JFK Airport fixes Terminal 1 power outage that canceled, diverted flights

Work crews have fixed a power outage at John F. Kennedy International Airport that forced some flights to be canceled or diverted after a fire early Thursday morning caused the outage, officials said.

Repairs were made overnight and full power was restored in Terminal 1, which handles some of the airport's international flights, said The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The outage began Thursday when an electrical panel failure caused a small fire, authorities said. 

Dozens of flights were canceled and some were diverted to other airports. 

An Air New Zealand flight was forced to return to Auckland after flying two-thirds of the way across the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a 16-hour trip that ended where it began.

One couple was trying to get back home to Belgium.

"We are now stranded here. So our friends in Germany are trying to get another flight from another airport," they said.

He said their airline told them to come to Terminal 1 at JFK even though it was closed.

Another family was so frustrated trying to get to Cambodia they can barely speak about the problems.

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"I don’t know. I don’t know what to do man. Can’t really think right now."

The closure affected more than 2 dozen international airlines.

Canceled flights were written on a piece of paper and posted. Most of the terminal looked like a ghost town for most of Friday, but some passengers were still coming to the terminal because their airlines told them to head there.

A traveler from Rego Park, Queens was trying to begin his vacation in Thailand.

He said, "Why I’m angry is that I called and if you check the automated system it’s still stating that the flight is going."

Barbara Rutherford and her group are from Washington State on their way to Egypt for a 2-week tour. It was supposed to be a vacation of a lifetime.

"We’ve been waiting for 3 years to take this trip because of COVID," Rutherford said.

Rutherford said, "There’s nobody to tell us what to do. So we’re told just to come here and wait."

Rutherford’s friend said, "They think maybe they can use a different terminal to still get us out  of here." 

Associated Press wire services helped contribute to this report.