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Our AirTrain Experience

Manchester
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373 posts
30 reviews
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Our AirTrain Experience

All,

After reading all the idiots guides to the JFK Air Train I still managed to get confused. As I seem to be a new breed of idiot I thought I would list how I used the AirtTain and hopefully it will help others,

After collecting luggage follow the signs for the AirTrain, once at the station look at the TVs above the doors. Each AirTrain either goes to Jamaica Station or Howards Beach, the TV above the doors tells you what is next. You don't pickup a ticket or pay anything before you get on the train.

We caught the train to Jamaica Station, once you get off the train you will notice the barriers, you need to buy a ticket to exit. There are lots of machines just before the barriers. This is where our first mistake came, we thought you could buy a MetroCard, top up $5 for the AirTrain and also add the 7 day metro to the pass. It turns out you can only add value to the card from these machines so if you are just paying as your go on the Subway you are OK.

After a lot of messing around we asked a helpful employee who explained that we can not add unlimited ride passes to the MetroCard purchased from those machines and that we need to top-up downstairs at the MetroStation. So we purchased 2 cards at $6 each ($1 new card fee and $5 for AirTrain fare).

We walked downstairs to the Metro station and made our second mistake and inserted our newly purchased cards from up stairs and found we could not add unlimited rides. It turns out we had to buy another MetroCard for the subway so we ended up with 2 cards each. Its no problem as we used the AirTrain one on the way back.

Just thought I would let everyone know so you are not going round in circles on the Metro machines looking for the 7 day pass option.

Have fun everyone.

staten island
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1,919 posts
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1. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

Good info. Thanks!

Whittlesey, United...
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683 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

Thank you for this, I had planned to try and add value and time to ours at Jamaica, very helpful to know in advance that we will need two separate cards.

Manchester
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373 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

From what I understand you can add value to a AirTrain metro card for use on the subway. So you can add $10 and use that as you at $2.50 per trip but you cannot add the unlimited trips to an AirTrain metro card such as the 7 day pass.

Liverpool
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
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34 reviews
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4. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

out of interest where were you heading to

just booked a NY trip and looking into transfers etc from JFK via Howard Beach (I think this is the best option)

I'm just trying to figure out the best way to get to our hotel (for 2 adults & 1 child)

we are heading to Holiday Inn Express Wall Street

Edited: 16 October 2013, 22:59
NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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35 reviews
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5. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

If you are planning on buying an unlimited metro card ( and thus unable to use the one you bought at Airtrain) There is no reason not to put $10 on the card--$5 per person and this way you are only paying the $1 card fee--once there and then again when you get the weekly!

Durham, United...
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228 reviews
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6. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

Get the Air Train from JFK to Howard Beach , Then get the A Train , stay on that to Fulton street station , your hotel is near by , there are plenty of Subway staff at Howard Beach & at JFK if you have any questions.

Yalesville...
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7. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

See, when I see questions about AirTrain - my suggestions of taking a taxi really are relevant here.....

No hassles, door to door service - especially after a long flight over the 'pond'.......

Edited: 17 October 2013, 19:34
Manchester
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373 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

We were going to to a taxi but we felt OK after the flight and we would have been a little early to checkin. At the time we probably felt it was not worth it but 2 days later in Century 21 my wife seemed very happy spending her cab fare on a nice cardigan!

Liverpool
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
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34 reviews
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9. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

Peter L,

Get the Air Train from JFK to Howard Beach , Then get the A Train , stay on that to Fulton street station , your hotel is near by , there are plenty of Subway staff at Howard Beach & at JFK if you have any questions.

Thanks, That was one of the routes I had found on google map directions, as well as another that involved changing, with I didn't fancy

any idea of costs etc ??

for 2 adults & 1 Child (age 16)

btw,

all being well we arrive at JFK at 4:00pm, obviously then we need to clear immigration checks etc

Thanks

New York NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
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10. Re: Our AirTrain Experience

You can share a JFK AirTrain MetroCard among up to four people.

Unless they've changed things, they'll usually allow you to pay the $5.00 to exit the JFK AirTrain without "purchasing" a MetroCard for $1.00

This is not the first time I have heard about some difficulty using a MetroCard purchased within the confines of the JFK AirTrain for use as a NYC subway *unlimited ride* MetroCard. Pay-per-ride is no problem but somehow turning a JFK AirTrain purchased MetroCard into a NYC subway / bus "unlimited ride" may be a problem - but the people in the booth should be able to swap it out for you for free (if they're not having a bad day).