Passengers say that while airlines are passing the buck, some flyers have still not been reunited with their checked luggage more than ten days after a burst pipe wreaked havoc at JFK.
After promising to “hold all responsible parties accountable for the incident that disrupted flights into and out of Terminal 4,” the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Thursday announced a series of interim measures to prevent a reoccurrence of the weather-related malfunctions that brought operations at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) International Arrivals Terminal to a near standstill earlier this month. The new and improved winter storm response plan may be cold comfort to those international travelers who have yet to be reunited with their lost bags nearly two weeks later.
“What happened at JFK, as we have emphasized over the past two weeks, was unacceptable and must not be allowed to happen again,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement this week. “The interim directives and protocols we are announcing today are critical initial steps to ensure improved operations in future storms. We look forward to reviewing Secretary LaHood’s findings and recommendations. We intend to act aggressively on Secretary LaHood’s ultimate report – both to address accountability for failures that occurred and to implement his recommendations to assure these failures never happen again.”
Cotton, however, did not address the fact that hundreds of passengers say that their checked luggage is still missing in action as days without their personal items are now turning into weeks. According to NBC News, the exact count of still missing bags is unknown but likely numbers in the hundreds and that number doesn’t include luggage in transit after either being misdirected or handed over to couriers.
In some cases, passengers report that their lost bags weren’t stuck on a baggage cart in a far corner of the tarmac, but instead delayed somewhere between the airport and home. “It wasn’t that the bag was on the other side of the world and had to be sent back,” David Elizandro (who finally received his luggage one piece at a time over several days) told CNBC. “It literally took, in one case, eight days to get from JFK to the Upper West Side.”