What to Know
- Dozens of frustrated travelers took to social media late Friday and early Saturday to complain about hourslong waits at JFK Airport
- Some passengers cried out about being stuck on planes circling the airport as they waited to make their gates for hours
- Others posted images of gargantuan lines to baggage claim areas and departure gates
Massive delays. Walls of people in terminals. Complaints of hours-long waits to get to a gate after landing, then hours more to get checked baggage.
Those were just some of the cries from social media users struggling to get to destinations through John F. Kennedy International Airport late Friday night and early Saturday morning, the day after the massive air hub shut down for Thursday's blizzard.
"@JFKairport 3 hours on the tarmac waiting for a gate tonight. Pilot saying airport control is "chaotic". Is anyone there?," tweeted one passenger who had landed on a flight from Paris at 8 p.m.
Another on a different flight added, "Stranded in the airplane for more than 3 hours in #jfkairport waiting for a gate in the “capital of the world” with freezing temperatures outside starting to affect the cabin. This is #ridiculous." (At 3 a.m., it was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -9 at the airport.)
Another passenger, meanwhile, said that passengers began calling 911 from the plane while they waited and others began "to threaten to break open emergency exit." He also reported a fellow passenger was going through a medical episode and complained about heart conditions.
"This is illegal," he tweeted.
According to air travel tracking service Flightradar 24, dozens of planes had the same issues after landing. At midnight, it posted a screen shot of ground traffic at the airport showing what appear to be several dozen planes sitting in apparent waits for gates.
"After landing 3.5 hours ago, #DY7019 awaits a gate. Unfortunately for passengers at JFK tonight, they have plenty of company," the service tweeted.
Later, the airline said the plane made it to a gate after 4 hours -- and after circling the entire airport.
And those who were able to get off the plane didn't appear to be much luckier. Several reported waiting hours at baggage claim.
Departing flights don't appear to be much better off: social media users were also reporting takeoff delays as well. One traveler even posted a video of a fellow passenger playing violin at their gate to pass the time.
It's not clear what is causing the disruptions and delays. News 4 has reached out to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the airport, seeking comment.
In the meantime, the situation had gotten so extensive that two Twitter users stranded on separate international flights began having a conversation about their predicament.
"Still stuck, been on the tarmac almost three hours now. No words from the pilot. The overhead lights have been turned off and people are trying to sleep! This is a nightmare!" user @HappyMrPhoenix wrote at 1:57 a.m.
User @MCameronYoga responded "Yes still stuck. What airline are you on? We landed at 1030pm from South Korea and we were just updated that it will be until 3am.... I'm appalled. At least unload us with stairs and a bus!"
The situation comes the same day as an American Airlines flight had to return to the airport after takeoff after a mechanical failure.