On Sunday, a somber atmosphere enveloped New York City’s airports as a thunderstorm wreaked havoc, causing over 1,000 flight delays and cancellations. FlightAware data revealed that Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK airports collectively endured more than 600 flight cancellations and upwards of 500 delays by 1:30 p.m. Remarkably, each of these major airports in the city outpaced global flight disruptions, according to the data.
These ongoing challenges added yet another exasperating chapter to what has been a nightmarish summer for air travelers in New York. The city’s airports have been wrestling with issues of understaffing and frequent adverse weather conditions, resulting in a cascade of flight cancellations and delays.
Alex Vikartofsky, stranded at Newark Airport for an astonishing 18 hours on Sunday during a layover between St. Thomas in the Caribbean and Chicago, shared her emotional turmoil. What was supposed to be a brief stop of a couple of hours turned into a frustrating ordeal.
“I found myself overwhelmed with emotions, tears welling up,” Vikartofsky recalled. “Feeling frustrated and stranded, I don’t know New York, so I had a sense of being lost.” She vividly described airport terminals teeming with hundreds of distressed travelers, many of whom were shedding tears.
Sunday afternoon brought an announcement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealing that JFK was experiencing an average delay of more than four hours. Earlier in the day, the FAA also imposed a grounding of planes at LaGuardia for nearly three hours.
Meteorologist David Radell from the National Weather Service attributed the weekend’s storms to the substantial moisture in the air resulting from last week’s heatwave. Radell predicted that thunderstorms would persist through Sunday evening, potentially bringing up to one inch of rain to the New York City metropolitan area.
During June, both Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports endured several consecutive days of flight delays. Airlines like United pointed to severe weather as the cause, while passengers were informed that staffing shortages also contributed to the disruptions.
Image Credits- John F. Kennedy International
Reference: More details on Gothamist