Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UK Snow Chaos: Thousands Remain Stranded before Xmas

Christmas season this year is turning out to be a nightmare for travellers stuck in the different UK airport as snowfall disrupted flight movement across Britain.

London Heathrow turned out to be the worst-affected with the airport cancelling all of its incoming flights on Sunday. BAA has been receiving flak from all quarters after it was unable to de-ice the taxiing areas.

Travellers’ Trouble

Travellers who got their flights’ tickets and were hoping to spend some quality time with their families during the holiday season got a reality check with thousands of them still at the Heathrow waiting for the flights to take off. Passengers who were lucky enough to book early and grab cheap tickets on flights proved to be not so lucky after all as LHR was inundated with stranded holiday travellers.

Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond promised an inquiry into the matter and acknowledged the public indignation as travel plans of thousands went for a toss.

He told BBC Breakfast: "Once we have got through the problem, once we have got things moving again, then we will have to have that discussion and find out exactly what went wrong and, most importantly, what went wrong in handling passengers who were stranded.

Colin Matthews, the chief executive of BAA, also tendered an embarrassing apology to sooth the tempers.

Airlines Grounded

British Airways, the national airline of the United Kingdom, grounded 70 of 130 departures at Heathrow, and 89 of its 133 arrivals.

Budget airline Ryanair, popular for cheap flight tickets, was among those which were grounded at different airports.

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