Last week’s storm caused massive delays at JFK Airport. Photo courtesy of Instagram user @lifesanomaly
BY TRONE DOWD
Travelers at the nation’s busiest airport were still suffering this week from the long-lasting effects of last week’s “bomb cyclone.”
Cross country commuters said that their flights out of John F. Kennedy International Airport had been repeatedly canceled or delayed since last Thursday, causing pandemonium across several terminals. The issue quickly worsened on Sunday when a water pipe at Terminal 4 broke at approximately 2 p.m., flooding part of the already crowded airport. The flooding caused massive backups with baggage and de-boarded flights. Power to the terminal had to be shut down for safety reasons, while airport workers attempted to fix the issue.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey published a statement on Sunday following the flood, announcing that an investigation would be launched in the coming weeks.
“What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travelers expect and deserve better,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “While the water pipe break that occurred appears to be weather-related, we have launched an investigation into the incident to determine exactly what occurred and why an internal pipe was not weather protected and whether any other failures contributed to this disruption. The Port Authority is committed to providing the highest caliber of service to all travelers and we will hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find.”
Despite the Port Authority’s action, stranded flyers were left fuming in the days after the storm hit.
“Just got off phone with someone at JFK,” lawyer and commuter Matt Stein tweeted on Saturday. “Was told all the bags are just sitting out there by baggage claim. Also, was asked if I could come back to JFK to look and try to find my bag. This is unacceptable. Contact me now!”
Stein said that he was stuck on a plane for six hours before the airport let people know the flight was delayed. He said that he wants a full refund for his flight.
“Huge shout out to @JFKairport who lost my bag even though my flight was cancelled and I never left JFK,” New York University student Kevin Keegs said on Twitter on Monday morning.
The PRESS of Southeast Queens reached out to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office on Monday. An aide directed the paper to contact the Port Authority.
The Port Authority said that both domestic and international flights flying out of Terminal 4 were still working through delays at that atime. The agency suggested that commuters should contact their respective airlines for updates. For flights arriving at JFK, the Port Authority said earlier this week that they had been delayed or diverted to other terminals.
Reach reporter Trone Dowd via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 123.