What a year it's been. Extreme weather combined with natural disasters and industrial action to make 2010 one of the worst years in memory for millions of travelers. Here a look at some of the low-points throughout the past 12 months.
December 2009/January 2010
The year started badly when December's snowfall proved too much for Eurostar's trains. Over 75,000 people were stranded in December, with problems cropping up again in January due to a signalling problem.
Irish airports were hit in January when air traffic controllers went on strike, but it turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg. 2010 proved a year of discontent, with extensive disruption caused by strikes targeting Lufthansa and British Airways, and air traffic controllers in France, Spain, Greece also walking out at various points.
US East Coast Snowstorms
It was described as an "epic snowstorm" and caused the cancellation of thousands of flights to and in the US. February's snowstorm broke records in some states, affecting some 50 million people.
Snowstorms across China hit travelers at the worst possible time. 66 million people were expected to be on the roads at Chinese New Year, but many remained stranded in cities as highways and airports ground to a halt.
The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull grounded planes in Northern Europe for weeks, spewing an enormous cloud of ash to hazardous for aircraft to fly through. It was the largest air traffic shut down since the Second World War, leaving some five million passengers stranded around the world well into May.
South Africa Rail Strike
Nearly 12,000 workers went on strike in South Africa just weeks ahead of the World Cup, leaving 2 million travelers stranded across the country.
Collapse of travel firms and airlines
Thousands of passengers have been stranded by the collapse of their companies or airlines this year, with a dip in bookings over summer forcing several holiday firms such as Goldtrail and Kiss Flights out of business. In August, Mexico's largest carrier Mexicana grounded its planes.
Snow caused widespread disruption at European airports at the beginning of December and returned later in the month, forcing Europe's busiest airport London Heathrow to close.Reuse content