Airport operating normally after weather improves but airlines struggle to clear backlog from Friday’s disruption
A hundred more flights were cancelled at Heathrow on Saturday after snowy weather left hundreds of passengers stranded overnight at the airport’s terminals.
Many British Airways passengers were unable to get hotel rooms or retrieve their luggage after more than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday.
Snow caused traffic jams of aircraft at the airport unable to find gates for passengers to disembark. Some passengers spent six hours waiting in their planes on the ground.
A spokeswoman for Heathrow said that although conditions had improved and both runways were open, about 100 flights had been cancelled so far on Saturday, 67 of which were departures.
“In terms of how today is going so far, the weather conditions are much better today. The runways are open. We do have about 100 cancellations at the moment, but that’s really just recovery from yesterday,” she said.
“At the moment the airport is operating as usual. We have the same number of aircraft using the runways as we normally would.”
Heathrow advised passengers due to fly over the weekend to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.
“We are sorry that passengers suffered disruption yesterday. We have additional staff on the airport and we’re doing everything we can to help the airlines recover their schedule,” it said in a statement.
BA cancelled around 30 Saturday flights mostly to British and European destinations. But the company said it hoped conditions for passengers would improve.
A spokesman said: “We have unfortunately had to make a number of cancellations today, mainly due to knock-on disruption from yesterday, so we’ve got a number of aircraft out of position and it’s quite a complex operation to put that back together, so that’s what we’re working on at the moment.”
Stansted and Gatwick airports said they were operating normally. But road traffic all over Britain was disrupted by snow and ice.
Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we’re likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend. Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems.”
The Met Office is forecasting less snow but has issued warnings for ice over much of the country. The Highways Agency said its fleet of snow ploughs and gritters will continue to ensure roads are passable.