For those who have never been to New York City, the idea of hailing a cab may seem intimidating as images of Hollywood depictions of this situation come to mind, complete with traffic whizzing by at high speeds. Reality is quite a bit simpler when you fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport, as all you need to do is find the line of parked taxis waiting for passengers.

Exit your terminal at JFK Airport after retrieving any luggage from the baggage claim. Follow signs or directions for the taxi stands, which are found outside each terminal. No reservations are needed to take a cab from JFK. The cabs at the stands are waiting to pick up any passenger who needs them.

Approach the cab. Sometimes drivers will be standing outside. Ask the driver if he’s accepting passengers to ensure someone else hasn’t claimed the cab.

Have the address of your hotel or final destination readily accessible to tell the driver as soon as you enter the cab. The driver will then take you to your location.

Pay the driver upon arrival at your destination. Cabs in New York City accept credit cards but paying in cash is always an acceptable option. Be prepared to pay a flat rate of $45 plus tolls to any destination in Manhattan. For other destinations fares can start at $20 and run upwards of $90 or above. Leave a tip for the driver in cash or on your credit card receipt. Standard tip percentage for a cab ride in New York is between 15 and 20 percent.


Cab rates are on a per-car basis, the limit of which is four passengers in cars and five in mini-vans. There’s no extra charge for luggage.