The John F. Kennedy International Airport or JFK is the 12th busiest airport in the world, handling over 45 million passengers in 2009. It is also the busiest international entry point in the United States, with over 20 million international travelers passing through in 2008. Finding a good JFK parking space is easy – if you know the options that are available to you.
The closest locations, of course, are the airport-run 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 terminal being serviced by its own parking facility. Parking here could be a bit expensive: $ 3 for the first half hour, $ 6 for up to 1 hour, $ 3 for each additional half hour (limited to $ 33 maximum each 24-hour period).
The long-term airport parking facility at Lefferts Blvd may be a more economic choice at $ 18 for the first 24 hours and $ 6 for each succeeding 8 hours after the first day. Nonetheless, for those traveling for a few days or a couple of weeks, the parking bill could easily pile up, it's a lot better to look for parking alternatives at off-airport locations.
Your next JFK parking option would be the privately-run 'off-airport' parking garages. There are several of these facilities conveniently located a few minutes from the airport like AirPark, Avistar, and SmartPark along Conduit Ave. These are top-notch facilities with very high online ratings by previous customers. If you're concerned about rates (and who should not be, these days), these garages are your best option. They offer both long-term and short-term parking, are serviced by shuttles running at 7-10 minutes interval, are fully equipped to assist handicapped travelers, and the best part, it costs way less to park in these locations than at the airport -run facilities.
My personal choice is the 'stay, park, and fly' JFK parking option provided by the nearby airport hotels. If you think about it, hotel parking is by far the most convenient and most cost-effective option. If you live 2 hours away from the airport and having to come in for a 6am early morning flight, you'll have to wake up at 2am to be at the airport at least an hour before your flight. If you check in to a nearby hotel, the night before, you'll have your full night sleep, and not board your flight drowsy with lack of sleep. And here's the best part: you pay for the room for a restful one-night stay, you'll get 7-10 days free parking at the hotel. The savings you¡¯re getting from the free parking is basically paying for your stay, plus you'll get full valet service, all conveniences thanks to the cutthroat competition these hotels are facing.
Each of these JFK parking options has its own advantages and drawbacks. It's up to you to decide what option works best for you. Just remember to plan ahead, and book your parking space well ahead of your scheduled departure. There are many things to worry about when your traveling, parking should not be one of those.