Yesterday afternoon, one plucky traveler named Suri (who asked that her last name be withheld) set off for JFK, hoping to get up in the air despite the blizzard. Her airline, Emirates, had assured her that her 4 p.m. flight to Dubai—initially scheduled for Sunday night—would be able to take off, but things didn't exactly work out as she'd hoped. The departure time was repeatedly bumped back, with boarding finally happening around 11 p.m. Aaaand seven hours later, she was returned to the terminal with the other hopefuls, where she's been stranded since. The AirTrain hasn't been running, and it's tough sledding finding a cab, particularly since her winter coat is still in her checked luggage, which is still on the plane. Suri describes the desperate, frustrating scene:

Terminal 4 pretty much resembles a refugee camp right now, but with power outlets at a premium instead of running water. Fun fact if you ever get snowed in with thousands of Internet-addicted New Yorkers at JFK: power outlets are obviously at a premium, and people always feel like they get kicked off them prematurely by other disgruntled passengers. But there are actually outlets in the AirTrain station that no one knows about!

People are sleeping on cardboard boxes, which I was kind of envious of because I don't know how they got them! We're subsisting mostly on McDonald's and Sbarro, but there are really long lines. One woman was flying home for her wedding, and that's not going to happen. In case Gothamist readers want to know why flights out of JFK are still delayed today (other than the shit tons of snow to shovel), Emirates ground staff just bitched about how the airport should have been closed earlier. They let too many flights land on Sunday evening so there are more planes than gates.

For my Emirates flight, we have a plane and a crew, but no gate. There's an Etihad plane that's currently at the Emirates gate that should be at another gate, but there is another plane with frozen breaks at the Etihad gate. AirTrains have been suspended pretty much since Sunday because of the snow, and the wind is blowing the snow onto the switches on the tracks that determine the direction of the train. Also, because the AirTrain is light-rail, the wind alone makes it very susceptible to be derailed.

According to one Terminal 4 worker, usually the AirTrain runs automatically, but even when they tried running it manually they felt it was too dangerous. She didn't have an estimate of when the AirTrain would be operational again, and she didn't seem optimistic it would happen today. Instead, there are shuttle buses to the A train, which run every hour. The newly scheduled flight for today was first set to depart at 10pm, but that's just been changed to 1 a.m. I want to leave (they said if we cancel now we'll eventually be reimbursed), but they won't give us our luggage, which has my winter coat in it so I can't wait in line for the shuttle bus or a cab. All that adds up to me being stuck hear till approximately March.

Suri tells us the AirTrain is now running... to Howard Beach! Clearly, she needs to get a hold of some cardboard and start a hobby, like these resourceful stranded travelers.