New York’s JFK Airport isn’t a fun place to be the weekend after a bomb cyclone

Image: Rebecca Butala How/Getty Images

It’s rare for a single airport to make headlines, but that’s what happens when a cascading series of events shuts down one of the world’s biggest transit hubs.

John F. Kennedy International Airport is in a state of disarray on Sunday as nasty weather, blistering cold, and human error conspired to create a logjam that’s left travelers stranded and planes grounded or redirected. Not a great mixture for people moving into or out of New York this weekend.

Troubles started last week, when the terrifyingly named “bomb cyclone” dumped snow and windy weather across the eastern United States on Wednesday and Thursday. The inclement weather was followed immediately by a lingering cold snap that’s slowed down cleanup and recovery efforts.

Those two events alone caused heavy delays and cancelled or redirected flights that piled on top of each other as the week wore on. The issues were then further exacerbated over the weekend by instances of human error, unexpected disasters, and downright bad behavior.

Taken together, this confluence of events led to a mob scene at JFK on Saturday and Sunday as distraught, angry, and, in some cases, stranded travelers coped with disrupted travel plans and the inevitable frustrating hold-ups that come about when thousands of people are stuck in the same physical space, with the same fundamental problems to solve.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey attempted to sum up the situation and what led to it in a lengthy Twitter thread (for a state agency, at least) posted on Saturday.

That final tweet in the thread is notable. While some of the traffic jam was unavoidable given the nature of the storm and its after-effects, observers have noted that there was plenty of advance warning here. The storm was a known threat before it had even fully formed, and the intense period of cold that followed was expected.

All of which is to say: preparations at JFK could have been more thorough, airlines could have done a better job of anticipating flight disruptions, and the lines of communication to passengers all throughout could have been clearer. 

Port Authority followed up those tweets on Sunday with a longer statement, confirming that the airport’s runways and taxiways are “fully operational” while airlines “remain in recovery mode” as they deal with rebookings and lost luggage. 

Predictably, much of this has been documented on social media. Take a look, and spend some time scrolling through FlightRadar24’s Twitter feed to see the long lineup of JFK-related delays and redirects.

UPDATED Jan. 7, 2018, 4:22 p.m. ET with Port Authority’s Sunday statement.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/07/jfk-airport-delays-bomb-cyclone-cold-mishaps/