When the TWA Flight Center opened in 1962 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (then called Idlewild Airport), the jet age was just beginning. The Eero Saarinen–designed building wasn’t completed until after the architect’s death in 1961, but it remains one of his most well-known projects, along with the Washington Dulles International Airport and St. Louis’s Gateway Arch. The terminal closed in 2001—along with its namesake Trans World Airlines—because it could no longer support the size of modern airplanes.
Located directly across from JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK, the TWA Hotel is accessible via car, AirTrain, or directly from the arrivals level of the terminal. The simplest way to enter the hotel is by having a car drop you off directly in front of the property. If you’re arriving via public transportation, take the AirTrain to the Terminal 5 station and follow signs into the terminal and down to baggage claim. From there, you’ll see signs for the TWA Hotel, which will lead you to a special elevator that takes you directly up to the hotel’s iconic flight tubes and into the lobby area. While it’s a little complicated, there are fun details to keep an eye out for along the way, like elevator buttons for “Present Day JetBlue” or “1960s TWA Hotel” instead of “Level 1” and “Level 2” and a recreation of TWA-owner Howard Hughes’s office.