Thousands of bags were left at JFK airport after the winter storm problems.
Credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Nearly a week after New York’s JFK Airport seemingly never-ending weather-related debacle commenced, more than 5,000 checked bags finally made it to their owners.

After the “bomb cyclone” hit the airport on January 4, international flight gates were backed up, with some flights sitting on the tarmac for hours. Over the weekend, two planes collided on the ground and a water main burst in Terminal 4, drenching lost suitcases in water.

At its most hectic point, tens of thousands of bags were separated from their owners at JFK. As of Wednesday, that number was about 5,000. However, as flights continue at the airport, some of these bags have been left outside in the melting snow, according to New York News 4.

Passengers who returned to the airport to find their luggage had been left in an unregulated scavenger hunt at the baggage carousel.

The Port Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that it “shared the public's outrage and has directed the airlines to have all bags out of JFK and on their way to customers by day's end.”

On Monday, Delta — the airline that the water main break had affected — set up a customer service phone line dedicated to JFK baggage issues. On Wednesday, Delta returned about 3,800 bags to customers, as it returned its normal lost baggage rate of about 1.5 out of 1,000.

Note: This has been updated to reflect that all baggage was returned to customers by the end of the day Wednesday.