Travel trouble for Britons as Hurricane Sandy disrupts flights to East Coast of America

  • @SimonCalder

Tens of thousands of transatlantic passengers are stranded out of position due to the wholesale cancellation of flights between the UK and the north-eastern US

Yesterday British Airways cancelled all its London-New York flights outbound.

Today’s entire programme from Heathrow and London City to Boston, both New York international airports, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington have been axed.

As a consequence, all the normal inbound flights will be cancelled.

The only scheduled eastbound flight is the daylight flight from Boston, expected to depart at 9am local time.

BA’s cancellations alone amount to around 20,000 passengers. With Virgin Atlantic and the US airlines also axing flights, the hurricane may affect 50,000 or more travellers.

A spokesman for BA said: “On Monday 29 October, we are cancelling all flights to and from East Coast USA.

“We understand that customers may be disappointed, however their safety is our highest priority. We are offering the option to rebook or receive a refund to those customers whose flights are cancelled."

Airlines are allowing anyone with bookings between now and Wednesday to reschedule their flight without the usual charges, but once schedules revert to normal it will take some time to clear the backlog.

Meanwhile, thousands of British passengers who are travelling independently and stranded in the US face soaring hotel bills if they are booked with American carriers.

Under EU passenger regulations, only European airlines are obliged to provide accommodation and meals in the event of disruption at an American airport.