Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Britons rearrange wrecked journeys

Airlines at Heathrow Airport axed flights to the United States
Airlines at Heathrow Airport axed flights to the United States
Passengers wait at LaGuardia airport in New York (AP)

Thousands of British travellers are rearranging their wrecked travel plans as Superstorm Sandy hit America's east coast.

British Airways axed all its flights to and from New York, Newark, Baltimore, Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia on Monday.

This amounted to around 20 return flights, and the news got worse with the airline axing 11 of Tuesday's return flights to and from the east coast.

The cancellations included flights to New York JFK, Newark, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. But all flights to and from Boston were planned to operate as normal, said the airline.

A BA spokesman said: "We are doing all we can to help customers whose flights have been cancelled and will look to use larger aircraft on some routes when the full flying schedule resumes to help get customers to their correct destination as quickly as we can."

BA's other US flights were operating normally and the company was also flying as usual to Toronto and Montreal in Canada.

But on Monday Virgin Atlantic also had to scrap its east coast services, cancelling flights to and from New York, Newark, Boston and Washington. Virgin also axed flights from Newark and New York that had been due to arrive at Heathrow on Tuesday morning.

A Virgin spokeswoman said: "Details of arrangements for affected passengers, including rebooking and extended hotel-stay compensation can be found on our website. Our flights to America had been very busy at the beginning of this week due to the half-term school holiday. It's very unfortunate that this major storm has come when it has."

UK airports were advising passengers due to travel to the US to contact their airline before travelling. Those Britons - and others - due to take internal flights in America were finding that more than 7,000 services had been axed. Among carriers which had to cancel flights were US Airways, American Airlines and Delta.

Britons already in America were contending with shut-down public transport, with bus and trains services in New York and Philadelphia among those affected.

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