Storm Jonas: 'Snowmageddon' traps more British travellers in America

The cancellations by UK-based airlines mean that the corresponding inbound flights will not run - adding an estimated 2,000 extra passengers to the thousands whose journeys have been disrupted and are stranded in America

The usual crop of arrivals from the US east coast was notable by its absence at Heathrow airport on Sunday morning, with dozens of flights cancelled because of the heavy snowfall stretching from Washington DC to New York.

Airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic had hoped to re-start services as scheduled, but at least 27 flights from Britain to the US have been cancelled because of the extreme wintry weather.

The cancellations by UK-based airlines mean that the corresponding inbound flights will not run - adding an estimated 2,000 extra passengers to the thousands whose journeys have been disrupted and are stranded in America.

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United Airlines axed a dozen flights - mostly to its hub at New York’s Newark airport, but also three Heathrow-Washington flights. 

American Airlines cancelled six flights to New York JFK and Philadelphia, while Delta cut its Manchester-JFK service and delayed its first Heathrow-New York flight.

Those cancellations were predictable because the inbound services from the US did not operate on Saturday. But BA and Virgin’s plans to run a near-normal service today have been thwarted by the weather.

British Airways cancelled its two early departures from Heathrow to New York JFK on Sunday, as well as flights to Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. Virgin Atlantic cancelled its early flight to JFK airport and delayed its lunchtime service on the same route, and also axed its 11am departure to Washington.

Costs are running into millions of pounds for the airlines. Besides lost ticket revenue from passengers who decide to abandon their journeys, they are obliged to provide hotels and meals for disrupted travellers - though a quirk in air passenger rights rules means non-EU airlines such as American, Delta and United have no obligation towards customers flying from US airports. That means some UK travellers delayed by the storm are racking up bills of hundreds of dollars until the airline can get them home.

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