Toilets Stop Flushing at John F. Kennedy Airport’s Terminal 5, Travelers Told to Go on the Plane

"Every bathroom is closed in this building with thousands of people who just got off a plane"

What to Know

  • Bathrooms were closed at JFK's Terminal 5 Thursday morning after a water main break
  • Passengers reported restrooms being closed for at least two hours, others said toilets were not flushing
  • Some travelers said they were told to wait to go until they boarded their planes

Passengers trying to take a last-minute bathroom break before boarding flights at JFK's Terminal 5 had to flush those plans down the toilet Thursday morning.

A water main break outside the terminal at about 8:30 a.m. affected water pressure within the terminal, the airport said on Twitter.

That meant toilets weren't flushing, travelers reported. 

"Good morning JFK, Terminal 5, where the water is shut off and none of the toilets flush. #Ugh #TravelHazards," Diana M. Pho tweeted.

Others said the bathrooms were closed completely for at least two hours, with passengers advised to find other bathroom options. "Water main break at JFK. We have been advised to wait until we  board our flight to use the restroom and to buy bottled water. Also there are a lot of birds in here #thisisnewyork," Liz Marcello tweeted. 

Chopper 4 footage showed a big brown mess outside the terminal. Water and dirt appeared to be pooled on a passage behind the building.

The airport said the water main had been fixed by about 9:40 a.m. but it took several hours more to open the restrooms to the public. Just before midday Jeremy King, who had recently landed, reported that bathrooms were still shut.

"Every bathroom is closed in this building with thousands of people who just got off a plane. No restaurants are serving anything fresh," he said. 

The bathrooms were back up and running by noon.

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