Air Travel

John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City

Growing up, New York City was a big deal. A family trip into the city was like an epic journey even though it was only two hours away. Sometimes, it was a sightseeing trip, as we visited the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Centers (RIP), but NOT Times Square (it was way too sleazy back in the 70s and 80s).

John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City

However, often when we packed up the family station wagon (remember those?) and departed for New York, John F. Kennedy Airport was our destination.

Affectionately called ‘JFK’ by most, this airport was the epic gateway to the rest of the world in my eyes, taking me to far off mysterious and exotic places that I’d only read about in our 20-volume Encyclopedia Brittanica (remember those?!).

One hundred years removed from my childhood (ok, maybe just 35 or 40 years removed), I find myself heading back to JFK tonight, flying back from New York all the way to Manila in the Philippines.

So, I thought it would be fun to hit you with some fast facts about JFK airport in NYC:

John F. Kennedy Airport goes by the IATA call letters JFKICAO.

It’s a public airport, owned by the city of New York and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Located in Queens, New York, it’s located in Jamaica, Queens in New York, about 16 miles outside of Manhattan.

The airport was first inaugurated on July 1 back in 1948, but as the New York International Airport (but commonly calledIdlewild Airport). It was renamed in 1963 following the assassination of our 35th President.

While it falls short of the biggest and most traveled airport in the world or even the U.S. (that’s in Atlanta), 59,345,421 (almost 60 million) passengers flew into and out of JFK in 2017 on 446,459 total flights.

In fact, that ranks JFK as the 6th busiest airport in the U.S. and the 22nd busiest in the world, but it is the busiest international gateway into North America.

From JFK, you can fly direct or nonstop to six continents.

While 90 airlines operate out of JFK, it serves as the hub for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue Airways.

These days, John F. Kennedy Airport contains six terminals with 128 total gates.

JFK airport rings in about $30.1 billion in economic growth every year to the New York area, adding 229,000 jobs and $9.8 billion in salaries and paychecks for its 35,000 public and private employees.

The busiest domestic route into/out of JFK is to Los Angeles, a route that 1.7 million people flew last year. For international flights, London-Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom is the most popular route, with 2.98 million people flying there and back annually.

You’ll probably never come across them, but there are two other airports that can possibly be confused with JFK in New York; the John F. Kennedy Memorial Airport in Wisconsin named after the U.S. President.

Enjoy your trip to or from John F. Kennedy Airport!

Rate this post


Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *