Despair Jordan: English Family Stuck in Newark Gets Helping Hand

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A British family stranded at Newark Airport find a new temporary home in New Jersey. (Published Monday, Apr 19, 2010)

    For many tri-staters, the Jordans of Yorkshire, England, have become the poster family for the thousands of passengers stranded by fallout from Icelandic volcano eruption.

    The Jordans were stuck at Newark Airport since the volcano erupted, and are looking at a wait of ten days before they can get a flight to London.

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    They were rationing themselves on one meal a day because they were running low on Monday and didn't have any credit cards.

    "Nobody's given us no help," Mick Jordan told NBCNewYork on Sunday. "They won't pay for this food, they won't pay for a hotel or anything."

    But dozens of  viewers called and emailed us after the Jordans -- father Mick, mother Jane, and 13-year-old son Billy -- were profiled on our 11 o'clock news program on Sunday night (see video left).

    Now, the Jordans have a place to stay and some food to eat as they wait for a way back home.

    Don and Jeanmarie Keenan of Scotch Plains, N.J. have opened up their home to the Jordans. Jeanmarie went to the airport only moments after watching our broadcast, and offered the Jordans a place to stay.

    On Monday afternoon, the Keenans were showing the Jordan's around the Big Apple, but took time to meet up with NBCNewYork as they toured Rockefeller Center.

    Jeanmarie said it was a spur of the moment decision to pick up the British family.

    "We saw the Jordans on TV and I saw Billy and I said, 'Oh he can't stay there,' I felt really bad," she said. "So we drove over -- we went to the wrong terminal first."

    A cop showed the Keenans to the area where the Red Cross had set up cots and Jeanmarie quickly noticed Jane Jordan.

    "I walked up to them and I said, "Are you the Jordan family?' and he [Mick] said, 'We are,' and I said, 'Get your stuff you're coming home with me!'  -- and he went "Okay!"

    She said the decision took about 45 seconds and the Keenans said they weren't concerned about any dangers of taking in complete strangers: "Ah, I can take 'em on, we're from New Jersey," said Jeanmarie.

    For their part, the Jordans were delighted to have a place to stay.

    "It's awesome what they did for us," said Mick Jordan. "They gave us a bed, they gave us a shower, they gave us food. They are really really nice people, absolutely awesome."

    The British Consul-General in New York has advised any nationals in the U.S. who need assistance to call 1-888-854-3574, or head over to www.ukinusa.fco.gov.uk. The St. George Society has also been been reaching out to British travelers.

    Meanwhile, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is working with the Red Cross, airlines and terminal operations to provide some stranded people with basic necessities. Today, they will bring two "shower trailers" to JFK, each equipped with 18 shower stalls with soap and towels. Other services include diapers and prescription refills.

    And Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that 15 percent discounts are being offered at more than 30 hotels for passengers who aren't able to get hotel vouchers through their airlines. The offer runs through April 19.
         
    New York Airport Service and Go Airlink Shuttle will also extend 15 percent discounts for transportation to and from John F. Kennedy or Newark Liberty airports for affected passengers.