The “bomb cyclone” that dumped snow across the Northeast may have moved on, but the storm is still impacting one of the nation’s largest airports, leaving furious passengers stranded on planes for up to 20 hours without answers.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement Sunday there were 94 canceled flights on Saturday, after “extreme cold, amid the ongoing recovery from Thursday’s storm, created a cascading series of issues for the airlines and terminal operators.”
“These challenges left passengers on planes for extensive periods, as the airlines and terminal operators experienced delays in getting aircraft in and out of gates,” the statement said. “The FAA, working with the Port Authority, airlines and terminal operators, diverted 17 flights. Terminal 1 was closed to incoming flights at 7 PM.
“Many aircraft experienced long delays in reaching gates, particularly international flights at Terminals 1 and 4. The Port Authority provided buses to bring passengers to the terminal from 25 planes at Terminals 1 and 4,” the Port Authority said.
The airport’s runways and taxiways are “fully operational” but airlines remain in recovery mode, rebooking passengers from canceled flights and reuniting passengers with their luggage, according to the agency. Ongoing frigid temperatures are causing equipment failures and slower than normal operations.
At least 12 international flights were waiting for a gate at the airport on Saturday, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24. More than 70 planes were parked at the airport at one point, according to the website.
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.
“We’ve been on the plane since 10 am (20 hrs) only ate once, our flight turned back twice & were still waiting inside the plane in jfk,” Michelle Lopez wrote on Twitter.
Another person posted “After five hours stranded on Tarmac (following a 14-hour flight from Beijing) passengers were told they could deplane only to be told minutes later that there’d be another hour-long delay.”
Other passengers told CBS New York that being stuck on dark planes on the tarmac was unacceptable.
“We were on the plane for a good 20 hours,” Michelle Lopez told CBS 2. “They took us out once to eat, and then we went back on the plane.”
“This is the worst ending to the holiday season here in New York,” another man told the television station.
The delays were not the only problem at the airport in the wake of the powerful winter storm. Two jets belonging to overseas airlines clipped wings early Saturday, according to the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association.
The incident happened outside Terminal 4, when the wing tip of a China Southern Airways Boeing 777 struck the tail end of a Kuwait Airways Boeing 777.
Kuwait Airlines said in a tweet the incident affected Flight 118, which was headed from JFK to Kuwait City. The flight’s passengers have been moved to hotels, the airline said. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Before the collision, passengers aboard Kuwait Airways Flight 117 reported they sat aboard the plane at Kennedy Airport for hours waiting for a gate.
“[B]een stuck in the plane for > 4hrs @JFKairport tarmac. Older people, kids in here, passengers with full capacity. Crew saying possibility of another 3hrs. Horrific! Will someone allow us to get out and move on with our lives?” Manish Madan posted on Twitter.
The Port Authority said late Saturday it “intends to aggressively review with its partners, the terminal operators and airlines, the process to assure that planes and passengers get to their gates during the surge of rescheduled flights that follow a severe weather event.”
*News Searching By Fox News*