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Here’s How Early You Should Get To JFK Airport and Why

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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Folks flying out of JFK will need to know the best time to get to this busy airport on time. Here’s the thing – if you reach JFK too late, you could miss your flight. And if you get to the airport too early, you will waste time and get super bored.

Now, when should you reach JFK? Many factors will explain this, including the weather, your flight schedule, and your JFK parking spot. (You’ll save time if you’ve booked your JFK Airport parking in advance). It would help you a lot if you considered all of these when arranging your arrival.

JFK Airport parking

Best time to get to JFK for a domestic flight

If you are flying to another city within the country, we recommend that you arrive at least two hours in advance. What you want to do here is allow adequate time for check-in and luggage processing.

If you travel often, you’d have noticed that a lot of folks lose their time waiting in airport security lines. That’s because checking in involves going through systems and processes. All of this needs to be done before you can board a flight.

Pro tip: If you don’t want to squander time in JFK airport security lines, you should check JFK TSA wait times on Way.com.  This will help you determine how long it will take you to get there.

Best time to get to JFK for international flights

If you are flying to another country from JFK, we recommend that you get to the airport at least 3 hours before your flight. You need to arrive earlier than you would for a domestic flight because international travel from JFK has more checks and processes.

How long does it take to get through JFK airport?

The average security wait time at JFK is 16 minutes, according to Upgraded Points. Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon are good days for JFK airport security lines. The worst security queues at JFK are on Fridays between 2–3 p.m., when you may have to wait up to 35 minutes. A quick check online on current TSA wait times at JFK will show you exact wait times.

Is 2 hours enough time to get through customs at JFK?

Yes, it is. Customs does not take a long time at JFK, and if you comply with regulations, you should be done in 10-15 minutes. However, immigration does take an hour at least, so you must factor that in.

Is 1 hour enough layover time in JFK?

Not if you have a connecting flight to catch. Especially if the connecting flight is from a different terminal. Make sure you have enough time if you have a connecting flight from JFK. Allow 2–3 hours for connections from domestic (US or Canada) flights to other domestic (US or Canada) destinations; 3–4 hours for transfers from domestic to international destinations; 3–5 hours for international to domestic; and 3–6 hours for international to international.

How long does it take to get through New York airports?

New York Airport Average Wait Time
JFK Airport 16 minutes
LaGuardia Airport 17 minutes
Newark Airport 23 minutes

JFK parking


Check out more blogs on the best parking spots in your city, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you. 


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