London’s Heathrow Airport is at the centre of criticism for its virtual shutdown during recent heavy snow in England. Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, yet it failed to deal with snowfall of 9 centimetres, even 3 days after the snow fell. Airport authorities cancelled more than 3,200 flights, leaving thousands of frustrated passengers stranded in the terminal buildings.
The situation is made worse as the Christmas holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for air travel. What has been frustrating travelers most is the lack of flight information and basics like food and water. Passengers who have spent days sleeping on the airport floor are perplexed as to why only one third of flights are leaving, mainly long haul, when there has been no snow for three days.
Colin Matthews, chief executive of British Airports Authority, is facing a storm of criticism over this problem. Mr Matthews could not give any real answers to journalists’ questions about the mess. He said in an interview with BBC radio: "I am really sorry...We are going to crawl over every aspect of these last few days when we've got every passenger in the right place.” Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has added his worries that the airport should not come to a standstill because of snow. He said: “I'm frustrated on behalf of all those affected that it's taking so long for the situation to improve.” Mr Cameron offered the help of Britain’s Army to help clear the snow from the runways, but the airport declined, saying they already have 200 volunteers.
What would you do if you were in the same circumstances?
Do the travel companies behave properly with travelers?