Virgin Atlantic passengers sit on plane for 6 hours before spending night at JFK Airport

Virgin Atlantic passengers sit on plane for 6 hours before spending the night at JFK

A group of Virgin Atlantic passengers were left sitting on a plane for six hours before having to spend the night at a deserted JFK airport after Storm Juno saw the cancellation of thousands of flights.

Passengers could not even leave the airport on Tuesday morning as public transport was suspended.

The travellers thought they were headed for London but ended up sleeping on the airport floor after being told in the early hours of Tuesday morning that their flight was not actually flying.

They set up camp on the airport floor after being told there was a travel ban in New York City.

Airports a Mess from Winter Storm Juno

Passengers had been left waiting to take off on the plane from its scheduled time of 6.30pm on Monday, before they were eventually told it was cancelled at 12.30am on Tuesday morning.

And by 11pm on Monday night, all taxis and vehicles had been ordered off the road, and every subway line was closed to passengers.

There had been an initial problem with a passenger taking ill, before the storm saw the cancellation of the flight.

The airline apologised for the disruption and provided customers with blankets and a $15 meal voucher.

Speaking to the NY Daily News, a Virgin spokeswoman said the flight was scheduled to depart at 6.30pm on Tuesday night.

But some passengers weren't impressed. Alexis Dehasse told the Daily Mail: "It was like a murder mystery suspense movie - no one could give us any answers.

"There was nowhere to go. No food and no water. We weren't allowed out. That threat of not being able to leave the airport... it was pretty traumatic.

"The whole thing was a mess."

He added: "They knew what was coming so they should've had extra staff on the ground,' he said. 'They should've had a contingency plan and they didn't. They weren't prepared."

One man, Felix Kunze, live-tweeted the action:

Weird weather and strange phenomena around the world
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Virgin Atlantic passengers sit on plane for 6 hours before spending night at JFK Airport

Tornados have been ripping through parts of the USA at an alarming rate during 2011. This example was captured on camera in Limestone County, Alabama, in April. A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that it is contact with a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground. Also called twisters, they’re characterised by the condensation funnel that touches the earth, and are surrounded by clouds of dust or debris.

On 11 January, 2010, two pranksters decided to drive their car along the frozen Union Canal in Winchburgh, West Lothian, Scotland. Unfortunately for them, the thaw had already started to set in. The canal froze solid during he longest spell of freezing weather in the UK for almost 30 years.

This dust storm engulfed the desert city of Bikaner, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on 2 April, 2010. The town was already broiling in temperatures of 39C. Dust storms happen when strong wind carries loose sand and dust away from one area and deposits it in another.

This image of the Northern lights was captured in the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March 2011. Occurring just within the Arctic and Antarctic circles, the Northern lights – or Aurora borealis, to give them their Latin name – are the light display in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field.

This impressive rainbow resulted from a spectacular storm and was photographed in Brandon Hill Park near Clifton, Bristol, in the UK on 27 August, 2010. The rainbow seems to rise from the top of Cabot Tower - which is itself 105ft tall - showing its immense scale. Rainbows are an optical phenomenon that occur when the sun shines on to moisture droplets in the atmosphere. 

This set of footprints in freezing rain was snapped in Lexington, Kentucky, USA on 16 December, 2010. Rain that falls and becomes ‘supercooled’ when surface temperatures are below freezing point can freeze on impact with anything it touches, unlike snow which remains only partially frozen. The resulting ice is known as glaze. Freezing rain is one of the deadliest weather conditions, bringing down power line and causing numerous road traffic accidents and personal injury.

This example of smog was pictured hanging over Moscow, on 7 August, 2010, and was caused by the billowing smoke from peat bog and forest fires. Smog was originally a description of the pollution resulting from factory smoke and fog in the 1900s. Today it’s more often caused when sunlight reacts with car exhaust, coal power plants or factory emissions and the compounds released from petrol, paints and solvents.

This crashing wave was caused by the approaching of the Hurricane Earl in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in August, 2010. Earl battered some islands across the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and roof-ripping winds, rapidly intensifying into a major storm on a path projected to menace the United States. Hurricanes are triggered by low pressure areas forming over warm ocean waters.

In March 2011, the 'supermoon' was the closest it had been to earth for18 years lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away. This snap was taken from Huntington Beach in Los Angeles.

Rainstorms come and go, but not usually as dramatically as this downpour which completely flooded the town of Wuzhou in southwest China on 9 June, 2010, proving that the trusty umbrella isn’t always protection enough...

Ash covered everything for thousands of miles after the eruption of Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano in May 2011 sent clouds of ash high into the air, carrying it toward the European continent on the wind, disrupting flights for the second time in less than a year.

This magnificent lightning strike hit a tower during a thunderstorm in Zurich, Switzerland on 12 August, 2010. Lightning occurs when the balance between the negative charge of storm clouds and the positive charge of the earth is redressed by a current passing between the two - with literally stunning results.

This halo around the sun was photographed  on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle on 19 April, 2011. These halos - spectacular and eerie at the same time - are caused by ice crystals in high clouds. They tend to occur during the summer months, during ‘midnight sun’ season in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.


Best hotels in New York
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Virgin Atlantic passengers sit on plane for 6 hours before spending night at JFK Airport

Just three subway stops from Manhattan, Aloft Brooklyn is a cool, affordable alternative for your New York city break. Its communal spaces are geared towards "mingling" but, while you're here, definitely take a chance to check out the trendy local area, whether its chilling out in Prospect Park, or shopping at the hip Cobble Hill boutiques.
Opened its doors: June 2011
Price: From $139 (£83)

The Bowery House is a stylish lost-style hotel located in the architecturally rich, European-inspired neighbourhood of Nolita. Within a block of 220 Bowery, you'll find The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sperone Gallery, Bowery Ballroom, Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, Albanese Meat & Poultry, Cafe Habana, Cafe Gitane, and much more. Back at the hotel, put your feet up in the living room, with its custom Chesterfield sofas, 65in TV, commissioned artwork and 'Bowery Bodega' snack shop. Or, head up to the rooftop garden for panoramic views of the downtown skyline, New Museum, Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Opened its doors: August 2011

Price: from $54 (£32)


The Conrad New York is a luxury hotel located in Lower Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. It's an art lover's paradise with over 2,000 pieces throughout the hotel, including a 13ft high Sol LeWitt in the atrium. The rooftop bar boasts amazing views of the Statue of Liberty. What more could you want? Oh, there's also an old-school barbershop located in the hotel’s atrium for guests and locals.
Opened its doors: March 2012
Price: From $449 (£269)

Designed by Benjamin Noriega Oritz, the Mondrian SoHo was inspired by Cocteau’s cinematic interpretation of “La Belle et la Bete”. It boasts breathtaking views, and 235 rooms with sumptuous interiors. When you get peckish, head to the Imperial No. Nine restaurant for its delicious modern seafood menu, and when you're thirsty, check out the "intimate downtown" Mister H bar for after-dark drinks.
Opened its doors: March 2011
Price: From $259 (£155)

A luxury boutique hotel, the Nolitan is nestled in Nolita - "North of Little Italy" - which is a great spot in downtown Manhattan, within walking distance to SoHo, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, East Village, The Bowery and the Lower East Side. The hotel has 55 rooms, private balconies, a rooftop sun deck, and its own restaurant. Pets are welcome and there are bikes and skateboards for you to borrow when your feet are all worn out.
Opened its doors: August 2011
Price: From $239 (£143)

If you're looking for a hotel in the heart of the city, TRYP is for you, with the Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens and Times Square on its doorstep. And when you've soaked up the sights, make the most of the hotel's gastropub, fitness centre, and media room (with 55in TVs, Nintendo Wii, and popcorn makers).
Opened its doors: February 2012

Price: From $149 (£89)

A stay at Yotel will find you smack-bang in the middle of Times Square - at a very reasonable price. Check-in is airport-style; you simply take the credit card you booked with and enter it at one of the automated kiosks, before being issued your room key and heading to your "cabin", which comes with WiFi, a bed that changes into a sofa at the push of a button, and ensuite bathrooms. Pay a bit more for a "First cabin" and you'll get an outdoor terrace and hot tub, too.
Opened its doors: May 2011
Price: From $129 (£77)

A boutique hotel that "combines sleek, Jazz Age themes with modernist industrial chic", Z NYC Hotel is located in Long Island City, which sounds miles away from Midtown Manhattan but, in fact, is just across the East River. It’s only one subway stop from Lexington Avenue, so you’ll get to the shops quicker than from most areas in Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn. The location is a great option for people looking for a room under $200 (£127) per night. The Z NYC Hotel boasts a fabulous rooftop bar with views of the Manhattan skyline, so is arguably even better than the views IN Midtown Manhattan, too.
Opened its doors: July 2011
Price: From $175 (£104)

Rubbing shoulders with some of the world's best art galleries as well as the famous High Line Park, Hotel Americano is found in Manhattan's Chelsea neighbourhood. Described as a "10-storey metal mesh-wrapped boutique lodging", it features a glass elevator that whisks you up to the roof terrace restaurant, which is Greek in the summer and Argentinian in the winter. There's also a rooftop pool, which transforms into a hot tub when cold season hits, as well as a cool basement bar called El Privado.
Opened its doors: September 2011
Price: From $195 (£117)


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