21 jets waiting to depart JFK 13R

As I flew over JFK last evening [7/3, 2330 zulu] in my Comanche @ 11.5k - flying along at 155kts ground speed - we saw 21 aircraft in the Conga line waiting to depart Runway 13R.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ll be number 20 to depart - you would have been better off driving.”

How can anyone do this anymore?

when i flew out of JFK 2 weeks ago, we were number 25 for take off, and then flying out of DFW yesterday, due to storms we were number 29 for take off, sat for about 90 min.

Nothing new.

Twenty years ago I was on a flight out of LGA on a Friday afternoon - maybe 40 a/c snaking around taxiways for departure.

I was on a flight out of LGA during (or maybe very shortly after) the NATCA strike back in the 80’s. Stand-by fares were really cheap at the time, so I said, “W.T.F.” The captain announced that we were number 33 for takeoff. A few audible groans and sighs could be heard throughout the cabin, but I think most of the pax were expecting a long delay. Three minutes later, the captain announced that someone working in the tower was dating his sister, so were were bumped up to number 2. Laughter and relief was followed shortly thereafter by a prompt takeoff.

it was PATCO not NATCA

Thanks for correcting me.

You probably only saw the 21 that were on taxiways headed toward rwy 13R. Did you happen to see any of the dozens of other aircraft that were being held on taxiways and runways since there was no more room to put them in line for 13R? My very first trip out of JFK, about three weeks ago, we had a 2 hour taxi time. Just last week, we had a 2.5 hour taxi time and were sitting on 31R for about an hour of it. Just sitting there, along with about 15 other planes. JFK is way over capacity, especially during the international push from 1700-2100 local. And WX will just make it ten times worse.