Port Authority to Investigate JFK Nightmare as Passengers Scramble to Get Luggage

Henrietta Strickland
January 10, 2018

First a "bomb cyclone" stranded some travelers for days.

Meanwhile, Jan Coates told The Independent: "Some of our family are just back from a fabulous holiday in NY over New Year".

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said investigators want to determine "why an internal pipe was not weather protected and whether any other failures contributed to this disruption". The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees transportation services and facilities in the New York City area, including JFK airport. And then on Sunday, the water pipe burst and flooded Terminal 4.

On Monday morning, much of the flooding had receded.

When JFK re-opened there was a scramble for gates, and many arriving flights had to wait for hours to disembark passengers.

Power to the affected areas was temporarily shut off for safety reasons and additional staffing and busing operations were deployed to assist travelers, the Port Authority said.

Ahead of an expected evening storm, 116 flights were canceled at the airport and 98 others were delayed out of 600 total scheduled flights, the Port Authority said.

"We will ensure that the failure that occurred over this weekend will not occur in the future", he said.

As of Monday afternoon, the majority of flights were operating on or close to schedule, said Huntley Lawrence, the Port Authority's aviation director. He did say that the Port Authority "departed from past practice" over the weekend, and requested assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration in limiting inbound worldwide flights in the midday hours and in the late afternoon Saturday. The authority said it will "hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find".

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey said Monday it will investigate the water pipe break that added to the weather-related delays at the airport and will "hold all responsible parties accountable".

The Port Authority said delays could last for days.

Before the collision, passengers aboard Kuwait Airways Flight 117 reported they sat aboard the plane at Kennedy Airport for hours waiting for a gate.

Bottlenecks from the storm caused hundreds of delayed flights.

The severe weather forced JFK to close Thursday as a wicked nor'easter tore through the region.

Ben Ferreira had been at the airport stuck since Saturday at 6 p.m.

The delays caused passengers on stuck aircraft to unload on social media, with some claiming they were stranded on planes for up to 20 hours without answers.

During Monday's press conference, Cotton focused on the lack of coordination between worldwide airlines and the private terminal operators.

"They're in the airplane, they told them that they have to wait 45 minutes and it's been all this time already", Pena said.

Domestic airlines have expedited the process of returning baggage to customers including dedicated phone lines for customers.

Global airlines have committed to have baggage reunited by passengers in New York City by Tuesday morning, said Cotton.

Speaking at a news conference, Sen. "I found my bags - and I only waited 12 hours", she said.

"But what happened at JFK was way beyond cutting a little slack". "It seemed nearly everything broke down", he said. Whether it's the runways not being plowed, whether it's the baggage machines that transport the baggage freezing, whether it's not notifying people what's going on.

The water pipe that broke Sunday made the ordeal even worse.

Emillio Mesa traveled from Los Angeles to New York City and said he hadn't seen his baggage for 13 hours.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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