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We are having a family member fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport at roughly 23:00 on a Friday evening but due to a transportation/logistics mix-up we're forced to wait until roughly 16:00 the next day to actually pick them up (due to external circumstances that can't be rectified very easily at this point). The person flying in is not familiar with the area, so complex travel arrangements including rental cars are not possible.

Is there either an airport hotel or lounge where that person can stay after passing arrival and Immigration to enter, in any of the terminals (that are accessible by AirTrain) or via a reliable hotel shuttle service?

This would seem to preclude air-side services as that person would not have a boarding pass or reason to re-enter the controlled zone through security. Additionally, it appears that the API accommodation service in the terminal would be closed due to the late hour of arrival.

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    You could start by looking at panynj.gov/airports/jfk-hotels.html – Nate Eldredge Oct 12 '15 at 0:13
  • @NateEldredge Thanks; do they offer the ability to check-in and get transportation there at late hours such as 23:00? – user36150 Oct 12 '15 at 0:40
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    I'd be extremely surprised if they did not. 23:00 is not late at all by NYC standards, and any reasonable large hotel these days will have 24 hour staffed check-in. I'd guess the worst case is that you might have to call to request a shuttle, rather than it coming automatically. But once you've picked out a hotel, you might as well call them to make sure. – Nate Eldredge Oct 12 '15 at 1:21
  • @NateEldredge Thanks, I'll get in contact with them to reserve/ensure a shuttle will come. – user36150 Oct 12 '15 at 1:28
  • @NateEldrege All the hotels run shuttles to Federal Circle late at night. I have spent many cold nights stood there waiting for my hotel's van to appear. – Calchas Oct 12 '15 at 10:39
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According to JFK Airport Guide:

JFK’s terminals, parking lots and hotels operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and cover more than 880 acres. This helpful guide provides maps and other helpful information about our terminals, airlines, stores, restaurants, parking lots and more.

I would imagine your relative would have no trouble checking into an airport hotel at 23:00 on a Friday. New York never sleeps.

  • Manhattan doesn't. Queens does. – Karlson Oct 12 '15 at 1:26
  • Yes it's definitely not a problem at JFK – Calchas Oct 12 '15 at 10:42
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First up, you should look at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey page on hotels at JFK, which lists the closest hotels to the airport. There are a few ones a little further out that you can consider too.

Most of the hotel shuttles leave from by the rental car area, accessible by the AirTrain. Some just turn up on schedule, others you need to ring and they'll send the bus. There's a number of decent hotels within a 10 minute shuttle bus ride of the airport. Some even with good onward connections to the city if you want to spend a few hours there the next morning, or even just with some decent places to go for lunch.

For an airport hotel, in a big city, turning up around midnight is fine. They might have closed the bar, they probably won't be doing much/any food, but they'll be open and will be expecting checkins.

However... You should let them know that you'll be arriving late. Otherwise, there's always a chance that they'll think you're not coming and re-sell your room if they're full. Drop the hotel a call / email the day before, and let them know the late arrival time, and they'll make a note plus be sure to hold the room for you.

I'd suggest you do a search on your favourite hotel booking site, for hotels around JFK, and get a shortlist. Next, go to the hotel's own website (don't trust third party ones here!), and verify if the hotel has a shuttle service from the airport, and how often it is. Pick one that look OK, is in your price range, and has a quick shuttle bus ride that's frequent or on-demand, and book.

You might also want to double check with something like TripAdvisor, or on FlyerTalk. There's a few with terrible reputations, which often seem to change name/branding, which should be avoided. I don't think there are any "amazing" hotels, but then it's by an airport a way out of the city. There are several solid, decent hotels there. My "decent and a fair price" might not be the same as yours though, so I won't mention any, you need to research against your own criteria then check recent reviews!

Make a note of the phone number and the address of the hotel, especially if you're staying with a chain. You don't want to find yourself at the wrong Holiday Inn / Residency Inn / Comfort Inn / Hampton etc, at airports where there is more than one!

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