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Driving Dec. 27 from Staten Island to JFK to catch 9pm flight


kiyoko
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Hoping that the weather won't be bad on Dec. 27 since I'm not used to driving in snow or bad winter conditions. If the weather is bad, the plan is to take a car service from the Hampton Inn Staten Island to JFK. But if the weather is fine, the plan is to get a free rental car using points and drive it myself. Considering the date, could any of you experts suggest the best time to leave Staten Island to make a 9pm flight out of JFK? How much will the tolls cost and how long will the drive be given the worst case scenario? What would be the best route to take? Aside from the weather, will the traffic be worse given that it is the Saturday evening right after Christmas? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

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Could you provide more details? Where exactly are you going to rent the car? Cost of getting to the car rental location? Do you have any experience driving in NYC?

 

I can't help with many of the details, but this is a trip you will have to do in the dark. You have to get the rental car, figure out how to get across the Verrazano Bridge, and take the hideous Belt Parkway out to JFK. A number of years ago I was forced into essentially making this trip numerous times from NJ when my mother ended up in a hospital in Manhasset Long Island. It really sucked. You can never tell what will happen on the Belt Parkway. If you don't know the roads, you are in no position to evaluate the alternatives offered by the GPS. You have to hassle with a rental car return at JFK. Before you make a final decision, get a quote from Village Car Service on Staten Island and think about whether this is really the time to use your points or pay for a professional to drive you.

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"Hideous" describes the Belt Pkway exactly.LOL. Take 138's advice save your points for another time. JFK is not an easy airport to navigate when returning the rental car either because it is so huge. Another thing to take into consideration, it is Christmas week so there probably will be extra traffic on a for family/friend gatherings. Lots of folks on Staten Island have lots of relatives in Brooklyn :)

 

Could you provide more details? Where exactly are you going to rent the car? Cost of getting to the car rental location? Do you have any experience driving in NYC?

 

I can't help with many of the details, but this is a trip you will have to do in the dark. You have to get the rental car, figure out how to get across the Verrazano Bridge, and take the hideous Belt Parkway out to JFK. A number of years ago I was forced into essentially making this trip numerous times from NJ when my mother ended up in a hospital in Manhasset Long Island. It really sucked. You can never tell what will happen on the Belt Parkway. If you don't know the roads, you are in no position to evaluate the alternatives offered by the GPS. You have to hassle with a rental car return at JFK. Before you make a final decision, get a quote from Village Car Service on Staten Island and think about whether this is really the time to use your points or pay for a professional to drive you.

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Not to pile on, but I thoroughly agree with the other posters. The Belt Parkway is a disaster 24/7 365 days a year...and will be even worse on a holiday weekend. I dread every trip I have to take on that highway...you should seriously consider taking a taxi or car service.

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Thanks for your replies. The Hampton Inn Staten Island has an Avis and Budget on property. My free rental expires on Dec. 31, so thought it would be a good way to use it since I was quoted roughly $100 including tips and tolls by a couple of car services. I understand that driving won't be fun doing it in bad winter weather and so will hire a car service rather than drive on ice or snow. However, since we have so much time, if the weather was good, thought of renting a car and driving to JFK. Is there a particular route you could recommend, what the toll charges would be and what time to leave the hotel to make it to a 9pm flight? I figured that the traffic will be worse than usual given that it's the first Saturday after Christmas. In the end, we probably will be taking the car service, but thought I should weigh all our options first. Thanks.

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There's essentially only one route. From your hotel take 440 north to I 278 east to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the Belt Parkway east to JFK airport. Follow the signs to the car rental return.

 

You'll pay no tolls...the $15 toll on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is only collected from vehicles entering Staten Island.

 

In no traffic you could make the trip in 45 minutes. Twice that time would be a minimum starting assumption...since "no traffic" is a condition that almost never exists. I would leave the hotel no later than 3 hours prior to flight time for a domestic flight...4 hours for international.

Edited by njhorseman
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Basically your best option is to take the Staten Island Expwy (278) over the Verrazano bridge, stay in the left lane on the bridge to exit onto the Belt Pkwy which will take you to JFK...just follow the signs. You won't encounter any tolls going in this direction. With light traffic I would allow at least 1 hr and 15 minutes to get from the Hampton Inn to JFK. Allowing for heavy traffic I would allow at least 2 hrs....better to get there early than late.

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Hoping that the weather won't be bad on Dec. 27 since I'm not used to driving in snow or bad winter conditions. If the weather is bad, the plan is to take a car service from the Hampton Inn Staten Island to JFK. But if the weather is fine, the plan is to get a free rental car using points and drive it myself. Considering the date, could any of you experts suggest the best time to leave Staten Island to make a 9pm flight out of JFK? How much will the tolls cost and how long will the drive be given the worst case scenario? What would be the best route to take? Aside from the weather, will the traffic be worse given that it is the Saturday evening right after Christmas? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

 

I am not from this area nor profess to know the roads but have recently stayed at this property. They offer free shuttles to the Staten Island Ferry. is it possible to go into the city and then take the subway to JFK?

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There's essentially only one route. From your hotel take 440 north to I 278 east to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the Belt Parkway east to JFK airport. Follow the signs to the car rental return.

 

You'll pay no tolls...the $15 toll on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is only collected from vehicles entering Staten Island.

 

In no traffic you could make the trip in 45 minutes. Twice that time would be a minimum starting assumption...since "no traffic" is a condition that almost never exists. I would leave the hotel no later than 3 hours prior to flight time for a domestic flight...4 hours for international.

 

Thanks for the instructions and advice. I hear what you all are saying and will truly weigh the hassle prior to making the final decision. Besides, mother nature may make that decision for me anyway. I do appreciate all your input and kindness.

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I am not from this area nor profess to know the roads but have recently stayed at this property. They offer free shuttles to the Staten Island Ferry. is it possible to go into the city and then take the subway to JFK?

 

Don't want to do that with luggage.

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Basically your best option is to take the Staten Island Expwy (278) over the Verrazano bridge, stay in the left lane on the bridge to exit onto the Belt Pkwy which will take you to JFK...just follow the signs. You won't encounter any tolls going in this direction. With light traffic I would allow at least 1 hr and 15 minutes to get from the Hampton Inn to JFK. Allowing for heavy traffic I would allow at least 2 hrs....better to get there early than late.

 

And thanks to you for the advice as well. I figure if I leave at 4pm and allow for 2 hours to get there, that should get me there to check in our luggage at 6pm, grab something to eat nearby before our long flight and then return the car and be back at the airport by 7:30 to catch the 9pm flight. Does that sound about right? Wow--getting tired just trying to think this through, let alone actually driving it. I figure I would have to probably allow the same amount of time for a car service since the traffic will be the big unknown that night in particular.

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Here's an example of what happened to me one of the days I made this trip. There was a 10+ mile backup westbound in one area of the Belt Parkway which was all over the traffic reports on 880 and 1010 radio stations. I saw it all going eastbound. After visiting my mom I decided there was no way I was going to venture onto the Belt Parkway westbound, so I went on the Long Island Expressway to the midtown tunnel, across Manhattan, and through the Lincoln Tunnel to the NJ Turnpike. It worked out OK for me even though the LIE really sucks too, but I knew enough about the alternative routes to make an informed choice. Honestly these were trips from hell in the dark in January. NY drivers can be particularly aggressive and they all seem to know where they are going and have little patience with those of us who don't know the roads as well.

 

If you feel you must drive yourself, listen to the traffic reports well before your departure. Don't even consider cutting it close. From Staten Island there are fewer choices to get around traffic jams. A good car service should know how to do that.

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Here's an example of what happened to me one of the days I made this trip. There was a 10+ mile backup westbound in one area of the Belt Parkway which was all over the traffic reports on 880 and 1010 radio stations. I saw it all going eastbound. After visiting my mom I decided there was no way I was going to venture onto the Belt Parkway westbound, so I went on the Long Island Expressway to the midtown tunnel, across Manhattan, and through the Lincoln Tunnel to the NJ Turnpike. It worked out OK for me even though the LIE really sucks too, but I knew enough about the alternative routes to make an informed choice. Honestly these were trips from hell in the dark in January. NY drivers can be particularly aggressive and they all seem to know where they are going and have little patience with those of us who don't know the roads as well.

 

If you feel you must drive yourself, listen to the traffic reports well before your departure. Don't even consider cutting it close. From Staten Island there are fewer choices to get around traffic jams. A good car service should know how to do that.

 

Thanks again for all the advice. Really appreciate all the inside info. I know exactly what you mean about NY drivers--I married one (although he hasn't driven in New York for years, he's still the same way in the city we live in now).

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And thanks to you for the advice as well. I figure if I leave at 4pm and allow for 2 hours to get there, that should get me there to check in our luggage at 6pm, grab something to eat nearby before our long flight and then return the car and be back at the airport by 7:30 to catch the 9pm flight. Does that sound about right? Wow--getting tired just trying to think this through, let alone actually driving it. I figure I would have to probably allow the same amount of time for a car service since the traffic will be the big unknown that night in particular.

 

If it were me, I would get something to eat at the airport. JFK is huge and though I live here I don't know where you would go nearby to get something. Perhaps others would know or you could use one of those restaurant apps!

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As it's a Saturday of a holiday weekend, traffic will probably just be "bad" and not "horrible". I'd just leave earlier in the afternoon, do all of your driving and shuttling in the day light and just bring a good book, grab a snack or a beverage at the airport, check out the duty free shops (if you're flying international) and relax. I'd much rather do everything at a more leisure pace , in the daylight and sit and wait then have to worry about some snafu or unexpected delay throwing a monkeywrench into the works and causing unnecessary angst.

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Is the traffic between Staten Island and JFK on the belt parkway always bad?

 

http://nyctmc.org/google_popup.php?cid=132

 

no. You can watch it yourself at different times. Its running smoothly now.

 

Its not the LIE(long island expressway) or even the the BQE.

 

Trucks are prohibited. Most big cities have roads that are beyond their designed capacity at some time during the day.

 

The Staten Island part of I-278 for me is far worse.

 

http://nyctmc.org/multiview2.php?listcam=245,112,645,638,641,642,644,639,305

Edited by smeyer418
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As it's a Saturday of a holiday weekend, traffic will probably just be "bad" and not "horrible". I'd just leave earlier in the afternoon, do all of your driving and shuttling in the day light and just bring a good book, grab a snack or a beverage at the airport, check out the duty free shops (if you're flying international) and relax. I'd much rather do everything at a more leisure pace , in the daylight and sit and wait then have to worry about some snafu or unexpected delay throwing a monkeywrench into the works and causing unnecessary angst.

 

Sounds like a great plan. "Bad" vs "horrible"...hmmm. I live in a city where the media just reported it's the top two worst places for traffic in the US, so have a little bit of a clue, although driving in snow and ice is something I can't handle. Also driving in the dark, in unfamiliar areas is also something I really don't want to do. So appreciate all the tips. I remember driving in the dark in the England countryside on one lane roads and ended up driving in circles which took me 4 hours to get someplace that should have taken only 1 hour. There were no streetlights and it was truly driving in the dark. I'm assuming that the dreaded Belt Parkway has streetlights so will be better lit so I can at least see the signs. You're right that I should eat at the airport so I have reconsidered that. Thanks to all for letting me pick your brains and this discussion has truly helped me to weigh the different issues involved.

 

Another option just came up and was hoping some of you could answer a different question. If I were to pick up the car at EWR, which I know is farther, how long would it take to drive to JFK on this "bad" driving day, what would be the recommended route and what would the tolls cost from there? Thanks.

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Is the traffic between Staten Island and JFK on the belt parkway always bad?

 

http://nyctmc.org/google_popup.php?cid=132

 

no. You can watch it yourself at different times. Its running smoothly now.

 

Its not the LIE(long island expressway) or even the the BQE.

 

Trucks are prohibited. Most big cities have roads that are beyond their designed capacity at some time during the day.

 

The Staten Island part of I-278 for me is far worse.

 

http://nyctmc.org/multiview2.php?listcam=245,112,645,638,641,642,644,639,305

 

Wish I had a crystal ball to let me know what the conditions will be, but not having one, your post is appreciated. It sounds like I won't be on the Staten Island part of I-278 for long, so your opinion has been very helpful. Thanks for your input.

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If it were me, I would get something to eat at the airport. JFK is huge and though I live here I don't know where you would go nearby to get something. Perhaps others would know or you could use one of those restaurant apps!

 

After thinking it over, I realized that I should eat at the airport after dropping off the car. Thanks for confirming that is the way to go.

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I forgot to mention, after googling the route from Hampton Inn Staten Island to JFK, there is a mention of a partial toll road. From the great advice I've already received here, there appears to be a discrepancy about the tolls from the Google map.

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I forgot to mention, after googling the route from Hampton Inn Staten Island to JFK, there is a mention of a partial toll road. From the great advice I've already received here, there appears to be a discrepancy about the tolls from the Google map.

 

I can assure you that the only toll for a trip from Staten Island to JFK is for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and that toll is only collected from vehicles entering Staten Island. Your trip leaving Staten Island will be toll free.

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I forgot to mention, after googling the route from Hampton Inn Staten Island to JFK, there is a mention of a partial toll road. From the great advice I've already received here, there appears to be a discrepancy about the tolls from the Google map.

no toll east bound. Its only tolled westbound. Its enshrined in federal law so it can't change quickly(thanks senator D'amato).

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After thinking it over, I realized that I should eat at the airport after dropping off the car. Thanks for confirming that is the way to go.

 

Which airline would you be using? Some of the terminals have been renovated recently and the choices are pretty good, considering.

 

Also, remember that JFK is an International Airport and much of the flights to Europe leave at the same time your flight does. This might cause delays for checkin and TSA checkpoints.

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So are there no tolls from EWR to JFK?

 

Yes there are tolls from EWR to JFK. Whether you go back from EWR through Staten Island via the Goethals Bridge, or from NJ to NY via the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel or George Washington Bridge, the $13 (one way) cash toll is collected from vehicles entering NY City from NJ.

 

Smeyer418 was talking about the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge only.

Edited by njhorseman
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