With its 6 active terminals, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) can be confusing to navigate. If you need to transfer between JFK’s Terminal 4 and Terminal 1, you have several options.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make the journey smoothly.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: The best ways to get from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 at JFK are the AirTrain, airport shuttle bus, or taxi/rideshare. The AirTrain takes about 15 minutes and costs $7.75.

Overview of JFK Airport Terminals

Brief history and layout of JFK terminals

JFK Airport, also known as John F. Kennedy International Airport, is one of the busiest airports in the United States. It is located in Queens, New York City and serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights.

The airport has a total of six terminals, with Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 being two of the largest.

The history of JFK Airport dates back to 1942 when the construction of the airport began. Over the years, it has undergone several expansions and renovations to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

Today, JFK Airport is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to ensure a seamless travel experience for its visitors.

Location of Terminal 4 vs Terminal 1

Terminal 4 is located on the southern side of JFK Airport, while Terminal 1 is situated on the eastern side. Both terminals are easily accessible from the main entrance of the airport and are well-connected to other terminals and transportation options.

Terminal 4 is operated by a consortium of airlines and is primarily used for international flights. It is known for its modern architecture, spacious waiting areas, and a wide range of dining and shopping options.

Terminal 1, on the other hand, is also used for international flights and is operated by a separate group of airlines. It offers similar amenities and services to Terminal 4, providing passengers with a comfortable and convenient travel experience.

Distance between the terminals

The distance between Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 at JFK Airport is approximately 1.5 miles. While this may seem like a short distance, it is important to consider the time it takes to navigate through the airport, especially during peak travel periods.

Passengers who need to transfer between these terminals should plan their time accordingly to ensure they reach their connecting flights on time.

To get from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, passengers can take advantage of the AirTrain JFK, a free monorail system that connects all the terminals at the airport. The AirTrain runs on a frequent schedule and provides a convenient way to travel between terminals without the need for additional transportation.

Using the JFK AirTrain

When it comes to getting from JFK Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, one of the most convenient options is to use the JFK AirTrain. This efficient and reliable mode of transportation connects all terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport, making it easy for passengers to navigate between different terminals.

AirTrain routes and stops

The JFK AirTrain operates on two main routes: the Red route and the Blue route. To travel from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, passengers need to take the Red route. This route stops at all terminals, including Terminal 4 and Terminal 1, making it a direct and hassle-free option.

Once you board the AirTrain at Terminal 4, you can enjoy a comfortable ride with beautiful views of the airport. The AirTrain is equipped with spacious seating and ample luggage space, ensuring a pleasant journey for all passengers.

Travel time and frequency

The travel time between Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 on the JFK AirTrain is approximately 8 minutes. The AirTrain operates 24/7, with trains running every 4-10 minutes, depending on the time of day. This frequent service ensures minimal waiting time, allowing passengers to reach their desired terminal quickly and efficiently.

Whether you have a tight connection or simply want to explore different terminals at JFK, the AirTrain is a reliable option that saves both time and effort.

Ticketing and costs

Tickets for the JFK AirTrain can be purchased at the AirTrain stations located within the airport. The cost of a one-way ticket is $7.75 per person. It is important to note that the AirTrain only accepts MetroCard as a form of payment, so make sure to have one handy before boarding.

If you are traveling with a group or have multiple bags, it might be more cost-effective to consider alternative transportation options such as a taxi or a shuttle service. These services can provide a more personalized experience and can accommodate larger groups or bulky luggage.

Shuttle Bus Between Terminals

Traveling between terminals at JFK Airport can be a breeze thanks to the convenient shuttle bus service that connects Terminal 4 to Terminal 1. This shuttle service is a great option for passengers who have connecting flights or need to access different parts of the airport.

Bus operator and schedule

The shuttle bus service between Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The buses run on a regular schedule, with departures every 10-15 minutes during peak hours.

The schedule may vary slightly during off-peak hours, so it’s always a good idea to check the official website or contact the airport information desk for the most up-to-date information.

If you’re unsure about the schedule or have a tight connection, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member for assistance. They are always ready to help ensure a smooth transit between terminals.

Boarding and drop-off points

The shuttle bus service has designated boarding and drop-off points at both Terminal 4 and Terminal 1. At Terminal 4, you can find the shuttle bus stop outside of the arrivals area near the taxi stand. Look for the clearly marked signs or ask an airport staff member for directions.

At Terminal 1, the shuttle bus stop is located on the arrivals level near the AirTrain station.

It’s important to note that the shuttle bus service operates in a continuous loop between the two terminals, so you don’t need to worry about missing your stop. Simply board the bus at the designated location and enjoy the short ride to your desired terminal.

Fare and tickets

The shuttle bus service between Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 is free of charge for all passengers. There is no need to purchase a ticket or show any documentation to board the bus. This makes it a convenient and cost-effective option for travelers.

However, it’s worth mentioning that if you need to access other terminals at JFK Airport, such as Terminal 8 or Terminal 2, you may need to use the AirTrain or other transportation options. These services may have their own fare requirements, so be sure to check the official website or inquire at the airport information desk for more details.

Taxi and Rideshare Options

When it comes to getting from JFK Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, there are several taxi and rideshare options available to travelers. These convenient modes of transportation offer a hassle-free way to navigate between terminals and ensure a smooth transition for your journey.

Taxi lines and trip cost

If you prefer the traditional taxi experience, you’ll find designated taxi lines outside of each terminal at JFK Airport. Simply follow the signs to the taxi stand, and a dispatcher will assist you in getting a cab.

The cost of the trip from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 will depend on factors such as traffic conditions, time of day, and any applicable surcharges. It’s always a good idea to ask the driver for an estimate before starting your journey.

For more information on taxi services at JFK Airport, you can visit the official JFK Airport website.

Using Uber, Lyft, etc

Alternatively, rideshare services such as Uber, Lyft, and other similar platforms are widely available in New York City, including JFK Airport. These services offer the convenience of booking a ride through a mobile app, eliminating the need to wait in taxi lines.

Simply open the app, enter your destination as Terminal 1, and a driver will pick you up from Terminal 4.

It’s worth noting that rideshare services may have designated pickup areas at JFK Airport, so be sure to follow the instructions provided by the app. The cost of the trip will depend on factors similar to those of a traditional taxi, and it’s always recommended to check the estimated fare shown on the app before confirming your ride.

Comparing taxi vs rideshare

When deciding between a taxi and a rideshare service, there are a few factors to consider. Taxis offer the convenience of being readily available at the terminal, and you can easily find one by following the designated taxi lines.

Rideshare services, on the other hand, provide the convenience of booking a ride through an app, often with shorter wait times.

In terms of cost, rideshare services may sometimes be more affordable, especially during periods of high demand when taxis may have surge pricing. However, it’s essential to compare fares and consider any additional fees or surcharges that may apply.

Additionally, if you have specific preferences or requirements, such as a larger vehicle for a group or car seat availability, it’s worth checking with both taxi and rideshare services to see which can accommodate your needs.

Ultimately, the choice between a taxi and a rideshare service comes down to personal preference and the specific circumstances of your trip. Both options offer convenient transportation between JFK Terminal 4 and Terminal 1, ensuring you arrive at your destination smoothly and efficiently.

Walking Between Terminals

Route and distance

The terminals at JFK Airport are quite spread out, spanning over 5 miles from Terminal 1 to Terminal 8. However, some terminals are located closer together and connected via indoor walkways, making it possible to walk between certain terminals.

The closest terminals are Terminal 1, 2, and 3, which are all connected post-security. You can easily walk between these three terminals without having to go back through security.

Terminal 4 is about a 10-15 minute walk from Terminal 2. The best route is to take the AirTrain from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2, then proceed on foot through the connectors. There is an underground walkway connecting Terminals 2 and 4 for ticketed passengers.

Terminal 5 is a farther walk, about 25 minutes from Terminal 4. You’ll need to exit security at Terminal 4, take the AirTrain to Terminal 5, then re-clear security at Terminal 5.

The longest walk is between Terminal 1 and Terminal 8. It takes around 45 minutes to walk this route by exiting and re-entering security at each terminal.

Can you walk between terminals?

Yes, walking between terminals is possible at JFK if you have a connecting flight, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Allow enough connection time – walks can take 15 minutes to 1 hour
  • Have your boarding pass ready to show you are on a connecting flight
  • Be prepared to exit and re-enter security at most terminals

Walking is not allowed for non-ticketed visitors at JFK. You must have an active flight boarding pass and be on a connection to walk between terminals post-security.

Security and access

Each terminal has its own security checkpoint that you must pass through when walking from one terminal to another, with the exception of Terminals 1-3 which allow connections post-security.

Make sure you arrive at the security checkpoint at least 30 minutes before your next flight. Lines at JFK can get long.

When walking between terminals, follow signs for flight connections. There are routes for ticketed passengers only beyond the security checkpoints.

If you need to exit security at one terminal and re-enter at the next, the AirTrain is the fastest way to travel between terminals. Free shuttle buses also connect the terminals pre-security.

Give yourself plenty of time when walking between terminals in case you get turned around or need to clear security again. Check airport maps and signs. When in doubt, ask an airport staff member for directions.


Navigating a huge airport like JFK can seem daunting, but understanding the various options for transfers between Terminal 4 and Terminal 1 makes it much easier. The AirTrain offers the fastest and most affordable trip, while shuttles, taxis, and rideshares give you more flexibility.

With this guide, you can now seamlessly plan your journey between the two furthest JFK terminals.

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