JFK AirTrain Disruption: What You Need to Know

by joeheg

If you haven’t noticed, much is happening at JFK Airport. Not to be outdone by the updates to nearby LaGuardia Airport, JFK is amidst an 18 billion dollar renovation. A large part of that is the creation of a new Terminal One, which will replace the previous Terminals One, Two, and the already demolished Terminal Three.

While this $9.5 Billion project will undoubtedly be a boon to JFK when it eventually opens, significant issues will impact operations, mainly with the JFK AirTrain.

Previously, the AirTrain serviced all of the terminals, along with additional service to Jamaica and Howard Beach stations to meet with the Subway and LIRR.

a map of a train

However, now that Terminal 2 has been demolished to make way for the new Terminal One, the AirTrain no longer visits the terminal. Instead, it takes a one-way route from Terminals 8, 7, 5 and 4.

Passengers traveling to or from Terminal 1 must take the AirTrain to the Terminal 8 station and transfer to a different AirTrain.

a screen with a map and text

The new Terminal One facility will open in stages but is not expected to be completed until 2030. Until then, passengers on the JFK AirTrain should plan for significant delays in getting to the current Terminal 1 or the sections of the new terminal when it opens.

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Joey January 8, 2024 - 6:38 pm

For those who need to go to Terminal 1, they’ll have to get off at Terminal 8, and then transfer to a shuttle bus (not another AirTrain.) If you have luggages, there will be a wait for the elevator. I only travelled with a backpack so I was able to use the stairs/escalators no problem.
I did this back in October when I traveled on Air France and it added another 20 minutes to the journey.
If you have multiple check-in luggages, my suggestion is to take an Uber/Lyft/taxi.

derek January 8, 2024 - 9:21 pm

Very confusing. It seems the old map, shown in the article, no longer applies. Instead, there are trains from Howard Beach or Jamaica that goes to Terminal 8, then Terminal 7, then Terminal 5, then Terminal 4, which is the reverse of what it used to be. There is then a separate train between Terminal 8 and Terminal 1.

Previously, to have a bird’s eye view of the terminals, it was possible to get on the Air Train and make a complete loop between the terminals but skip Jamaica, Howard Beach, and Lefferts Blvd. but this is no longer possible. That makes looking around the airport slower.

iosaac January 8, 2024 - 9:42 pm

Hey it beats having to go to T8 and then go outside and wait for a shuttle bus to/from T1.

Also the Howard Beach AT has been running only from HB to Federal Circle where you then have to go upstairs and catch the Jamaica AT to get to T8,7,5,4 Back to HB you need to get off at FC and switch for the HB train


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