United States winter storm causes travel headaches at NY airport

The collision came on top of lengthy and extensive delays throughout JFK Airport, brought on by a powerful blizzard that wreaked havoc on the East Coast in the first week of the new year.

Some flights were diverted to other airports because of the Terminal 1 gate delays, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24, which reported a dozen global flights waiting for gates at JFK Saturday.

The wing tip of a China Southern 777 plane struck the tail end of a Kuwait Airways 777, causing damage to both aircrafts, the union representing Port Authority police officers said Saturday.

The Kuwait Airways flight was parked ahead of takeoff when the planes collided, the airline said on Twitter.Kuwait's passengers were transported to nearby hotels to await new flight arrangements as NY authorities investigated the incident, the airline added.

Kuwait Airways released a statement via Twitter announcing that the Chinese aircraft struck Flight 118 from NY to Kuwait while it was parked awaiting takeoff. Complaints of hours-long waits to get to a gate after landing, then hours more to get checked baggage.

The airline added that it was cooperating with NY authorities to investigate the accident.

In one case, passengers had flown a 14 hour flight from China only to arrive and sit on the tarmac for almost seven more hours waiting for a gate.

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By Saturday evening, the Port Authority said it was still working to limit flights coming into JFK until there were enough gates available to handle the backlog. One woman arrived for an 8 a.m. flight only to be told it would be taking off at 5 p.m.

Another passenger, meanwhile, said that passengers began calling 911 from the plane while they waited and others began "to threaten to break open the emergency exit".

"This is illegal", he tweeted.

"People are sleeping on the ground, people are sitting on the ground".

American Airlines officially said that the plane, a Boeing 738, needed to land due to a "possible mechanical issue".

In eastern Canada, which has suffered through extreme cold for two weeks, there were further flight delays and cancellations at Toronto airport, and some communities along the Quebec coast faced flooding. One traveler even posted a video of a fellow passenger playing violin at their gate to pass the time.

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