How Long Is The Wait at JFK?
Take a Look at the Past 24 Hours

Marie-France Han • August 2023 • Get the code

You've flown for hours in a metal tube and just landed at JFK. You are tired and eager to get into the city. But border control is awaiting.

We can't predict the future, but we can at least give you an idea of the past 24 hours' wait times at every JFK terminal processing international arrivals, thanks to Customs and Border Protection data!

Be aware that your wait time will depend on your citizenship status. US citizens typically (but not always) wait less than non-citizens. Allow extra time to retrieve your luggage and exit the airport.

Methodology: Web scraping/ browser automation project for the Lede Program at Columbia University, summer 2023

The code opens the Customs and Border Protection website every day at 1300 GMT, requests a wait time report for John F Kennedy International Airport, scrapes the resulting tables, reformats the data and feeds it daily to Datawrapper using GitHub Actions.

Tools and Processes:

-- Wait time data collected at the Customs and Border Protection website.

-- Browser automation implemented with Playwright

-- Web scraping performed with Beautiful Soup4

-- Charts automatically generated by Datawrapper and GitHub Actions

-- Code and data available on GitHub