Airport Travel, New York City
Note that you can use the metrocard to the airport. You just need to top it up at the interchange between the subway line and the airport line. There will be people at the interchange who claim you cannot do this and ask for the card-it is a scam. The metrocard itself expires after a year an is worth a dollar.
So you have just flown into JFK. from either europe, Canada, Mexico wherever. You want to get to your hotel, home, hostel fast. So what do some people do
BLOW $50 ON A CAB to manhattan
Or from Manhattan to JFK
Its not worth it
Unique Suggestions: I just hope your a rich person that can afford to blow $50 on a taxi
Fun Alternatives: Simply go up stairs & board the airtrain.
The airtrain goes throught the terminals before heading out to Jamacia queens where you pay the guy $5 for an exit card
You can then catch a long island train from there or Get a Subway J Z E A Train to manhattan.
Its very slow on weekends so if you have to be at JFK by a certain time. Leave home early
In general not expensive - there are yellow cabs that have a meter and gray ones that you can negotiate the price with. Be sure to know the price in advance.
The 'trap' part of it all is that unlike London or other cities, taxi drivers in New York often do not know the city by heart - except for Manhattan, where orientation is easy, in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, you need to be armed with a map and directions, otherwise you can easily find yourself going even further away from your aim than the place you were when you started.
Besides, do not expect the taxi driver to take responsibility of having misled you - if you are too impatient, they can pull out the car at the next corner and simply tell you "i finished work for today"...
If you arrive at New York by flying into the JFK airport, you will need to find a way to get to the city as it is still about a 30-min. drive. When we arrived here, there were men of latin-american descent claiming to be cab drivers and offered to drive us to the city for $55. (Which is a reasonable price, its about the same you would pay to a shuttle or for a legal taxi ride.)
When we got to his vehicle, we realized it was his personal car and he was just simply driving passengers to NYC as a side job to earn some extra income - this is illegal, and apparently if you are caught using this service, you will be charged as well as the driver! So be careful.. we didn't get caught, but if we had there probably would have been a nasty fine.
Fun Alternatives: Say no to the drivers who are pressuring you to ride with them, and head outside the glass doors that you will see when you get there. There will be several taxi cars and vans lined up and they will charge about the same amount as the illegal drivers.
Beware of a young Egyptian man in a suit when you try to get transport from JFK-airport into Manhattan! My daughter and I were approached by him when we were trying to figure out a way to get to our hotel. He looked and behaved like an official. We were tired and jetlagged and I think that's why he managed to persuade us to climb into his smelly dirty minivan. He told us that the Yellow Cabs were only going to Brooklyn and Staten Island and not into Manhattan. He drove like a maniac and charged us about 85 $ and became very hostile when he realized that we had figured out that he had ripped us off. I got really scared and I am a middle-aged and very experienced traveller. In the end I was just relieved that we arrived safely at our hotel and took it as yet another learning experience!
Unique Suggestions: Always, always ask the "taxi" for a license! If the driver can't present one, wait for another one! Rather stick to the official "Yellow Cabs"!
As everywhere, also here there are scams trying to get you into a small bus or cabride for more than you need to pay. Essentially these people who look offocial and usually hang around at the entrance/exit of the terminal and information area's for transport, arrange transport for you and take some of the money, while there is no need at all to arrange anything. Besides being more expensive, this is illegal as well.
Fun Alternatives: Usually there's a transportation information center with people who will help you with transport, always ask here for transport, don't let somebody address you for transportation in the terminal itself. If you need a cab, a servant will get you one outside at the taxi stands.
When taking a cab from JFK to hotels in Mid-Manhattan, make sure you pay only the flat fare of $45.00USD. We paid over $70.00 with a tip...we wondered why the cabbie was so happy?
Unique Suggestions: Always ask how much the fare will be so you are not surprised.
Fun Alternatives: I had never been on a subway before. There is one from JFK to our hotel area. It is only $2.00USD one way. Next time I'll take the subway. It is a whole other world down there and I loved it. New Yorkers are so friendly and helpful. There even was a Jazz band playing music on the platform. I could of hung out there forever!
When arriving at airports in NY be sure to avoid so called 'taxi drivers' that don't drive the Yellow cabs. I got one from JFK to Times Square and the driver charged me $120, I verbally abused him as it was ridiculous and he settled for less but not by much. But it was brave of him over charging a five foot 1 female!
And generally anyone in New York who is over friendly wants something from you. The people there are rude so expect nothing else.
It is a great place and I'd love to go back but i have very little to say for the people living there and their authorities who allow these money grabbers to forcefully take people into the city and rip them off.!!!
There are people that stand outside the doors saying if "You need a taxi" or "Where are you going" or "Need a car". They drive the back limo cars. These people overcharge and they are breaking the law. There are no id's on the drivers or on the cars or company names.
There are a few private cars similar to the black private ones that have id's & company names.
But to be on the safe side use the Yellow Taxi Cab. Safety comes first.
Unique Suggestions: When you leave the airport ask a police officer or airport personal where you can take the Yellow Taxi Cab. There is a booth where a person gets you a cab with your destination on a yellow broucher. The cars are always lined up ready for passengers. Yellow Taxi Cab are cheaper and safer. They have id's on the cars.
Fun Alternatives: There is also train & bus service from JFK & LGA aiports
On arrival at the airport after a 5 hour delay, a gentleman with offical New York licensed taxi tickets showed us our driver at the front door. He turned out to be a tout, and his car had no taxi plates at all.
Tourist traps – sure there are a few. I have not heard that much about it though lately but I remember a few things.
Don’t bother in waiting on line to walk up the Statue of Liberty; it’s definitely not worth it. In high season, which is almost all year around in NYC, you will wait up to 3 hours to finally have 2 minutes up there from where you basically can’t see anything anyway.
Don’t buy any movies on the street. Yes, many of them are not even in the theaters, but believe me the copy is so grapy and not even worth the 5 bucks.
Don’t believe in signs saying “Sale” or “Season Finale Sale” etc, it’s all a joke and the signs are there 12 months a year.
Don’t buy baseball or basketball tickets on the street from strangers, many are counterfeits and won’t bring you to the game.
Many museums are subsidized by the government and therefore are not permitted to charge for entrance. What they call out at the box offices are “suggestions”. Often they suggest 20 dollars for adults, which is ridiculous. You do not have to pay it and can donate even only a penny and they must give you a ticket at let you pass. No joke. Federal museums are for example the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Natural History, and many more. Check out what the sign says above the box office.
There is a flat rate for taxis from/to the local airports. Tell the driver you want to go by flat rate otherwise he may switch on the meter and you end up paying double price. Flat rate does not include bridge or tunnel toll. If you come from JFK or La Guardia ask the driver to take Queens Borough Bridge rather than Tri Borough or the Midtown Tunnel. Queens Borough belongs to the city and is toll-free while the tunnels and Tri Borough are owned privately and therefore ask for toll.
Arriving on the airport, do not take one of the private taxis or limousines that may be offered to you. First of all they are not cheaper, second the limousine is a Van and not what you may think it is and third you may end up sharing the car with a few other people and will be crossing the entire city 3 times before you get to your hotel.
When you arrive to NY by plane you must take the bus or a taxi in the airport to go to the city. If you take a taxi be care. There is people that put a cap like a taxi driver but they aren´t and they cash you that they want (very very expensive and moreover they demand you a tip)
Take a cab and remained bottled in the traffic, always overestimate transfer times...
This picture from above shows and incredible queue of yellow taxis queued.