The John F. Kennedy International Airport is currently bursting with displaced people after the bomb cyclone ravaged the east coast and turned flight schedules on their heads.
The airport has cancelled or delayed over 6,000 flights since the storm on Thursday, and freezing temperatures have caused equipment malfunctions and setbacks that have kept flights from getting back on schedule.
In addition, a plane bound for Cancun had to turn around and make an emergency landing after reports that a wing had caught fire, and there was a collision on the tarmac early on Saturday morning that damaged two Boeing 777s and caused yet another cancellation.
The airport and the Port Authority have been making vague announcements and updates on Twitter, but reports from inside the airport say that communication with customers has been sparse and often contradictory. Meanwhile, thousands of people are huddled on the floor, packed in like sardines with nowhere else to go.
While many have been waiting hours or even days for a flight to take them to their destination, others have been waiting just as long for their belongings to show up in baggage claim. The scenario in the airport has become a nightmare for both customers and staff, and Twitter has become one of their lifelines for information.
Been stuck on tarmac for over 3 hours at JFK Alitalia flight 8604. Multiple passengers seeking medical attention. Staff not communicating. Babies literally crying from hunger and people calling police from the plane. Please RT to get this to the press.— Chris Mendez (@thechrismendez) January 6, 2018
I've been stuck at the JFK airport for the past 40 hours. My @KuwaitAirways flight was cancelled on 5th January & so far there's been no news of a replacement flight. No airline representative has told us anything & no response on the airline helpline numbers too.— shantanu agrawal (@shantanu990) January 7, 2018
Unprecedented. What's happening at @JFKairport this week has no precedent that I'm aware of.
At this point, I'd be worried if I had an intentional flight out of JFK on Monday, four days after the blizzard.— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) January 6, 2018
@JetBlue hour delay for the JFK to Buffalo flight because you didn't have a flight attendant present. Not a technical issue, a preventable admin/staffing failure. What's the compensation?— kendall (@candleschultz) January 7, 2018
Minus 14 degrees at JFK, 90 minute delay disembarking, now aircraft doors frozen shut. Travel advisory: don’t travel...— Lionel Barber (@lionelbarber) January 7, 2018
2 hours on the tarmac at JFK and counting...— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) January 7, 2018
Captain: Maintenance is dealing with a cold related issue they’ve never dealt with before.
Looks out window: pic.twitter.com/xqfQW2c520