Dec. 19, 2023


Contact:    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


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Nearly 14 Million Travelers Expected to Use Port Authority Airports, Bridges and Tunnels During Holiday Travel Period

Port Authority to Suspend Non-Emergency Lane Closures at Vehicle Crossings From 5 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, Through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2; Drivers Should Plan Ahead for Heavy Traffic

PATH to Operate on Saturday Schedule on Christmas Day and New Year's Day

Air Travelers Should Arrive to Airports at Least 2 to 3 Hours Prior to Departure Depending on Destination, Anticipate Longer Waits at TSA Security Checkpoints 

Port Authority, MTA Strongly Encourage Public Transit Use to Airports; Air Travelers Advised to Pre-Book to Guarantee Parking at Airports


Construction Underway at John F. Kennedy International Airport; Motorists Should Expect Delays

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced today that nearly 14 million travelers are expected to use its airports and vehicular crossings during the 13-day peak travel period from Thursday, Dec. 21, to Tuesday, Jan. 2. The Port Authority expects this to be the busiest Christmas and New Year travel period ever for its three major airports, a continuation of travel trends seen throughout the year.

From Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, nearly 5.2 million air passengers are expected to use the agency’s airports. This would top the previous Christmas and New Year travel record set in 2019, when just over 5.1 million air travelers used Port Authority’s airports. Demand for international travel is expected to be especially robust, with a 5 percent increase in seat capacity across the agency’s major airports compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic period.

The agency estimates that approximately 8.6 million vehicles will use its bridges and tunnels over the 13-day period, which would be similar to vehicular volume over the same pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019. To accommodate anticipated significant vehicular volume, all lane closures for non-emergency construction at its crossings will be suspended from 5 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023, through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

At its airports, the Port Authority strongly encourages all travelers to plan ahead and allow for additional travel time. Travelers should expect longer wait times due to higher passenger volume and ongoing construction. All passengers on domestic flights should arrive to the airport at least two hours in advance of their departure time and passengers on international flights should arrive at the airports at least three hours in advance of their departure times.

Air travelers should also note that due to construction underway for the $19 billion redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), motorists and anyone using for-hire vehicle services should expect delays or reroutes due to detours or closures of parts of the airport roadway network. The Port Authority encourages the use of mass transit for access to or from JFK — with 20-minute trains to the Jamaica AirTrain JFK station from Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station. These roadway changes are required to accommodate the work underway to transform JFK into a world-class global gateway with new terminals, local concessions, family-friendly amenities, and a best-in-class air travel experience. Travelers can visit Construction.JFKAirport.com for customized travel impacts.

Travelers are strongly advised to check the Port Authority’s air travel tips for information on preparing for their trips, including how to find real-time wait time information for TSA security lines, information on parking lot availability, AirTrain maps and schedules, directions for public transit or for-hire vehicle information. The Port Authority encourages anyone going to the airports to make parking reservations or plan to take public transit.  

All travelers who plan to use the Port Authority’s facilities should note the following service changes that will be in effect from Thursday, Dec. 21, to Tuesday, Jan. 2, and allow for additional travel time:

Airports & AirTrain: 

  • Due to ongoing redevelopment work at John F. Kennedy International Airport, AirTrain JFK will continue to serve Terminal 1 via a dedicated shuttle train operating from Terminal 8. All other stations are accessible from Terminal 8 via the Jamaica and Howard Beach lines. Customers should check here for the latest information regarding AirTrain JFK service to Terminal 1.
  • Through July 2024, outside John F. Kennedy International Airport, the eastbound right lane of North Boundary Road is closed between the FedEx driveway and North Hangar Road due to construction. Follow detour signage for access to the pedestrian walkway and relocated bus shelter.
  • As a reminder, all rental car companies serving Newark Liberty International Airport now operate out of the new consolidated rental car center that is co-located within the Parking A garage on levels 1 through 3. All rental transactions, including returns, take place at the new center. The facility is connected to Newark Liberty’s terminals B and C via AirTrain Newark, with a direct connection to the new Terminal A via a pedestrian bridge. Passengers exiting the Terminal A can walk across the bridge to arrive on level two of the rental car facility. Drivers should follow “Rental Car Return” roadway signage. For more information, click here.
  • Until further notice, the for-hire vehicle pick-up location at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5 will be relocated to Terminal 7’s Orange Garage roof due to airport redevelopment construction. Passengers seeking for-hire vehicle service from Terminal 5 should take AirTrain JFK to Terminal 7 for the Orange Garage. Passengers arriving to Terminal 5 will continue to be dropped off at the Terminal 5 frontage. Signage has been installed to direct passengers to pick-up locations. More details can be found here.
  • Until further notice, the taxi stand at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5 has been relocated to the ground level of Terminal 5’s Yellow Parking Garage. Passengers seeking taxi transportation from Terminal 5 are directed to the Yellow Garage via the skywalk on the fifth floor, where passengers may access the new taxi stand using elevators or stairs. Wayfinding signage has been installed along the pedestrian route.
  • Until further notice, parking on level 1 of John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Yellow Parking Lot at Terminal 5 is now dedicated for individuals with special needs or disabilities. For customer assistance, parking attendants are available on level 1. All other vehicles must park on levels 2 to 6. Premium Reserved Parking is available on level 5, which is easily accessible to Terminal 5 via the pedestrian skywalk. Electric vehicle charging is available on level 2. Plan ahead by checking parking availability and booking a parking spot in advance.
  • As a reminder, peak period parking rates are now in effect at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports. To manage on-airport parking demand, the Port Authority is urgently calling on air travelers to use mass transit and to pre-book parking spaces if they plan to travel to the airport by private car. Travelers who do not pre-book will be charged a peak period drive-up surcharge and may not be able to find a parking spot at the airport. To avoid paying a higher parking rate and guarantee a parking spot, travelers parking for longer than three hours are strongly encouraged to pre-book parking at least 24 hours in advance. For more information on the updated rates and how to guarantee a parking spot, click here.
  • LaGuardia Link Q70 bus service is fare free year-round to encourage the use of public transit to and from LaGuardia Airport, as announced in April 2022 by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. For information on how to get to the airport via public transit, visit the MTA’s page on travel to LaGuardia Airport.


Bridges & Tunnels: 

Midtown Bus Terminal & George Washington Bus Station: 

  • Customers should check for the most updated trip departure times and itineraries with their individual bus carriers, some of which may be operating on holiday schedules. 


  • On Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 25, and on New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1, PATH will operate on a Saturday schedule.
  • PATH will offer supplemental service from 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve, Sunday, Dec. 31, until 4:30 a.m. New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1.
  • Regular overnight closures of the 9 St and 23 St stations will be suspended on both Sunday evening, Dec. 24 to Monday morning, Dec. 25, and Sunday evening, Dec. 31 to Monday morning, Jan. 1.
  • The southwest entrance to the Harrison station is closed at all hours to accommodate construction underway at the station. During construction, riders are required to use traffic signal pedestrian crossings at Angelo Cifelli Drive and Guyon Drive to access a corresponding station house on the opposite side of Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard.  
  • Customers who use the PATH World Trade Center station during overnights should use the street level entrances at Fulton Street or Vesey Street via the North Concourse in the 2 World Trade Center transit lobby. Oculus access is limited overnight from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to allow for enhanced cleaning and the safety and security of customers due to reduced traffic volumes. All other entrances will be closed. For updates on the WTC campus, click here.  .
  • For information on PATH service and train schedules, click here or download the PATH mobile app, RidePath.  

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state agency that builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. For over a century, the agency’s network of major airports; critical bridges, tunnels and bus terminals; a commuter rail line; and the busiest seaport on the East Coast has been among the most vital in the country – transporting hundreds of millions of people and moving essential goods into and out of the region. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center campus, which today welcomes tens of thousands of office workers and millions of annual visitors. The agency’s historic $37 billion 10-year capital plan includes unprecedented transformation of the region’s three major airports – LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK – as well as an array of other new and upgraded assets, including the $2 billion renovation of the 90-year-old George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority’s annual budget of $8 billion includes no tax revenue from either the states of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, visit www.panynj.gov or check out the Now Arriving blog. 


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