Passengers endure delays of up to 7 hours on JFK tarmac
New York (CNN) — Hundreds of travelers spent up to seven hours stranded in cramped planes stuck on the tarmac at JFK International Airport early Tuesday, but it was not almost immediately clear why they were not allowed to deplane.
A British Airways spokesman blamed a lack of gate space for a seven-hour ordeal for passengers on a flight from London, while a Port Authority spokesman suggested buses could have rescued travelers from JFK’s icy tarmacs.
Aeromexico’s Flight 404 landed at JFK from Mexico City at 1:15 a.m., more than two hours behind schedule, but passenger Cristobal Alex said it was six hours before he could walk off the plane.
“We were running out of food and water and the pilot came on to say he had been arguing with the folks at the airport to at least let the police come on board to deliver some food and water,” Alex said. “And I guess he lost that fight — nobody came on.”
The airport keeps buses ready to help removed passengers from planes stranded on JFK’s tarmacs, “but sometimes the airlines don’t inform us,” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said.
The Aeromexico jet pulled up to a gate after several hours on the tarmac, but the doors stayed closed until 7 a.m. ET, Alex said.
“Apparently, what happened was the customs folks went home at 1 a.m. and so everybody coming international kind of had to sit out there in the snow all night,” he said…… continued