"The Air Train: No Pain, You Gain" Long Beach Things to Do Tip by gilabrand
Long Beach Things to Do: 4 reviews and 4 photos
Landing at JFK airport after a long flight is exciting, but it’s that last leg of the journey – getting to your actual destination – that can ruin your mood. Kennedy is a huge, chaotic place, with long lines everywhere. People run to and fro in a frantic, frazzled race to get where they’re going.
During my research on how to move from Point A to Point B - in my case, Long Beach, Long Island - these were some of the options I came up with: a helicopter ($159 and up), a taxi ($45 plus tolls and tip), a limo ($46 and up), a shared shuttle van ($19), an express bus ($15) – or the Airtrain for 5$ (plus another $6.50 for the train to Long Beach).
I had luggage to drag, but it was mid-day and the weather was nice, so I chose the Airtrain. I was pleasantly surprised at how painless the trip was. So if you need to get to Long Beach from the airport, here’s the lowdown:
Clear customs, pick up your bags, go up the escalator in the arrivals hall and board the Airtrain (you don’t pay until the end of the ride). At Jamaica Station, pay $5 at the Metrocard vending machine. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You won’t be the only dummy who has ever passed through. An attendant near the turnstiles saw we were clueless and came to the rescue.
If you are continuing to Long Island, now is the time to buy a LIRR (Long Island Railroad) ticket. Touch the screen with your finger and answer the questions (destination, number of tickets, peak or off-peak, etc.) We paid $6.50 apiece. We had no kids with us, but children under 5 ride free.
Go downstairs (use the elevator if you have luggage) and board the train. A collector will come around to check your ticket, so keep it handy. From here on, sit back and relax. The train glides along smoothly, no lurching or swaying or screeching, with all the stops clearly announced.
NOTE: The JFK Airtrain makes several stops along the way, and is free to reach other parts of the airport, the car park, etc. The $5 fee applies only if you stay on until Howard Beach or Jamaica Station.
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