I have family who does not speak English.

They are changing planes in JFK Airport and will most likely be transferring from Terminal 2 (Delta) to Terminal 4 (China Southern Airlines).

At first I thought that directing them to use the Airtrain would be best.

However, in doing more reading my understanding is that the Airtrain would mean they would need to go through security again.

I found this on Delta's site: JFK Delta Map

If they use the JITNEY Shuttle to change from Terminal 2 to Terminal 4, does that mean they would not need to re-clear Security?

Edit: They are flying TO China. They are going from Tampa -> NY JFK -> China.

  • 2
    Where are their flights to/from? Are they entering the US at JFK? Is this all booked on a single ticket? Mar 29, 2017 at 19:40
  • International arrivals to the US exit from customs to landside. Anyone who is instead changing to another flight must go through security after customs. Mar 29, 2017 at 19:47
  • @ZachLipton Tampa -> JFK -> China. All booked through the same carrier. Mar 29, 2017 at 19:50
  • 1
    Great. Then the shuttle is their best bet, as Johns-305 suggests. Mar 29, 2017 at 19:51
  • The very purpose of the shuttle is to avoid reclearing security.
    – phoog
    Mar 9, 2019 at 1:18

3 Answers 3



The Delta Shuttles operate airside. Passengers using this do not have to pass TSA again at the other Terminal building.

Note, this is only for domestic arrivals. International arrivals must pass Immigration, Customs and then TSA to re-enter the Terminal.

  • 1
    Sorry, additional information: They are going from Tampa -> JFK -> China. Does that mean they could use the Delta Shuttle and not have to re-clear security? Mar 29, 2017 at 19:49
  • 1
    @PhilipTenn Correct!
    – Crazydre
    Mar 30, 2017 at 0:32

For a passenger arriving on a domestic flight it is possible to transfer using the Delta shuttle. This assumes that any luggage has been checked to the final destination. Obviously if you need to pick up luggage you will exit the secured area and therefore need to recheck your luggage and pass through security again.

Passengers arriving on international flights need to go through immigration and customs and when they emerge from that area they will need to recheck their luggage to their final destination and pass through security

If you are arrive on Delta in Terminal 2 and are making an international connection on Delta in Terminal 4 and if your bags have been checked to your final destination you can use the Delta shuttle without exiting the secured area and no need to pass through security again.


Well, last year I flew Delta ORD-JFK, went through security at ORD, and landed at JFK Terminal 2. My Alitalia (SkyTeam partner) flight to FCO (Rome) was to depart from Terminal 4. I very much DID have to go through security all over again at Terminal 4, dragging my bags outdoors along the curbside. I had a 3-hr layover, and when I called Alitalia the day before, the customer service rep swore up and down that would be plenty of time, otherwise they'd never have allowed me to book such an itinerary online. My ticket was Premium Economy, and I had bid to upgrade to Business. Alas, my bid was rejected as too low.

Well, due to sleet, my flight from ORD-JFK was delayed more than 2 hrs, and I had only about 40 min. to walk to Terminal 4 and go through security. Ahead of me were a dozen or more families on a tour, pushing multiple strollers with squalling babies & toddlers. It took so long that while I was in the TSA line, I heard my name paged to claim my upgrade to Business--my bid was accepted after all as a standby; but by the time I cleared security and ran (OK, limped as fast as I could) through the terminal to my gate, not only had my upgrade been given away, but I was so late my original seat had been given to a standby passenger. I was placed on standby for Premium Economy. My boarding pass was reissued with only a couple of minutes to spare before the gate was to close--and the passengers & crew were annoyed with ME!

It's NOT true that Delta passengers can take the tarmac jitney from airside Terminal 2 to airside Terminal 4. Believe me, I tried. They CAN take it from Customs & Immigration at Terminal 4 and connecting to Terminal 2 without re-clearing TSA; but only crew and airport personnel can take the jitney from 2 to 4 without going through TSA again. (Of course, it doesn't matter if my return layover is too short to make my flight to ORD, as there are several more every day).

And in a couple of weeks, I'll be flying Delta on Prem. Economy from ORD-JFK, and then from JFK-AMS. I used a travel agent this time, and he said that both eastbound legs used Terminal 4 at JFK. Therefore, I have only a 2-1/4 hr layover, but that should be enough time since I'd only be switching gates and not going through security. Or so I thought. This afternoon, Delta switched the JFK arrival to Terminal 2 (as of this morning it was Terminal 4), so I have an even tighter connection to Amsterdam than I had to Rome last year.

  • 4
    Maybe there's an answer in amongst the fur hats and squalling babies, but it's not obvious what it is. Please edit this to remove the extraneous details and make it clear what your answer is.
    – user90371
    Mar 9, 2019 at 1:44

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