Excellent JFK Parking Options for New York Passengers

The AirTrain at JFK International Airport in New York City. Photo by Paul Lowry on Flickr.
Last year, more than 45 million travelers flew through John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), earning for it the title as the 12th busiest airport in the planet. With over 20 million international passengers arriving at the airport in 2008, JFK is also the top international entry point in the U.S. With so many people departing or landing at the airport, finding the best JFK parking can at times be difficult.

The most convenient parking spots, of course, are in the airport-operated central parking facilities. The JFK parking structures are color coded - Green parking (Terminals 1,2,3), Blue parking  (Terminal 4), Yellow parking (Terminals 5 & 6), Orange parking (Terminal 7), Red (Terminals 8 & 9) - each facility assigned to 1-3 airport terminals. Parking here could be a bit expensive: $3 for the first half hour, $6 for every 1 hour, $3 for each additional thirty minutes (up to $33 maximum each one full day period).

The airport long-term parking lot at Lefferts Blvd may be a more practical alternative at $18 for the first 24 hours and $6 for each succeeding 8 hours after the first day. However, for those traveling for a number of days or a couple of weeks, the parking costs could easily add up, it's more prudent to search into parking options at off-airport locations.

JFK Parking on Hubpages

Your next JFK parking alternative would be the privately-owned 'off-airport' parking lots and garages. There are a number of these facilities conveniently located a few miles away from the airport like AirPark, Avistar, and SmartPark on Conduit Ave. These are excellent establishments boasting positive reviews by previous patrons. If you're particular about parking costs (and who shouldn't be, in this economy), these garages are your best option. They provide both long-term and short-term parking, are serviced by shuttles running at 7-10 minutes interval, are fully equipped to take care of disabled travelers, and of course, it costs way less to park in these locations than at the airport-run facilities.

My personal alternative is the ’park, sleep, and fly’ JFK parking packages popular among the nearby airport hotels. If you look at it it, airport hotel parking is hands down the most comfortable and economical alternative. Imagine this, for example: you live 2 hours away from the airport and you need to be at the airport for a 6am early morning departure - you’ll most probably set the alarm for 2am to arrive at the airport at least 1 hour before your plane leaves. On the other hand, if you check in to any of the nearby hotels the night prior to your flight, you'll be well-rested, and not board your plane dizzy from being up so early. And here's the best part: you use the room for a comfortable one-night stay, you'll also have 7-10 days free parking at the hotel’s parking garage. The savings you're making from the free parking is practically paying for your stay, plus you'll be pampered with first class treatment service and other amenities thanks to the intense competition these hotels are up against.

Obviously, each of these JFK parking choices has its own advantages and drawbacks. Just select one that feels right based on your budget and the facility’s proximity to the airport . Don’t forget to do your homework early and book your parking space well ahead of your scheduled departure. There are plenty of things that can go awry when you’re traveling, JFK Airport parking need not be one of those.

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