A "bomb cyclone" that raked the northeastern part of the country with heavy snowfall, glacial temperatures and high winds had forced the cancellation earlier in the week of thousands of flights, and caused thousands more delays.
Port Authority, which manages all three of the major airports serving New York City, said a number of factors led to a backlog at gates and that it expected delays to continue into the evening because bitter cold was causing equipment issues on the ground.
"The Port Authority intends to aggressively review with its partners, the terminal operators and airlines, the process to assure that planes and passengers get to their gates during the surge of rescheduled flights that follow a severe weather event", the agency added.
A China Southern plane being towed along the tarmac at JFK airport clipped the right tail end of a Kuwait Airways plane early Saturday morning.
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.
The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey has operated the airport for just over a decade, and is trying to attract more airlines to Stewart. The airline said it was working with authorities in NY to investigate.
"Been stuck on tarmac for over 3 hours at JFK Alitalia flight 8604".
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.
Passengers complained of lengthy waits on planes and in the terminal since Friday afternoon. One woman arrived for an 8 a.m. flight only to be told it would be taking off at 5 p.m.
"This is illegal", he tweeted.
"In eastern Canada, which has suffered through extreme cold for two weeks, there were further flight delays and cancellations at the Montreal and Toronto airports, and some communities along the Quebec coast faced flooding".
American Airlines officially said that the plane, a Boeing 738, needed to land due to a "possible mechanical issue".
"Everyone video this, because we need answers", one woman said, directing her fellow passengers in front of a ticket terminal.