HomeTravelJetBlue passengers stranded for hours at JFK Airport
JetBlue passengers stranded for hours at JFK Airport
January 31, 2022
Fed-up JetBlue fliers were fuming at New York’s JFK Airport on Monday after flight delays left hundreds of weekend passengers stranded in terminals overnight or on the tarmac for hours.
“I’ll never fly JetBlue again,” said New Mexico-bound Claudia Agun, who flew in from Turkey — and told The Post she had been sleeping in the departures area since Saturday on a red Turkish Airlines throw blanket because of flight snags.
Christopher Broderick said he had two flights to California canceled on him since he woke up at 3 a.m. for his planned trip Monday.
“I was going to say I would never fly JetBlue again, but we’ve not been able to fly JetBlue,” he quipped.
Airline passengers Sunday griped that they were held “hostage” in the airport’s terminals overnight since JetBlue refused to cancel their flights until the last minute amid weather delays.
One source familiar with the situation said JetBlue faced a staffing shortage of gate and ground support workers, forcing long waits to get planes to gates. It’s unclear what caused the reputed shortage. Half a dozen flights were abruptly diverted to Newark Airport in New Jersey, tracking site Flight Aware showed.
As of mid-afternoon Monday, nearly half of JetBlue’s flights out of New York were still delayed, and around 9 percent had been canceled, according to the departures board at the terminal.
Furious passengers took to social media to demand an explanation from JetBlue, with some saying they were provided vague updates from airline staff throughout the ordeal.
One passenger, Anni Stoll, tweeted that her flight to Buffalo was scheduled to leave JFK at 8 p.m. Sunday — but was repeatedly delayed for five hours before she was finally able to board.
But then after an hour of the plane sitting on the tarmac, Stoll said, all passengers were told to disembark. The flight was delayed until 6 a.m. — then finally canceled at about 7 a.m., after Stoll spent the night in the terminal, she said.
“I’m convinced @JetBlue kept everyone hostage in jfk long enough that now they don’t have to pay for people to have a hotel,” Stoll tweeted. “There are families w babies and we met a kid who was traveling alone like wtf!! :/ it’s so disorganized and we can’t leave who knows where our luggage is!”
Tourist Lorenzo Toilolo, 26, of Salt Lake City, spent Sunday night in a Queens hotel.
“We were at the airport for like 10 hours yesterday,” he said. “Everyone was screaming at the workers. It was crazy. People were laying all over the airport just waiting.”
Israel Liberow, 50, of Brooklyn, told The Post on Monday that he had been waiting for his stuff at baggage claim for an hour and a half .
“It’s been terrible,” said Liberow, who flew in from San Juan, Puerto Rico, with his wife and two kids. “They don’t have enough staff to take the stuff off the plane, that’s what they’re saying.”
Videos on social media showed passengers scouring through rows of suitcases that were eventually dumped in the baggage terminal by JetBlue after flights were canceled.
JetBlue apologized to customers Monday over the delays, saying it often takes days to recover from a huge winter storm.
“After this weekend’s heavy snow and freezing temperatures in the northeast, we are focused on safely resuming our flight schedule,” a rep told The Post. “We have made good progress in ramping up operations in Boston, LaGuardia and Newark.
“At JFK, we started operations on Saturday as planned but faced a number of conditions that have slowed the operation down.”
The representative said JetBlue had combined flights Monday “to ease those constraints and are working to rebook customers.
“It normally takes a few days to fully recover when a storm of this size significantly impacts our two largest markets of New York and Boston, and our first priority continues to be restarting safely.
“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and we are working to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
JFK effectively shut down Saturday when Winter Storm Kenan dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Big Apple, causing about 76 percent of flights at the airport to be canceled.
“JetBlue has always had difficulties recovering from significant weather events,” said Rabinowitz, the aviation expert.
“It preemptively canceled flights [on Saturday] to avoid a situation exactly like this. But when compounded by crew shortages to physically move airplanes on the ground it all breaks down.”