March 24, 2010

Huffing and puffing could blow the house down

The sun is shining and the birds are singing — why, then, are there flight delays and cancellations today?

Pesky Northwesterly gusty winds in the New York area are causing flight delays and cancellations. The wind may not seem like an issue, but as you may know, it can be strong enough to move houses and schools, to shift landscape,  and to ruin grandma’s beauty parlor hairdo. Wind also dictates the runway configuration at airports — and at JFK where the airport’s major “Bay Runway” is under construction, today’s wind means there’s only one usable runway. Instead of handling about 80 flights per hour, the capacity comes down to about 25 per hour on a day like today.

The National Weather Service forecast for today shows winds gusting to 33 knots (up to 61mph) through 8pm tonight. Bearing in mind that it’s essential for planes to fly in a straight line to take off and land safely, strong winds are capable of rendering runways unusable. Today, that’s the case.

Because JFK is our largest focus city, delays and cancellations here may have a ripple effect on other cities across the network. Everything is connected (you’re welcome for the dose of Zen wisdom for the day).

We encourage you to check jetblue.com for updates on your flight status and call one of our Crewmembers directly at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) if your flight has been canceled.

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