Plunging temperatures and widespread ice are expected to cause more problems for road and air travellers in the UK today.
There were reports of passengers being left “stranded” at Stansted Airport yesterday evening after hundreds were left waiting to re-book tickets on dozens of flights which were cancelled due to earlier bad weather. Airport officials were on standby with beds and blankets for anyone who was unable to get home or find accommodation as they attempted to clear the backlog.
Stansted said all flights were anticipated to operate as scheduled on Thursday, although passengers were reminded to check their flight’s status before travelling to the airport. London Luton is urging passengers to check with their airlines before travelling. Stansted temporarily closed its runway twice due to ice.
As a result, 27 inbound and 27 outbound flights were cancelled at Stansted, while around 50 flights were cancelled at Luton. Some 300 passengers were left in the terminal at Stansted waiting to rebook flights yesterday evening after dozens of Ryanair services were cancelled, along with a number of easyJet flights.
Ryanair issued a statement saying: “Due to snow-related runway closures at several UK airports (including Liverpool, Luton and Stansted) we regret we were forced to cancel a small number of flights yesterday. All affected customers were contacted by email and SMS text message and advised of their rebooking options.
“We sincerely apologise to all customers affected by these weather cancellations and disruptions, which are entirely beyond our control. Flights are operating as scheduled today with some minor knock-on delays. We advise customers to check the status of their flight on the Ryanair.com website before travelling to the airport.”
EasyJet confirmed that it had to cancel eight flights to and from the airport and another three were diverted to nearby airports. The airline said in a statement: “Whilst the circumstances are outside of the airline’s control, easyJet apologises for any inconvenience caused.
“We are continuing to review the situation at the airport and would like to reassure passengers that we are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption.
“We would strongly advise that all passengers due to fly with us from London Stansted today check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker page at www.easyjet.com/en/flight-tracker for real-time information.”
The UK’s Met Office has issued yellow warnings of ice for large parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland after snow brought major disruption and power outages to swathes of the UK on Wednesday.
The Met Office said temperatures fell to as low as -4.5C (24F) in Katesbridge, Co Down, in the early hours of Thursday while most parts of the UK hovered around 0C (32F). Two yellow warnings for ice covering parts of the country are in place until 11am, with road users being warned of treacherous conditions on untreated surfaces.
Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said: “The warning for southern parts of the UK is largely as a result of the rainfall and snow on Tuesday night and through Wednesday.
“The wet surfaces – which are rain or snow – are likely to freeze overnight.