The whole bomb cyclone thing seemed like a whole lot to deal with — and then there was a water main breakage. Now, pretty much any issue that could have come up at New York's JFK International Airport over the weekend has, in fact, come up.
In total, JFK has seen colliding planes and a flooded baggage claim area — plus hundreds of stranded travelers waiting either on the tarmac, for their baggage, or for their massively delayed flights. Port Authority, which manages JFK, has commented by saying that the "frigid temperatures" continue to cause problems, but as of right now the problems simply coming up too quickly to even remotely satisfy the people who are stuck at the airport at some point of their travels.
“I’m so angry words can’t even express how I feel right now,” passenger Bill Carver, from Austin, Texas, told CBS.
The delays were already making matters frustrating on Saturday morning when two planes clipped each other on the tarmac. The tip of the right wing of a China Southern plane ran into the very end tip of a Kuwait Airways plane, leaving both planes with damage. The China Southern plane wasn't carrying any passengers at the time and the passengers on the Kuwait Airways aircraft got off safely, but the incident didn't help clear up the situation with the delays.
In any other weekend, two planes slamming into each other would have been the news of the day. With the bomb cyclone, however, it's the least of JFK's problems. Along with all of the passengers piling up at the airport, their baggage had begun to do the same. And then, as if the weekend was playing out a script to another Home Alone movie, a water main broke — flooding the overly crowded baggage claim area.
Passengers had already complained about waiting hours for their bags and watching other bags pile up until they became a "fire hazard," so the flooded area posed an even greater problem than it might have on a day when everything else was in order.
All in all, more than 6,000 flights out of JFK have been either canceled or delayed, which has left some passengers waiting since Friday afternoon for their flights. This, unsurprisingly, has led to pileups just about everywhere — from the check-in desks to the tarmacs.
The delays at each level have been adding up for the unfortunate passengers, some of whom have had to wait hours at each step. Parisian traveler Alban Denoyel described the scene on Twitter, saying "Chaos at
#JFK. Had to wait 6 hours post landing to be able to exit the plane, and now been waiting bagages (sic) for 3 hours, and told it might take another 4 to come. Left home in Paris 24 hours ago."
In another tweet posted 15 minutes later, he told his audience that he, his pregnant wife, and their 3-year old had given up and would simply have to hope that the luggage would find its way to them.
Bad weather, of course, is something that airports have to deal with frequently, and JFK happens to be in a location that has to go through both hurricanes and winter storms, but this was just something else.
The snow, wind, and record-breaking low temperatures that this particular storm has brought, though, have simply proven to be too much for even JFK's systems to deal with efficiently. So if you've been burrowed in your apartment for several days, covered in blankets and tipping your pizza delivery guys the appropriate 50 percent for their trip through the cold, at least you can be thankful that your weekend didn't involve a trip into or out of JFK.