Between the winter storm that shut down airports, the thousands of canceled flights and Southwest Airlines declaring an operations emergency in Denver (which has now spilled over to their other airports), it’s possible that this has been the worst Christmas for travelers, certainly in recent memory. But it doesn’t end there. You can now add New York’s JFK International Airport to the nightmare travelers have been facing. RELATED: Southwest Airlines Cancels Over 2,500 Flights Today as Holiday Travel Troubles Continue And Airlines Struggle to Play Catch-Up

According to a statement put out by JFK Airport via their Twitter handle (@JFKAirport): “We are experiencing delays at the customs processing station at JFK Terminal 1 due to a burst water pipe. JFK Terminal 1 arrivals are being directed to Terminals 4 and 8. Buses are assisting with passenger travel. We appreciate your patience.”

This is a huge deal because not only does it mean Terminal 1 passengers will be affected, but so will passengers arriving at T4 and T8, as those lines will grow exponentially.

To give you an idea, Terminal 1 airlines consist of Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Serbia, Air Senegal, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Azores Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Cayman Airways, Condor, Eastern Airlines, EgyptAir, EVA Air, Flair Airlines, Interjet, ITA Airways, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Norse Atlantic Airways, Philippine Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SWISS, Swoop, Tap Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Viva Aerobus and Volaris.

Terminal 4 airlines consist of Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air India, Avianca Brasil, Caribbean Airlines, China Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, Kenya Airways, KLM, LATAM, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Uzbekistan Airlines.

Terminal 8 airlines consist of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Ethiopian Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Level, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian.

Can you imagine getting off of a long-haul flight, which almost all of these passengers are, and being told you have to wait on the plane, or in a cold jet bridge for hours and then being bussed across the airport to stand in a ridiculously long line? It’s borderline inhumane, especially for those with kids, the elderly, those not feeling well or those in a big hurry for a family gathering.

Check out this example that @megs2385 just posted: “@AirNZMedia after a 17 hour flight we were just left on the jet bridge with no heat (-3 C) water, or food for nearly 4 hours. If we were still on the flight we would have been owed food and water – one man was refused a wheelchair. #Inhumane @JFKairport @NewYorkStateAG”

Meg’s not alone. @dingwallr who was also on that same flight tweeted: “Our pilot says there is flooding in the CPB area caused by a burst water pipe. We are unable to disembark our aircraft #NZ2”

To get an idea what the after effect of the burst pipe looks like, see @allers_498 photo, which must have been taken just after it happened: “That picture is from 5:45pm. 10 min later they closed the area. Now we are slowly satt moving”

@indranibala who also was coming in from Auckland tweeted: “what is happening at JFK customs terminal 1? staff are all giving different info. Hundreds of passengers walking back and forth with no clue what’s going on / how long it’s going to take to enter.”

JFK Airport responded: Hi Indrani, we apologize for the inconvenience. The Terminal 1 customs area is being cleared because of a weather related maintenance issue.  Passengers are being diverted to another terminal for immigration processing. *JC

@indranibala followed up with: “I’ve been here in the immigration line for a couple of hours, no sign of movement. No clue how long this thing is going to take. They just handed out water bottles… gonna be a long night.”

@indranibala: The separate US and non-US lines are BS. We are all in one line in customs. join the shorter line on your side.
@johnnyariesnyc who flew in from Oslo tweeted: “Flight landed almost 4 hours ago @JFKairport @flynorse and I’m STILL no where near even the main line for the customs area. Could be waiting at jfk longer than the actual 8 hour flight i just took. Absolutely disgraceful”

@bonvivantgirl: It has been 1h 40 min  that we are stuck at the runway. What is happening? This is crazy! She followed up with, “After waiting for 2h on the plane, we finally got on a bus and they sent us to Terminal 4”

@zebharadon has the tweet of the night and said out loud what everyone was probably thinking: “JFK airport sucks a*s with a straw. If there were a Lee Harvey Oswald airport next door, I’d take that instead.”

I really feel for those incoming passengers as it’s no way to welcome visitors to the United States or welcome citizens home. There’s not much any of them can do except wait patiently. @dingwallr tweeted that Global Entry members had to wait in long lines too, which is even more aggravating for those who paid the fee and completed the interview.

“There is one mega passport control queue for everyone. No global entry or anything. There is no dedicated line or queue jumping for passengers with flight connections so they’re pretty much screwed.”

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1 Comment On "'Absolutely Disgraceful': Holiday Travel Nightmare Gets Even Worse at JFK Airport for Arriving International Passengers"
  1. Bryant P.|

    Perhaps Biden should just do away with Customs and Immigration just like he has done on the Southern Border!

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