Arriving into New York on Qantas: What to expect

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UPDATE:

Qantas now flies into terminal 8, which is home of its OneWorld partner, American Airlines. We will be providing an updated guide to arriving into JFK’s terminal 8 on Qantas shortly.


Qantas is the only Australian carrier which operates flights into New York, flying daily from Los Angeles to New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport. Qantas passengers can transfer to this flight, flight number QF11, from daily flights originating in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Qantas’ daily flight from Los Angeles to New York offers great timing when transiting directly on flights from Australia’s east coast with a scheduled New York arrival time of approx. 5:00pm on the same day of departure from Australia. The timing is especially good for business travellers who arrive into New York with enough time to get a good nights rest prior to a full days work the following day, and after a full nights rest tourists can take full advantage of everything that New York has to offer from their first morning in the Big Apple.

Qantas is the only Australian carrier to offer flights to New York with Qantas flight QF11 operating daily from Los Angeles with connection flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Qantas flies into Terminal 7 at JFK Airport which main tenants include British Airways and United Airlines. United Airlines is due to close its operations from JFK Airport from next month (October 2015) as it has been losing money on operating its transcontinental services mainly from JFK whilst also serving west coast based flights from its Newark airport hub as well. In somewhat of a terminal swap Delta Air Lines will be acquiring United’s arrival slots and terminal space at JFK, and in return United will acquire arrival slots and gate space from Delta at Newark’s Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

JFK Airport terminal 7 gates 5 & 6

Upon disembarkation from QF11 passengers need to head to the Eastern side of the terminal (simply follow the baggage claim signage) to make their way to baggage collection and ground transportation options. Depending on the arrival gate, which is generally gates 3 – 6, it is a short 5 minute walk to baggage claim, however to get from the departures level (which acts as the arrivals level for Qantas flights as it is treated as a domestic flight, with all passengers requiring to clear security upon arrival into Los Angeles) Qantas passengers will need to use 3 flights of stairs or escalators to make their way into the baggage claim area. If you are wanting to get out of the terminal as quickly as possible we recommend using the stairs as the escalators will quickly fill up with passengers who simply do not have the energy to take the stairs after 20+ hours of travelling.

Inside terminal 7 of JFK Airport heading down towards baggage claim

Upon entering the baggage claim area Qantas passenger luggage will generally be available from the first baggage carousel and can take anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes to arrive after the first business class passengers have disembarked the Boeing 747 aircraft.

If you are arriving in the winter months (especially January and February) VisitingNewYork.com.au recommends that you ensure that you have warm clothes in your carry-on bag {including a  jumper, scarf, gloves, hat or beanie and a really good coat are essential} and change into these either whilst still on the aircraft just prior to decent or as a last resort while waiting for your baggage to make its way from the aircraft. After you exit the baggage hall the terminal exit is right in front of you where you will generally be greeted by limousine and transfer drivers awaiting their passengers and friends and loved ones waiting for international arrivals from British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific and Icelandair.

If for whatever reason your luggage hasn’t arrived in New York with you, there is a baggage services office adjacentto the baggage claim area just prior to the general arrivals terminal area. The lost baggage service is operated by British Airways who will able to liase with the Qantas Integrated Operations centre to reunited you with your luggage as quickly as possible and organise for replacement items in the interim.

British Airways lost baggage service

Once you are outside the terminal public transport options are literally right on your door step. On the opposite side of the road from the terminal exit is a taxi rank, which in VisitingNewYork.com.au’s experience has been generally quiet in the late afternoon / early evening arrival from an on time arrival for Qantas flight QF11. In the 20+ times we have arrived we have never had to wait more than 15 minutes (the time we did have to wait was in the depth of winter and the temperature at 5:30pm was already -3C). In addition to the taxi rank there is also shared ride shuttle services operating on the far side of the island between the terminal and Terminal 7 parking structure. VisitingNewYork.com.au recommends that you consult with your transfer company on your specific pick-up instructions – or ask us in our Ask a Question  section and we will be able to help. And finally the JFK AirTrain station entrance is located a further 25 meters across from the Taxi rank (directly opposite the terminal exit) with escalators and elevators to take you straight up to the platform. For more information on transport options from JFK Airport to Manhattan and other New York boroughs check out our JFK Airport Guide.

RELATED: How to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan

VisitingNewYork.com.au recommendation for Australians travelling to New York

VisitingNewYork.com.au recommends that if transiting straight through from an Australian East Coast originating flight (QF 11, QF15 and QF93) onto New York bound QF11 passengers should avoid sleep on the final leg of the flight between Los Angeles and New York. If possible try and get a couple of hours sleep just prior to arrival into Los Angeles and you will minimise the effects of jet lag once you arrive into New York. We guarantee the adrenalin of arriving into Manhattan or hitting the bright lights of Times Square will get you through the last hump of the day before falling gratefully into bed to end your first day in the city that never sleeps.

If you are travelling into New York in January and February we strongly recommend that in your carry-on luggage you include a jumper, gloves, scarf, beanie or a hat and take a very warm jacket with you. Nothing can really prepare you from leaving Australia in the middle of summer and arriving into a cold New York evening of -5C after 20+ hours of flying and not being able to find your jacket before getting to the arrivals terminal after baggage claim where the temperature inside the terminal rarely gets above 8 – 10C. The best time to add the extra layers is either just before decent into New York or after the Captain has turned off the seatbelt sign and you are getting ready to deplane the aircraft.

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