Lightning Strike Causes JetBlue Flight To Arrive 20 Minutes Early

What’s the most exciting way for your flight to arrive 20 minutes early at JFK? Get hit by lightning. From USAToday:

The JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 was heading from Rochester to John F. Kennedy International Airport when the lightning hit it, causing a smell similar to that of an electrical fire to enter the passenger cabin, company spokesman Bryan Baldwin said. There was no fire or smoke, he said.

Because it was potentially on fire, the flight got to skip ahead of other scheduled flights and arrived 20 minutes early. Hooray? —MEGHANN MARCO

Lightning strikes JetBlue plane with 140 passengers going to JFK [USAToday]
(Photo: yayaempress)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Buran says:

    Aircraft are designed to be able to withstand lightning strikes, so for anyone panicking this is just a precaution.

    By the way, “lightning” is misspelled in the tags.

  2. @Buran: Very true about the first point, but travelling in a plane when it is struck by lightning can be scarier than any amount of turbulence.

  3. Abusiveelusive says:


    Lightening is the act of making something lighter.

  4. Kornkob says:

    Shhh! The Meghann unit gets angries when you point out editing mistakes.

    OT: hmmmm— how does one go about ensuring that each of the flights one is on gets lightning struck?

  5. nffcnnr says:

    That plane must have been equipped with one of Dr. Emmet Brown’s Flux Capacitors.

  6. tracilyns says:

    I vote hooray! They could have landed at some podunk airport in the middle of nowhere that didn’t have stairs to fit the plane, and made the passengers stay in the plane for hours on end.

  7. B says:

    I guess you really do have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than arriving early on a jet blue flight.

  8. B says:

    @Kornkob: Wear a “I hate Thor” t-shirt whenever flying. It should work as long as you can get past security with it.

  9. homerjay says:

    Wait a minute. This is Consumerist. Shouldn’t that headline read “Several Flights Into JFK Flights Arrive Twenty Minutes Late Thanks to JetBlue FradyCats”


  10. bricklayer says:

    @nffcnnr: Only twenty minutes early? They’re lucky they didn’t land in 1955!

  11. battlerobo says:

    1.21 jiggawatts! lol!

    They might have arrived 20 minutes early, but I wonder if they had to wait awhile to actually get off the plane itself. And if that were to personally happen to me on a flight, I’d still be a bit nervous. The fact that the plane was struck by lightning against all odds would surprise me, and that I’m so high up in the air… it’s just one of those situations I’d prefer not to be in, safety precautions in place or not.

  12. Buran says:

    @SteveJeltzFan: It can be, although I remember the time I was on a flight that managed both… zot.

  13. bokononist says:

    but did they apologize? this is Jet Blue, after all.

  14. Moosehawk says:

    The first thing I thought of when I read the title was “Holy crap, did they must have teleported!”

    I feel really dumb now.

  15. Moosehawk says:

    I feel even dumber because I just said “DID THEY must have teleported”

  16. valkin says:

    LOL Moosehawk!

  17. timmus says:

    Did we learn anything from the Air Canada 1983 crash landing and the Swissair MD-11 crash in the 1990s? You don’t mess around with cabin/electrical fires — they can spread at enormous rates. Those pilots should have landed the plane immediately when they suspected a fire, not mosey on to their destination. I would be furious if I had been on that flight.

  18. Buran says:

    @timmus: How do you know they didn’t declare an emergency? Quite likely they did. “Routed ahead of other traffic” would fit with that — an aircraft that has declared gets priority, and the pilot, not the tower, dictates where and when it will land. They were put through the holding pattern rather than having to wait in it.

    So you’re furious now at the pilot who acted to get the flight on the ground as soon as possible?

    Wow. People really DO complain when someone does something FOR them.

  19. bhall03 says:

    Since they arrived early, do the passengers have to give more money to Jetblue as part of an airlines bill of rights???

  20. huadpe says:

    @timmus: It was a pretty short flight as flights go, it might have actually been closes to proceed to JFK if they were more than 1/2 way done with the flight when they were hit. I don’t know of any other airports capable of taking a A320 between Rochester and JFK (maybe LGA, but again, depends where they were hit.)

  21. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    The only ones I can think of are LGA, JFK and EWR definitely, and POSSIBLY Westchester County. If it happened right after takeoff, they always have Toronto. But either way, if they landed at LGA or EWR or Westchester, it would have pissed the passengers off anyway, so they might as well fly the extra 6 minutes to their destination.

  22. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Passengers were lucky they weren’t on Skybus; getting hit by lightning is an extra $50 charge.

    Get it…fifty dollar charge?

    My last Southwest flight was 15 minutes early, and we didn’t even have to get hit by lightning.