Pierre, a Staten Island resident, had the bad luck to arrive at Terminal 4 at Kennedy Airport from a trip to Tobago at the exact same time a frozen water pipe burst on the west side of the terminal, sending water cascading through the terminal, forcing a partial evacuation as power and heat went out. KSL-TV reported that all flights coming into the airport were being diverted. The airline initially were very good, in that they transported a coach containing my son to a hotel for the night, telling him and others that they would fly on 5 January.
"Frigid temperatures continue to cause equipment failures and slower than normal operations". Other flights were diverted.
"We will thoroughly investigate why this pipe burst and thoroughly investigate why it was not adequately protected and thoroughly investigate the contingency plan for this event", Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey which manages the airport, said at a press conference. Hundreds of flights were canceled, and hundreds more were delayed or rerouted as authorities sought safe refuge for planes before, during and after the storm.
However, it is hard for a plane to get a gate at a terminal where they don't normally fly into. She was hoping to get on a plane Monday evening.
"The airlines don't help themselves when they are not providing accurate information and customers are spending a lot of their own money [to get to the airport]", said Henry Harteveldt, a travel consultant and founder of Atmosphere Research Group.
It wasn't immediately clear how many passenger-filled planes at JFK sat on the ground long enough to risk a possible U.S. Department of Transportation fine.
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The afternoon's slate of flights were cancelled or delayed - more than five hours in some cases.
It was a flood of water and a flood of misfortune for thousands and thousands of passengers trying to retrieve their luggage and get home.
Travellers faced more chaos after flooding at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport caused fresh flight delays and diversions amid operations already strained by a snowstorm and freezing temperatures in the United States.
Koch called out another infrastructure problem that recently snarled air travel: the almost half-day power outage last month at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world and the home of Delta Air Lines.
Kukwa, who's originally from Cameroon, wasn't surprised that a storm would disrupt winter travel.