Open Jaw: Frozen Britain - plucky or pitiful?

Where readers write back

Tales from the snow face

The UK is one of the world's wealthiest nations and Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports. Its failure to cope with minimal snow is shameful. It is also bad for the economy. I was due to fly to Montreal on 22 December but my flight was cancelled. I rebooked for 28 December, the earliest available flight. Thankfully I could be flexible on my departure date and my employer is accommodating. But there are many who do not have this luxury and will see their holidays cut short or cancelled altogether.

Louise Coyle

I and my family were at Heathrow and spent the night on the floor. Half the people at the airport were trying to get home. They made the mistake of thinking London was a place where you could go Christmas shopping, or that Heathrow was a reliable place to change planes between the US and Germany.

"Organic 71"

The government should strip BAA of ownership of Heathrow. I just had a trip to see my relatives in Australia for Christmas cancelled – 72 hours after it stopped snowing.

"TCP 1000"

I well remember two freeze-ups as bad or worse than this, in 1947 and 1963, when the country ground to a halt to an even greater degree. The difference was that the journalists then expressed admiration for the way people and services muddled through, rather than indulging in whining, wallowing in misery and encouraging the rest of us to blub along with them. Grow up, Calder.

"Old Socialist"

Why is this a "national embarrassment"? It snowed ... live with it. If you don't want to be delayed by snow, don't travel during the winter!

"True Brit"

We returned four days late from a voyage on Swan Hellenic's Minerva which ended in Dubai on l9 December. The company looked after us all wonderfully well on board, fully fed and watered, until the last day when we were moved into a five-star hotel in Dubai to overnight, again full board, and then on a chartered flight back to Stansted, with complimentary buses back to either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Marlene Maguire

Indian visa rules

In her article on Kerala, Harriet O'Brien wrote: "The one drawback of this area is access." There certainly is a problem if members of your family have the "misfortune" of being born in Pakistan. In July our family party of three couples planned a holiday in Kerala. We are all British citizens and retired professionals, but included two people who had been born in Karachi 60 years ago. Put simply: even if access to India is allowed, the process of obtaining a visa could be so protracted that you end up having to cancel, and in so doing lose hundreds of pounds.

We have all decided that there are too many other welcoming places in this world for us ever to try again to go to India.

Michael Browne

The wisdom of hitch-hiking

I felt that I couldn't let Simon Calder's advice on hitching pass completely unchallenged, because it seems uncharacteristically unperceptive. As a mountaineer, I have sometimes given lifts to hitchers in National Parks in Britain, and I have also hitch-hiked in New Zealand, where it's commonplace to both solicit and offer lifts without intimidation. But it struck me that your endorsement of hitching comes from a very male perspective: women are more likely to feel physically vulnerable and conscious of the risks in accepting a lift from a stranger.

Even moderate dress and behaviour provide no guarantees for personal safety, either in the UK or in many other places where a woman standing at the roadside is regrettably viewed as exploitable.

Please could I suggest that you maybe balance your enthusiasm for hitchhiking with the realistic view that there are some serious risks that need consideration too?

Margaret Horner

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back