Travellers complain of ‘absolute shambles’ as snow causes chaos #Business @MondoPlayer [Video]

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Tens of thousands of travellers will wake up where they were not intending to be after hundreds of flights were cancelled on Sunday due to wintry weather. More than 80 flights to and from Bristol Airport were cancelled: easyJet passengers were worst hit, with Ryanair, KLM and BMI Regional also...

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Tens of thousands of travellers will wake up where they were not intending to be after hundreds of flights were cancelled on Sunday due to wintry weather. More than 80 flights to and from Bristol Airport were cancelled: easyJet passengers were worst hit, with Ryanair, KLM and BMI Regional also affected.

One angry passenger tweeted: “Absolute shambles of information communication, plane management, deicing services and approach to poor weather. One essential member of staff even said they were told not to come in today. Dep. boards a joke.”

The airport told passengers: “We thank passengers for their patience and continue to advise anyone travelling today to contact their airline for the latest flight information.”

Manchester Airport saw widespread disruption, with numerous cancellations on Flybe and easyJet. Lufthansa cancelled a round-trip from Frankfurt. Many passengers experienced long delays. The early evening BA departure to Heathrow, which normally carries travellers connecting to long-haul flights, was more than 90 minutes late.

At its busiest base, Gatwick, easyJet cancelled flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Geneva, Glasgow, Hamburg, Lyon, Milan, Munich and Venice. The early morning easyJet flight to Tenerife did not depart until the afternoon; the four-hour delay for EZY8703 was due to delays with deicing.

Linda Szymanska was one of the passengers on board the Airbus. She contacted The Independent from the plane, saying: “We have been sat on the stand for two-and-a-half hours now, and still no definite news about when the de-icer will reach us.”

She said she intended to ask easyJet for compensation for the delay: “My argument would be that the delay has been caused by operational failures rather than the ‘exceptional’ weather.”

Normally compensation is not payable when planes are delayed due to bad weather.

The airline told passengers: “We’re sorry for the delay to your flight; this is due to departure restrictions at London Gatwick because of congestion.” 

British Airways’ departure from Gatwick to Paphos in Cyprus left six hours late. BA also grounded flights from Gatwick to Barcelona, Geneva, Nice and Jersey.

The highest number of cancellations was at Heathrow, where around 100 flights were grounded. Two-thirds of them were on British Airways, which cancelled long-haul round trips to New York and Mumbai as well as more than 60 short-haul services.

Many flights from Heathrow were heavily delayed, with passengers on the first wave of departures encountering long waits. 

The first flights of the day on KLM to Amsterdam, Air France to Paris and Brussels Airlines to the Belgian capital left at least 75 minutes late, wrecking many connections at the Continental airports.

At London City, a dozen flights were cancelled in and out of the airport, on Flybe, British Airways and KLM.

Many rail services around Britain were disrupted, with a particular problem on Northern and GWR route being pre-planned engineering work; in many cases treacherous roads means the planned bus replacements did not run.

The Settle-to-Carlisle line was blocked, as was the route from Manchester to England’s highest town, Buxton.

Signalling problems delayed trains between London and Gatwick, while the Heathrow Connect service was cancelled and Heathrow Express ran only half the normal number of trains.

On the east coast main line between Doncaster and Wakefield, overhead wire problems delayed trains between London and Leeds. 

South Western Railway said: “Due to severe weather between Exeter St Davids and Basingstoke all lines are disrupted.”

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