One of the nice things about arriving at New York’s JFK airport is knowing that your taxi ride into Manhattan will cost you a well-regulated flat fare of $45 (plus tolls + tax), regardless of the route your driver may choose. But as your family grows, and your numbers of people and suitcases and strollers multiply, and your tolerance for standing in lines diminishes — especially at the end of your journey, especially during peak travel, especially in unpleasant weather, especially with a baby or with very young children, you will be happy to discover there is a better way: The Carmel Way (“car Mel”). For $40 (5 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or $45 (8 p.m. to 5 a.m.) plus toll + tax, you can bypass the taxi line and have your own private car and driver greet you at the curb outside of JFK and drive you to your Manhattan destination ($5 more for stops above 125th St.).
Need more seats and storage than a full-size sedan affords? No problem. For $60 (+$9 toll + tip) a Carmel driver will greet you in a minivan and take you to your Manhattan destination. Carmel Car and Limousine Service also offers transportation to and from La Guardia and Newark airports, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, New York state, Long Island, New Jersey state, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut (call or see website for rates).
Carmel does not provide car seats for the journey (see this post for services that do), but in my experience, they are very kind and patient in waiting as you install your own–even offering to help or do it for me. You can find Carmel Car and Limousine Service and their best rates online at www.carmellimo.com, or call toll-free 1-800-9-carmel. For local/live agent calls: 1-212-666-6666. (I should add that this tip is given freely and quite happily, and no kick-backs, discounts, or other chachkis were exchanged for this recommendation.)
Shelly Rivoli, author of Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children
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