PSA: Taxis May Be Cheaper than Uber JFK-Manhattan Airport Rides

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In today’s day and age, it’s common to arrive at airport and immediately fire open the Uber app. What else isn’t unusual, is to see that fares are surging especially late in the evening when it seems to be busiest.

On a recent arrival into New York’s John F. Kennedy, I decided to open Uber to see that my ride from the airport to Midtown Manhattan was $77.94 for an UberX car.

This is where you need to realize you should NOT use Uber in this case. Taxis from New York’s John F. Kennedy are a flat rate of $52 from trips from the airport into Manhattan. If taking the Midtown tunnel, you will have to pay the toll, but I’ve never had any trouble asking the taxi to specifically take the 59th Street bridge into the city, which doesn’t have any toll.

Anyways, I decided to forgo Uber on this trip, hopped outside and was able to catch a Taxi without any wait. I’d recommend you always do your research to know if the airport has a flat rate fare for taxis as the case as New York’s John F. Kennedy into Manhattan.

If you still haven’t tried Uber yet, you can still get a credit towards your first ride here or your credit can be applied to your UberEats order instead.

See related Uber posts:

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, if you’ve also skipped out on an Uber to save money by taking a taxi.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. I would say that it is very often, if not almost always true that a flat rate taxi will be less than Uber, particularly if the ride terminates downtown, uptown, or anywhere on the westside (basically anywhere other than Midtown East). The taxi drivers have the political power to raise fares if they want, but they prefer to keep the fares lower than Uber to maintain at least this competitive advantage — being able to compete on essentially nothing else.

    The best advice I can offer is that the JFK Air Train is very often the best way to and from the airport. Its third rate by world standards, slow, uncomfortable, relatively expensive, and often inconvenient. But if you have no baggage its not too awful and it has the benefit of offering a fairly certain arrival time that taxis and Uber can’t offer given the uncertainty of traffic (or rather, the certainty of very bad traffic on the LIE and Van Wyck). I came to loathe my taxi rides to JFK in bumper to bumper traffic in a dirty smelly cab more than any flight of any length, and AirTrain at least lets you avoid that. I think many people reluctant to try it would be surprised.

  2. Agree with Mak’s comment about JFK Airtrain being third rate as an airport train as it’s essentially like taking the DFW Skylink to Jamaica and transferring to the LIRR or subway, instead of something like Heathrow or Narita Express with a great one seat ride. But I’ll take Airtrain to JFK on a Friday afternoon over a car.

  3. I agree on the Airtrain. I usually fly into EWR or LGA, but snagged a cheap fare to JFK last trip. Even with luggage since it was winter, and the rather long walk to access it, the Airtrain for $7.75 was a great deal and relatively fast. I would always use it over sitting in traffic.

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