SAN JOSE -- Officials at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Monday night were still sorting out the disruptions to flight operations and passengers after a water pipe burst and flooded Terminal A.
The hot water line, located in the roof space of the bridge connecting the parking garage/baggage claim area with Terminal A, broke at 2:15 a.m. and poured water into the airport for more than an hour.
Because the water line burst so early in the morning, Terminal A only saw about 3,900 passengers, "which is considered light for a Monday," airport spokeswoman Cheryl Marcell said.
Even though no runways were affected, Marcell said at least one airline -- Virgin America -- decided to cancel its 9 a.m. scheduled flight to Los Angeles.
Officials were still trying to tabulate how many passengers missed flights and how many flights were delayed or canceled as a result, but said in a statement that "There have been several flight delays and a few cancellations as a result of this emergency."
At 4:15 p.m., officials announced that the exit and Terminal A baggage claim had been reopened, and arriving passengers could use the pedestrian bridge to get to the claim area.
"We anticipate that the Terminal A checkpoint will operate as normal tomorrow morning and we regret the inconvenience to our passengers and our airline partners," said airport aviation director Kim Becker Aguirre in a news release.
Water flooded the Terminal A baggage claim and security areas, forcing officials to close those sections of the airport. The mishap sent hundreds of passengers to check in at Terminal A and then to a shuttle -- or on a five-minute walk -- to Terminal B to pass through security.
From there passengers walked within the concourse back to Terminal A, which houses American, ANA, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, United, US Airways, Virgin America and Volaris.
Those without bags were diverted to the international terminal next door, which had just one security line.
People flying out of San Jose were asked to check in two hours ahead of time because of the larger number of passengers being screened at Terminal B.
One seasoned traveler took the diversion in stride.
"I have something like this happen every week," said Robert Steele, of Los Gatos, who was catching an early flight to Los Angeles. "This is not a big deal."
Samuel Fuah, a bishop from Baltimore, was flying home after attending a church conference. He checked in at Terminal A and, after some confusion, had airport officials transport two heavy bags to Terminal B.
Fuah passed on the shuttle and made the 5-minute walk to Terminal B.
"It's very inconvenient," Fuah said. "I don't think they handled it well. At least they should have been able to carry our bags. I have two heavy suitcases. It was a bit too much."
Maria Barale was traveling to Boston with her father, who needed the help of a wheelchair after undergoing a recent surgery. Barale said she would have preferred to have been notified in advance of the terminal closure but said the airport and airline otherwise handled the emergency situation well.
"We happened to get here two hours early, so we're not too stressed," Barale said. "If we had done our usual and got here an hour and 15 minutes early, we would be sweating right now."