Further frustration for airline passengers as snow plays havoc with flight schedules
At least 158 flights to and from Heathrow have been cancelled
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 21 January 2013
Airline passengers face another day of frustration at Heathrow airport and elsewhere, as the weather makes a mockery of flight schedules.
At least 158 flights to and from Heathrow have been cancelled - mainly as a result of a decision yesterday to cancel one in 10 services in a bid to create some resilience.
Some others were cancelled at short notice because of bad weather at airports in continental Europe.
British Airways continues to the worst-affected airline.
Three flights due to depart on Sunday - to Las Vegas, Lusaka and Delhi - have yet to take off from Terminal 5. At Terminal 3, the inbound service from Larnaca in Cyprus due yesterday afternoon is now expected at lunchtime today.
In a statement, BA said: "We are extremely sorry that our customers have been experiencing so much frustration and inconvenience during this period of severe weather in the UK and parts of Europe. We are doing everything we can to help customers whose flights have been disrupted."
Anyone booked to travel on BA today or tomorrow can switch to a later date free of charge.
A spokeswoman for Heathrow said: "The airfield at Heathrow is fully operational with all runways, taxiways and stands clear. The schedule for today has been reduced by 10 per cent in order to cope with the low visibility conditions expected from 4pm this afternoon. Further cancellations are inevitable given the adverse weather conditions at other airports around Europe."
Yesterday evening a number of flights due to be arriving at Heathrow terminal five were diverted to other UK airports after British Airways was unable to clear stands on the ground because planes could not be de-iced quickly enough
Elsewhere, at East Midlands Airport the runway is currently closed due to poor visibility.
At Leeds Bradford airport flights have also been suspended to allow for the runway to be cleared of snow, and Robin Hood Airport, near Doncaster, is also closed because of the weather.
Eurostar has also cancelled six trains today between London, Paris and Brussels because of speed restrictions in Britain and northern France, and warned passengers that all other trains will be delayed.
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