JFK airport vows to probe weekend of woes
NEW YORK (AP) — Frazzled travelers snoozed on floors, and dozens of suitcases sat unclaimed as a welter of wintry problems – from a snowstorm to a burst water pipe – extended flight delays at Kennedy Airport into a fourth day today. The agency running the airport vowed to investigate the fiasco.
Andrea Collavo and his girlfriend were supposed to fly home to Italy on Friday after a vacation in the U.S. but still were trying to get into the air today.
They had spent days shuttling back and forth to hotels, waiting in a terminal, calling airlines and finally boarding a plane Sunday only to have it spend two hours on the tarmac and then turn back because of an equipment problem, a frustrated Collavo said.
"I can understand: Yeah, it's a mess because of the weather. But it seems that they're not very well organized," he said. "There's a big lack of information."
More than 115 flights of the day's roughly 600 were canceled, and about 100 were delayed at one of the nation's busiest airports. And the weather brought a bit more freezing rain, sleet and snow tonight.
"What happened over the weekend was a completely unacceptable performance," said Rick Cotton, executive director of Kennedy Airport's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He pledged to bring in outside experts and investigators to dissect the breakdowns and improve communication and contingency plans.
"We intend to identify what went wrong, why it went wrong ... and we intend to fix it," Cotton said.