THOUSANDS TRAPPED AT HEATHROW AS WEATHER WORSENS

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore December 20, 2010 14:36

THOUSANDS TRAPPED AT HEATHROW AS WEATHER WORSENS

Snow and ice has caused severe delays for flights out of London Heathrow. Thousands are passengers have been trapped at the airport in aircraft on the tarmac and in the terminal building, with many sleeping overnight. Many airlines across the globe are now warned not to travel to Heathrow with aircraft becoming trapped even after being de iced more than once! As predicted here two weeks ago, this is a big blow to Heathrow based airlines and will ruin the supposed holiday rush with refunds and claims abound as the weather is set to last through the week. Willie Walsh, BA CEO, has stated this morning that all those with BA tickets out of Heathrow should remain at home and claim a full refund.

The delays were caused by heavy snow and the fact that every aircraft needed to be de-iced at least once before it could takeoff. This caused delays and a back up in the availability of stands for incoming aircraft. There were reports of some passengers being trapped on aircraft for up to four hours waiting for a stand.

Equally there were delays taking off as passengers reported one runway was closed for a time causing a further backlog, a fact denied by BAA. More irate passenger tweets claimed that those inside the terminal were told to go home and file lost baggage reports rather than wait for their luggage to be unloaded.

A spokesman for BAA said: “The airport is fully operational and while BAA is not responsible for de-icing aircraft we have successfully managed to keep runways and taxiways clear.

“Our workmen put a double dose of de-icer on the runways last night, but the airlines are responsible for de-icing their own planes.”

Passengers on one PIA flight were stranded on board the aircraft for nine hours yesterday with no food before being told they were going nowhere.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore December 20, 2010 14:36
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