Severe weather condition leaves thousands of travellers stranded across the US and UK
Bitingly cold temperatures and heavy snowfall have been affecting travel all across the globe over the past couple of days. And based on recent forecasts, further snow and ice are expected.
Most means of travel are experiencing disruptions, hitting ground, water, and air transport alike. Some airports are reporting difficulties due to cold temperatures as they struggle to sweep the snow.
At London Heathrow, a number of short-haul British Airways flights were cancelled today. “Due to the adverse weather conditions predicted, we have been forced to cancel and merge a number of short-haul flights today to ensure that we protect the rest of our schedule,” said a British Airways spokesperson.
“Safety is always our priority, and we’re working hard to keep our operation moving. We’re sorry that some of our services are being delayed by the weather conditions.”
However, cities all around England are facing difficulties with regard to the recent weather developments. Bristol Airport remains closed till 12 pm on Friday, 1 February, with further updates to follow. All passengers are advised to seek the most recent information relating to their travel plans.
The official low temperature at Chicago this morning was -21F. This shatters the previous record for Jan 31st, which was -12F set back 1985. In records that date back to the 1870s, this is only the 15th time Chicago has seen a daily low this cold or colder, yesterday was 14th.
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) January 31, 2019
Similarly, travel in the US has been badly affected by the polar vortex sweeping across the country. From Tuesday to Thursday, the US saw over 6,500 flight cancellations, according to FlightAware.
The Midwestern US has been experiencing extremely low temperatures. A United spokesman said that flights had to be cancelled to protect their workers from exposure to the disagreeable weather.
Moreover, some airlines have taken extra measures to minimise the effects of the weather on their employees. For example, United has arranged for heated shelters while American provided warming vans with hot beverages.