By Chris Bradley
Thousands of families who were looking forward to staying in holiday accommodation in warmer climates have had their travel plans disrupted by the snow. It is estimated that over one hundred thousand passengers will have their Christmas plans totally destroyed after Heathrow announced that they expected disruptions to continue into next week. The end result is that thousands of holidaymakers are now camped out on the floors of Heathrow airport instead of in their luxury holiday rentals.
It is estimated that only thirty three percent of Heathrow flights will function between now and six am on Wednesday. Andrew Gibson, M.D of the holiday rental comparison site CompareAway said “It’s tragic that families are having their holidays disrupted in this way. You have to seriously question why in today’s modern world that one of the so called best equipped airports in the world does not have the equipment available to it to keep its operations running.” Gibson added “Many of these families have saved up all year to get a well deserved holiday in the sun and instead of sleeping in a luxury villa in Spain, they are slumming it on the floor of Heathrow airport.”
Typically Heathrow handles over two hundred thousand passengers a day at this time of the year and so it is quite easy to understand the chaos and misery of passengers unable to fly who are still stranded at the airport. Not only are passengers unable to get away to winter sun in Florida, Dubai, the South of Spain and Turkey, but those who were already abroad are now unable to fly home.
It has been estimated that so far just over one hundred thousand passengers have had their flights delayed or cancelled for the homeward leg of their vacations. As well as flights, rail services have also been badly disrupted. Families who were going to visit Paris and other cities throughout Europe are also facing severe delays.
Families who wanted to rent holiday cottages in Devon and Scotland are going to fare no better either. Many of the countries road networks are experiencing difficulties and travel authorities are describing many road conditions as atrocious. The AA said that it is bracing itself for a record number of callouts in the next few days.