JFK Airport

Power Outage at JFK Airport Terminal 1 Grounds International Flights Through Friday

It was expected to take until around 9 a.m. Friday until service can be fully restored, as the FAA said the terminal's ramp would not be operational until that time

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An international travel nightmare unfolded at JFK Airport Thursday as a power outage closed a busy terminal at the New York City hub, halting flights in and out — and it appears likely it will continue into Friday.

Terminal 1 at the Queens airport experienced a power outage "caused by an electrical panel failure, which also caused a small isolated fire overnight that was immediately extinguished," according to the Port Authority. The group said that the outage was impacting the terminal's ability to accept inbound and outbound flights.

It was initially expected to take until Friday mid-morning before service would be restored, as the Federal Aviation Administration said the terminal's ramp would be out of service. However, the airport said in a tweet just before midnight that the terminal would remain closed for all of Friday. They encouraged travelers to check with carriers for any status updates before heading to the airport.

Meanwhile, passengers have been left stranded at the terminal — which serves international airlines — amid plenty of chaos and confusion.

"Not really sure what’s going on — no one is aware of the situation, at least that’s what it seems like," said frustrated passenger Anthony Russo, who was hoping to make it to London. "I had a lot planned, I was gonna see some friends and now I don’t know what the hell is happening."

As of Thursday evening, the airlines were writing out their flight cancellations by hand because the big electronic board was still out. They were giving passengers flyers, one of which from Lufthansa began "unfortunately, your flight was canceled."

"They canceled our flight, we have to go home and figure out what we have to do. I hope they’ll reimburse for the hotel and the connection I’m losing out on," said passenger Dina Salemo, hoping to get to Sicily. "What can I do, I just have to wait."

Some travelers said their delayed flights won't be taking off for days.

"They’re saying we won’t get out until Sunday, possibly," said Michelle Wheat, who was looking to fly to Berlin in time to for a show that same day.

SWAPA, the union that represents Southwest Airlines' pilots, says the way Southwest routes are designed is part of the reason the airline has had such a difficult time rebounding from winter weather delays and cancellations.
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