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Operations at JFK Airport slowly return to normal

09 January 2018

The afternoon's slate of flights were cancelled or delayed - more than five hours in some cases.

With a forecast calling for a bit more snow and sleet Monday night, scores of flights were still delayed or canceled earlier in the day as one of the nation's busiest airports tried to untangle a knot of trouble that began when a winter storm blasted NY and snarled air travel on Thursday. They were transferred to a hotel while alternative flights were being arranged.

Meanwhile, Valentina Kukwa continued trying to get home to Salt Lake City from her trip to Cameroon.

The airport appeared to be slowly getting back to normal on Monday but more than 100 flights were canceled in or out of JFK.

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Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said the agency, which oversees airport operations, would conduct a thorough investigation. JetBlue, for example, operates Terminal 5.

Officials are urging travelers to check their airline for their flight's status before coming to the airport.

However, it is hard for a plane to get a gate at a terminal where they don't normally fly into. Some planes are so big, such as the Airbus A380, that a terminal may lack gates or jetways tall enough to accommodate the aircraft. He said the pipe that burst was an internal fixture, but apparently had not been weather-proofed.

In the aftermath of the storm, passengers were kept on planes and waited hours to retrieve luggage as flights were delayed and cancelled, and a backup to get to terminal gates built up.

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It was just one of a series of issues facing New York's principal worldwide airport over the weekend as bitter cold gripped the North East of the United States.

"The airlines don't help themselves when they are not providing accurate information and customers are spending a lot of their own money [to get to the airport]", said Henry Harteveldt, a travel consultant and founder of Atmosphere Research Group.

Officials at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey apologized to travelers Monday and said they would investigate the cause of a water main break that flooded a busy worldwide terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport, causing delays for thousands of passengers.

The gridlock was particularly bad at Delta Air Lines' global hub at Terminal 4 along with Terminal 1, which is used by overseas carriers such as Air France and Japan Airlines.

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How airlines "recover will determine whether passengers book with them again", he said.

Operations at JFK Airport slowly return to normal