NEW YORK — International flights were canceled at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the second day in a row on Friday due to power outages.
So far Friday, at least 44 flights were delayed and 30 canceled after at least 200 delays and 32 cancellations on Thursday.
CBS2 learned that a damaged electrical panel has been repaired, allowing partial power to be restored, but not enough to fully restore operations at Terminal 1. Sources said full restoration requires a new electrical transformer, which is currently in transit 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 roll with the punches. It’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re making the best of it and the airline is trying to accommodate us by moving us over to Newark,” Don Corrao said.
See John Dias’ report
The problem started with a small electrical problem and a fire early Thursday morning inside a laundry room at Terminal 1. It quickly became a problem that affected the entire system.
The terminal was unable to accept arrivals and departures. At first, 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!'” said Isabella Bivas, a student at Tuckahoe High School.
“Honestly, it’s just awful that the whole terminal is closed,” said Jackson Snyder, a sophomore from Tuckahoe High.
Jamil Rahman led a pilgrimage to Mecca and says his group is devastated.
“The airline knows nothing. We know nothing,” he said. “This is the busiest city in the world, how come they don’t have a backup plan for this?”
The Port Authority informed, “JFK Terminal 1 will remain 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 carriers for flight status before arriving at the airport.“
But not everyone knew how to do it.
“People are arriving at the airport without being told in advance that their flights were cancelled,” said one traveler.
The problems were not only on the ground. An Air New Zealand flight already eight hours into its journey to JFK had to make a U-turn and return to New Zealand as 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 Italy’s ITA Airways. Individual airlines can be checked here.
The smart travel website “The Points Guy” advises: stay up to date.
“We really encourage travelers to download the airline’s app, make sure they subscribe to push notifications, check websites like Flight Aware to know where your flight is, again, even if you’re not immediately affected by the Terminal 1 breach. ” said Melanie Lieberman, managing editor of global features for The Points Guy.
A group of St. Anthony High School students trying to get to Rome on Thursday to sing for the pope eventually got there via a flight out of Newark.
“They were excited despite what seemed like days of torture,” said brother Joshua DiMauro, of St. Anthony’s High School.
The Norwegian Port Authority now says it expects limited operations to resume on Saturday and will continue a thorough review of what happened to the private entity that operates Terminal 1.
The Port Authority also points out that Terminal 1 only represents 5% of all JFK scheduled passengers.