NEW YORK — International flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport were canceled for the second day in a row on Friday due to a power failure.
So far Friday, at least 44 flights were delayed and 30 canceled after at least 200 delays and 32 cancellations on Thursday.
CBS2 has been informed that a damaged electrical panel has been repaired, allowing for partial power restoration, but it is not enough to fully restore Terminal 1’s operation. Sources said full recovery will require a new electrical transformer, which is currently on its way from Georgia.
While many flights have been canceled, others have been diverted to Terminal 4. Some travelers were even bussed to New Jersey to catch new flights.
“You just have to keep going. It’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re making the best of it and the airline is trying to accommodate us by moving us to Newark,” said Don Corrao.
Check out John Dias’ report
The problem started with a minor electrical problem and fire in a utility room of Terminal 1 early Thursday morning. It quickly turned into a problem that affected the entire system.
The terminal was unable to accept inbound and outbound flights. Initially, passengers were stranded.
“It feels like it’s a movie, it’s not real. I’m still waiting for them to say, ‘It’s a joke!’” says Isabella Bivas, a student at Tuckahoe High School.
“Honestly, it’s just awful that the entire terminal is shut down,” said Jackson Snyder, another student at Tuckahoe High.
Jamil Rahman led a pilgrimage to Mecca and says his group is heartbroken.
“The airline doesn’t know anything. We don’t know anything,” he said. “This is the busiest city in the world, how can they not have a backup plan for this?”
The Port Authority advised, “JFK Terminal 1 remains closed on 2/17 due to electrical issues as the Port Authority continues to work with the terminal’s operator to restore flight operations as quickly as possible. Travelers should check with their carrier for flight status before coming to the airport.“
But not everyone knew how to do that.
“People arrive at the airport without being told in advance that their flight has been cancelled,” said one traveler.
The problems weren’t just on the ground. An Air New Zealand flight that had been traveling to JFK for eight hours had to make a U-turn and return to New Zealand because there was nowhere to land.
In addition to Air New Zealand, a number of major airlines operate from Terminal 1, such as Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa and the Italian ITA Airways. Individual airlines can be checked here.
The travel-savvy website “The Points Guy” advises: stay tuned.
“We really encourage travelers to download their airline’s app, make sure they’re subscribed to push notifications, visit sites like Flight Aware to know where your plane is, again, even if you’re not immediately affected by the Terminal 1 outage,” said Melanie Lieberman, global features managing editor for The Points Guy.
A group of students from St. Anthony High School who tried to get to Rome on Thursday to sing for the pope finally arrived there via a flight from Newark.
“They were excited despite what seemed like days of torture,” says Brother Joshua DiMauro of St. Anthony’s High School.
The Port Authority now says it expects limited operations to resume on Saturday and will continue a thorough investigation into what happened to the private entity that operates Terminal 1.
The Port Authority also points out that Terminal 1 represents only 5% of all JFK’s scheduled passenger flights.
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