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  1. #1
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    International connections thru JFK

    Hi! Not sure if this is the right section for this question. I'm wondering how much time to allow for international connections at JFK.

    I'm trying to sort out tickets for DD (18yrs) to fly into JFK from Singapore and then fly out to South America with her college class.

    I was worried since the flight out to South America is 2 January 6:30pm JFK.

    Would it be safe to have her fly in at 12pm on the same day? Or would it be best to have her arrive a day earlier?

    My DH thinks it's fine. I'm just a bit paranoid about missing flights.


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  2. #2
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    Rule is to be 3 hours early for international flights. I would go a Day early. You never know if flights will be delayed and getting through customs can take awhile a JFK.

  3. #3
    Forum Member BigBadD's Avatar
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    I presume that the incoming flight (individual booking?) and outgoing flight (with college class so probably group booking?) are not on the same airline booking/ticket, which would have offered some protection and airline responsibility if delays and missed connection.

    The times mentioned should in majority of normal situations be more than adequate. The risk though is not really the connecting time in JFK, but the risk of delay or even other causes for missing the flight from Singapore. If flying in a day earlier is a realistic option and gives peace of mind, then may well be worth doing it. Allowing for a margin of one later incoming flight to be available to make the connection is not a bad idea, if feasible.

  4. #4
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    My daughter had a similar flight schedule a couple years ago. Leaving JFK around dinner time to Spain with a study abroad group, but coming in from another state (so not having to go through customs on that arriving flight). We opted to do the come a day ahead option for peace of mind and some down time before the long second flight.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    Thanks for your thoughts!

    More info:. She would be coming on an individual ticket and flying out with a group booking.

    Luckily she has Global entry so she shouldn't get caught up in immigration.

    The flight into JFK stops in Hong Kong with a 2 hour layover.

    I always would rather be at the airport early. But JFK has no hotels in the actual airport so going a day early would mean a hotel outside and the added necessary schlep to and fro.


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  6. #6
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    I usually fly out of JFK and not use it as a connection, but I have connected through Chicago and Dallas with connection windows as tight as 1 1/2 hours. If she has Global Entry, 6 1/2 hours of gap should be more than enough time. Customs will be expedited, and she can use the TSA Pre line to re-enter the terminal if she is moving to a different terminal and needs to take the Air Train. Not having everything on a single ticketed journey really only adds a step if she has checked bags, as she will need to go back to the departure gate ticket counter and get her bag checked. I would think it's 30 mins for the taxi to the gate, 1 hour for her to get bags and go through customs, 1 hour to transfer terminals and re-check in bags, 30 min to go through security again for the flight to South America. This is a cumulative 3 hours, so 6 1/2 hours will be more than enough time unless something really strange happens. I think the greatest risk is one leg of the flights being cancelled versus not making the connection.

    BTW, there is a TWA Hotel now at JFK. If looks really interesting. Also, the Air Train connects to the subway at Jamaica station and the total journey into Manhattan is about 1 hour. Manhattan hotels are extremely expensive, though.

    https://www.twahotel.com/

  7. #7
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    January 2, one of the busiest flying day in the U.S and winter weather means delays in JFK.

    The one day buffer is very smart. Budget money for a proper taxi from the hotel to JFK, NY is a maze under the best of circumstances, and you do not want her to be driven by someone who just got into the app rides gigs, to pay for their holidays expenses, taking multiple detours to find his way on the icy roads, full of grumpy drivers.

    Book the one day early flight for the best price, for JFK then, almost immediately, check the online ratings of the hotels in the vicinity of JFK, check travel forums as well, they will tell you which of the property has bed bugs, bad service, etc...

    Below is the link from FlyerTalk a forum for frequent flyers, hotel reward members. Because they travel so much, they have a lot of experience with all the aspect of travel and don't mince their words, when criticism are warranted.
    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/new-york-city-465/

    It is essential that you book her stay with the hotel website.

    Booking sites will charge you for a room in an already sold out hotel, they can escape liability because "hotels overbook", but in major U.S cities, hotels are always busy.
    Once, in the middle of April, in Washington DC, I witnessed many people who had reserved and paid for a room with online booking services, not registered on the hotel website scrambling to find other accommodations, on the phone, in the hotel lobby.

    She won't be able to find anything on January 2, when people from all the world, are still partying or recovering from their fun filled New York's New Year.

    Let us know about those travel plans progress and if she needs packing advice.

  8. #8
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    As someone who books a lot of separate tickets, I'd err on the side of arriving a day earlier, unless you're willing to pay to replace the ticket to South America last minute. Sometimes, it's less expensive than one fears, though, so maybe a perfectly fine option. This applies, especially, if the incoming flight is on AA (due to poor operational reliability), although if both the incoming and outgoing are OneWorld, AA at least usually protects missed separate tickets. Or, if there is travel insurance that covers separate tickets (most don't, I think, but I haven't searched all that much), that would be an option.

    There is a new JFK hotel: the TWA Hotel. It's not cheap, and is still having some teething pains, service-wise, but is there. Otherwise, if traveling light, I'd take the subway and stay someplace more central and close to the A train (because no reason to add more transfers or walking if you're taking the subway and just staying a single night.)

    Under no circumstances should she take the Super Shuttle (this applies to every person visiting New York ever: NEVER take the Super Shuttle). If she has a fair amount of luggage, then the flat rate ($55?) in a cab is something one should just factor into the budget.

    And, d'oh, I realize @NClens already mentioned the TWA Hotel. Oops.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    That's great about the TWA hotel at JFK! I hadn't realized it was open!

    Unfortunately it says that you have to be 21 in order to check in. DD will only be 19 at the time of check in. Since check in is supposed to be automated I wonder if they will really check this?

    I'm trying not to be a helicopter parent but I'm worried that she will leave it too late to make these arrangements (it's already too late for some airlines ).

    She should be flying in on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong terminal 8. The flight to Buenos Aires is American airlines to Miami with a connection to Buenos Aires. Not sure what terminal that leaves from since the flight number does not match the route yet.

    I'm still poring over the flyer talk site. There is a lot of info there!

    Thank you all!


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  10. #10
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    Relax. There are many hotels located near JFK. I have stayed in many the latest being two nights ago. They all offer free shuttles to and from the airport.

    They pick up at Federal Circle (where all hotel shuttle and rental car agencies are located) but drop off at the terminals. I suggest either the Courtyard, Hilton, Hampton or Crowne Plaza.

    To get to Federal Circle she takes the free Airtrain from her arrival terminal.

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    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  11. #11
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    American Airlines also operates from terminal 8.

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  12. #12
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    American Airlines also operates from terminal 8.

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    So if it were you, and I ask because I've seen your many posts about flying, would you fly into JFK arriving 12:10pm from HKG (Cathay) and then fly out of JFK at 6:30pm (American) on the same day? Jan 2 is the day.

    I've called several of the hotels around JFK and all have a minimum age of 21 which means DD cannot book/check-in. Exceptions: Best Western said to write in. Hilton garden inn said to call back and speak to the manager.


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  13. #13
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    Personally, considering the length of each flight, I would go to hotel and rest for 24 hours. But I'm a bit older than your daughter.

    The Hilton Garden Inn is fine. Explain to the manager your daughter just wants to rest between flights and give your itinerary.

    Where are the other members of her college coming in from? Where is the college? Have they made any arrangements for hotels for other students flying in?




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    Last edited by Frank II; 09-21-2019 at 08:10 PM.
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  14. #14
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    I have nearly 2mm flight miles on American and have been to Terminal 8 many times because I live in NY and have flown on Cathay from Terminal 8 to Hong Kong. The terminal is large but easy to navigate, unlike Terminal 1 which is like a zoo.

    Personally, I donít think coming in a day early into JFK is necessary. The Hong Kong flight probably leaves in the morning to get to JFK by noon. Morning flights tend to not get cancelled, particularly if they originate at a major hub for the airline, which Hong Kong is for Cathay. Also, the only airline that flies direct from Hong Kong to JFK is Cathay. If something bad happens, like Cathay pilots go on strike, there is no alternative and you wonít solve the issue by flying the same airline a day earlier.

    Does your daughter have status on American (platinum or above) or Oneworld (sapphire or above)? If so, she can use the Admirals Club, which has private showers in individual rooms and is relatively large. If she is executive platinum or emerald, she can use the Flagship Lounge which is more lush.

    If you do decide to have her fly in a day early, she is going to have a lot of time and might as well stay in Manhattan. I believe the 21 requirement is a legal one due to hotels having mini bars in the room. I havenít looked but I bet there are hotels in the city that either donít have mini bars or will empty them if someone over 18 but under 21 is staying. You can probably do a web search.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your input! I'm not sure how to thank you individually here as I'm pretty new to Tapatalk. International connections thru JFK

    DD has opted to do it all in one go : same day JFK arrival and departure. She has a 4 hour layover in Hong Kong so she is unlikely to miss her connection. The HKG -JFK leaves at 9 in the morning so hopefully the equipment should be on the ground already.

    The school has left it to the students (12 pax) to get to JFK by 4:30.

    Very good to know that Hilton garden inn is flexible about these things! Need to file that away for 3 more years.

    When talking to the front desk of these hotels it seems the issue is actually the mini bar. Also if there is an emergency stranding at the airport it seems most hotels will accommodate.

    It's funny this generation. DD doesn't have status on any airline yet but she calls the lounges "bougie" (short for bourgeois) and would avoid them anyway. International connections thru JFK


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