Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Luggage Piles Up at JFK Airport Following Water Leak, Weather Issues

Luggage Piles Up at JFK Airport Following Water Leak, Weather Issues

The Port Authority blamed "cascading" issues that included the large numbers of holiday travellers, difficulties in baggage handling and staff shortages.

In a statement, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said the break "appeared to be weather-related" and called it "unacceptable".

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, which oversees New York's airports, said airlines were rescheduling passengers but that near-record cold temperatures were adversely affecting equipment, further slowing the airport's recovery.

The break happened just before 2 p.m. Sunday in the airport's Terminal 4, which serves roughly 34 worldwide and domestic carriers.

The water main was the latest bad news for the airport, which has scrambled to fully function since the "bomb cyclone" storm blasted much of the East Coast on Thursday.

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The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey says passengers who have already arrived are being taken to other terminals for processing. It's not clear how many flights have been affected but the departure board is a sea of red and yellow cancellations and delays. Maintenance crews were deployed to mop up the west end of the terminal, which saw about three inches of flooding, according to a Port Authority spokesman. Departures were not impacted.

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.

The meltdown on Sunday, two days after the year's first major snowstorm, forced passengers to deal with long lines to rebook cancelled flights and to search through mountains of luggage for their bags - if they could get into JFK at all.

Kuwait Airways flight 118 was involved in a minor collision on the tarmac at New York City's John F Kennedy Airport on Saturday as it prepared to head back to Kuwait City just after midnight on Sunday.

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