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 airfield to prepare headlines, but that’s what happens when a cascading series of events shuts down one of the world’s biggest transport hubs.

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

Troubles started last week, when the terrifyingly reputation “bomb cyclone” dropped snowfall and breezy climate across the eastern United States on Wednesday and Thursday. The inclement condition was followed immediately by a lingering cold snap that’s slowed down cleanup and recovery efforts.

Those two contests alone caused heavy retardations 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 the case of an human error, unexpected tragedies, and downright bad action.

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

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

That final tweet in the yarn is conspicuous. While some of the traffic jam was unavoidable by the nature of the gust and its after-effects, spectators have noted that there was batch of betterment tell here. The cyclone was a known threat before it had even amply worded, and the intense reporting period coldnes that followed was expected.

All of which is to say: groomings at JFK could have been more thorough, airlines could have done a better errand of foreseeing flight interruptions, and the lines of communication to passengers all throughout could have been clearer.

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

Predictably, much of this has been documented on social media. Take a review, and spend some time scrolling through FlightRadar2 4’s Twitter feed to read the long lineup of JFK-related lags and redirects.

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

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