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Christmas Holidays 2010 Dampened by Frozen Runways

Zipholidays News » Holidays 2010 News » Christmas Holidays 2010 Dampened by Frozen Runways

People trying to huddle under foil sheets in an attempt to ward of December chill were a common sight this weekend at the Heathrow Airport. Many of them had been enduring the cold hard floor for two nights on end, without having an idea when, if ever, they’d be able to reach home foregoing the idea of the Christmas holiday plans.

According to an estimate, around 400,000 passengers were due to fly from the Heathrow airport during the weekend. Amazingly, no one got away thanks to the snowfall and bad weather. In fact, the British Airways has cancelled 70 departures out of the scheduled 130, and 89 out of 133 arrivals. Many won’t be able to leave London before Christmas as they are being asked by their carriers to rebook their flights which will anyway be already packed on the last days before holiday being the busiest time of the year. As a matter of fact, London City, Stansted, Exeter, Luton, Bristol, Birmingham and Southampton have all been badly affected.

The lack of information and latest updates for the stranded passengers has added to their woes. Many travellers dropped in at the airport in the early hours of Friday when the airlines were still showing their flights as “scheduled” and on reaching the airport, were informed of the cancellation. On top of that, the Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express services to the airport were suspended. The anger among passengers has been mounting with every passing hour since then, some trying to leave the country as soon as possible, while others desperate to get home to Britain well before Christmas.

Ice and snow have rendered airports across London in a state of mess, the Heathrow being the worst-affected of the lot. The Met department has forecast heavy snow on Monday in London, Wales, South East and northern Scotland.

It is estimated that around one million travellers were due to cross Heathrow this week but with further bad weather forecasts in the coming days, many have to face waiting lists for up to five days. And it’s not that the road and train travel hasn’t been hit by the snow and fog.

For many who are not home, this is going to be one of the bleakest Christmas holidays of their life, in case they can’t make it in time that is.

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