Sea of Suitcases: Passengers Without Bags at JFK Airport After Water Main Break at Baggage Claim

As if the so-called “bomb cyclone” didn’t disrupt air travel enough, a water main broke inside a busy terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport has caused even more headaches.

The deluge led to canceled flights and a sea of suitcases inside the baggage claim area at Terminal 4, the main gateway for international flights at the New York airport. 
 
Part of the terminal was evacuated Sunday after water cascaded into the waiting area and swamped baggage carousel areas. 

Hundreds of bags lined the floor as frustrated passengers dealt with flight delays and irretrievable suitcases. 

The flood occurred as air traffic is still recovering from a massive snowstorm that swamped the East Coast and delayed thousands of flights. 

Airlines said they were unable Sunday to track luggage piling up at JFK and couldn’t say when hundreds of travelers would get their bags. Many left the airport empty-handed Sunday.

Angry passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration. “So you’ve stolen our luggage,” Leslie Ruffing posted, calling out Delta Airlines. “Along with thousands of other passengers. UNACCEPTABLE.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which oversees the airport, announced Sunday it would look into the baggage snafu.

“What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travelers expect and deserve better,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “While the water pipe break that occurred appears to be weather-related, we have launched an investigation into the incident to determine exactly what occurred and why an internal pipe was not weather protected and whether any other failures contributed to this disruption. 

“The Port Authority is committed to providing the highest caliber of service to all travelers and we will hold those responsible accountable for any shortcomings we find.”

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