Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Operations at JFK Airport slowly return to normal

Operations at JFK Airport slowly return to normal

Luggage piled up at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 7 after several problems, including a water leak in Terminal 4, caused delays and flooding.

Global arrivals to Terminal 4 were suspended earlier, with passengers who were already arrived being taken to other terminals for processing. It also spilled onto the road outside and froze over.

Abrams video showed water on the ground in the arrivals area of the terminal and the chaos as travelers attempted a mass exodus from the airport. "Due to a water main break at #JFK Terminal 4 there are flight delays".

"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. "These included frozen equipment breakdown, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages, and heavier than typical passenger loads".

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The problem has been now been fixed. The Port Authority said it would investigate the incident and other relationships within the airport. "Please allow extra time and contact your airline". The threshold is more than three hours for a domestic flight and four for an worldwide one. The storm struck as many travelers were making their way home from end-of-year holidays and 2018 business travel was getting going.

While all runways and taxiways had been ploughed clear of snow and reopened by Sunday, inbound flights faced 21/2-hour delays as the federal and local authorities carefully managed the flow of traffic at New York City's main global travel gateway, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration's website. "But it seems that they're not very well organized", he said.

"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. More than 230 flights were diverted since Thursday because of the storm, 124 of them global flights to JFK, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.

The storm Thursday forced temporary closure of the airport. "Customers may experience residual delays, particularly for worldwide flights".

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Independent travel correspondent Simon Calder advised those stuck in NY during the storm: "Airlines have a clear and unlimited obligation to provide a hotel room and all meals, as well as transport to and from the airport, until they can get you home".

The Port Authority was trying to limit flights into JFK until there were sufficient gates to cope with the increasing backlog.

Meanwhile 38 of the scheduled departing flight between 6am and 11.59am are now delayed, and a further nine have been cancelled.

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