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European Travel Chaos


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 149
Joined: October 29th, 2002
Location: Shimizu, Japan

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  • Added on: December 21st, 2010
With much of western Europe covered in snow and ice again, the effect on travel around Christmas is proving a major problem for many. Airport closures, rail chaos, blocked roads and so on.

London Heathrow has thousands upon thousands of people sleeping rough in the terminal buildings waiting for flights that may not happen for days yet. They are not even letting any more people come in to some of the terminals there.

Similar problems with closed airports/numeorus flight cancellations in Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt among others. What an awful way to spend Christmas! So many people either trying to get home to be with their friends or family, or others trying to get away for a holiday are finding their plans ruined.

It's easy to say that these palces should be more prepared, and of course they should. Under-runway heating, and a larger stockpile of de-icer and grit, and more snow ploughs surely "isn't beyond the wit of man" as London Mayor Boris Johnson put it yesterday.

The problem as compared to colder places such as Canada is of course that this doesn't happen every year in UK/France etc. In fact until the last two winters there's barely been much snow at all in winter in the UK, and this year it has come extremely early - usually if any comes at all it is in late January early February. And even then it doesn't usually last particularly long, so having such large and costly plans in place could well be wasted money in msot years, unlike in Canada when they know more or less when and for how long the snow and ice will last.

Anyway, my sympathies for anyone who is stuck. Any Booties suffering in some European airport at the moment?
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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 19
Joined: October 10th, 2010
Location: London, UK

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  • Added on: December 22nd, 2010
Nope, but several travel buddies on my facebook stuck in various places and having to change xmas plans.

I don't think we could be more prepared; it's odd having this much snow this time of year. They had someone from a Canadian airport interviewed on the radio this morning, to comment on whether Heathrow could have been better prepared, and he didn't sound envious of the position they're in!

I do say this from the fortunate position of having my train home for the holidays cancelled, so they gave me an earlier train.....thankyou....


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World Citizen
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

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  • Added on: December 22nd, 2010
Read on another forum that BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has changed the temp of the Gulf Stream so the UK might have to get used to this weather :?: |
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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 509
Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: December 22nd, 2010
I have a friend who was on one of the four planes that left Heathrow a few days ago, but only after sitting 4 hours waiting for the plane to be de-iced because the crews couldn't get to the airport. Ok I'm from Cleveland where we don't delay due to snow at the airport until we get a foot of the white stuff, but c'mon!

And busman7 that's not quite how it works- as climate change happens the Gulf Stream begins to shut down, in short because melting glaciers in places like Greenland dump a lot of cold freshwater into the ocean that messes up the system. So Europe on the whole will probably get colder due to global warming, paradoxically enough, but the BP oil spill doesn't have anything to do with it (beyond oil causing the problem in general!).

Maestra LE

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Lost in Place
Posts: 82
Joined: June 25th, 2010
Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: December 28th, 2010
How about those airport closures in the northeastern US? I was supposed to go to Scotland today, but can't get to Newark for my flight. Depressed beyond all telling right now. :cry:

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