foot. Walking is often the best way to see the city. During rush hours, when buses and taxis are caught in gridlock and the subway is overcrowded, stretching the legs can be the quickest option. Usually, the most efficient way to get around is the 24-hour underground system, especially as most of Manhattan's sights are near subway stations. Like other massive cities, however, this can be extremely confusing at first. The bus system is simpler but slower, a good option for shorter distances or for travelling across town. Driving in New York is not recommended as traffic is heavy, drivers rude and aggressive, and parking both rare and exorbitant.
GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs (two flat parallel pins and a rounded pin) are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.
The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, especially all urban areas. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities and wifi is widely available.
Ground Transportation Information is available in the baggage claim/arrival areas of all terminals, providing information on buses, shared-ride vans, and limousines. The AirTrain links the airport to the subway, train, and bus system, which go to the city centre. SuperShuttle Manhattan is a 24-hour, shared, door-to-door service to anywhere between Battery Park and 227th, including all hotels. The service also reaches the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Go Airlink is another rideshare service, providing shuttles that travel between the airport and the city. Similarly, NYC Airporter is an express bus service that transports passengers from JFK to stations like Grand Central and Penn, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Car hire companies represented at all terminals include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Enterprise, National, and Payless. The AirTrain shuttles passengers between the terminals and the car rental offices.
Taxis are available in front of all six terminals, with the general journey time to Manhattan being around 40-60 minutes long. Excluding tolls, the flat fee to Manhattan is around $52, while other approximate fairs include Brooklyn $59-$64, Queens $28-$33, Staten Island $67-$79, and the Bronx $48-$68. A journey to La Guardia Airport may cost $34-$39, and Newark Airport $97-$102, with a $17.50 surcharge. Tipping is customary for good service. Only use taxis from the taxi dispatch booth and refuse offers from others.
Passengers can travel between JFK's six terminals for free on the AirTrain, with any travel beyond that incurring various costs.
All terminals have ATMs, bureaux de change, bars, restaurants, and a wide selection of shops. Travellers will be able to find most services in the terminals, including wifi, medical facilities, information counters, and shoe-shiners.
JFK has two types of parking. Long-term parking is four miles (6km) from the terminals and served by the free AirTrain. Passengers should allow 30 minutes to reach their terminal. The Central Terminal Area (CTA) parking is adjacent to the terminals and provides daily parking needs. Signs to the parking facilities are colour-coded to indicate their proximity to terminals. A cell phone lot waiting area is located near the airport's entrance for drivers to wait for disembarking passengers, reducing traffic congestion.
Wifi is available.