Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Nightmare before Christmas: Misery as passengers face being stranded

Published 24/12/2009 | 01:59

Passengers wait for flights
Passengers wait for flights
A family walking through a forest in the mountains overlooking Belfast in County Antrim
The snow covered coastal village of Glenarm in Co Antrim
A forest in the mountains overlooking Belfast in County Antrim
Livestock battle with the snow and freezing fog in County Antrim
Delays and cancellations of flights due to the snow in parts of England has left passengers not knowing if they were able to return home for Christmas. Above: Harry and Eleanor Davies
Delays and cancellations of flights due to the snow in parts of England has left passengers not knowing if they were able to return home for Christmas. Above: Paul and Paula Miller
Passengers at Belfast International Airport unsure if they are able to return home for Christmas
Sian and Tabitha Mathusamy
People enjoy the snowy weather conditions in Glasgow on December 22, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland
Darragh Crowley (12) from the Waterside in Derry plays in the snow in St.Columb's Park
A child attempts to get his plough moving near Aldergrove, County Antrim
The snow caused chaos for some, but was a chance to have fun for others
A couple walk through heavy snow in Cheethams Park, Stalybridge, Cheshire
The cold snap has left motorists facing treacherous conditions across Northern Ireland
Shannon and Joshua Willoc play in the snow in St. Columb's Park, Derry
Darragh Crowley (12) from the Waterside in Derry plays in the snow in St.Columb's Park
Mark McFetridge enjoys the snow outside his Coleraine home
Lyndsey McBride walks her dog ' Heidi' at Stormont
10 years-ol Pablo O'Connor bounding along in his sleigh on the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
Nisha Stevenson and Sophia Thomasius sleighing in the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
Nisha Stevenson and her mum Anne McAteer sleighing in the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
A train travels through the snow near Ingatestone, Essex after a night's heavy snowfall
A horse in a field next to the River Chelmer in Essex, after heavy snow
Snow starts to fall over St Paul's Cathedral in central London last night
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
Snow on the Antrim Hills in Co Antrim
Up to 10 centimetres of snow has fallen in some parts of Northern Ireland causing disruption to flights and forcing the closure of some schools February 2009
Snow on the Antrim Hills February 2009
Snow brings Northern Ireland to a stand still. Left to right. Ciaran McMullan(6), Fiona Lenghan and Matthew O'Rourke from Carryduff pictured outside their houses playing in the snow. February 2009
Snow makes it hard for drivers near Hannastown February 2009
Heavy snow blankets Marden's Hill in East Sussex
Britain is braced for more freezing temperatures and snow
Clearing the snow, Belfast city centre, 6/2/1963 To purchase this photograph as large format canvas or acrylic visit Belfast Telegraph page on www.niphotocanvas.co.uk
Walking in the snow, Massereene Park, Antrim, 8/12/1966 To purchase this photograph as large format canvas or acrylic visit Belfast Telegraph page on www.niphotocanvas.co.uk
Workers clear snow from the Gotthard across in the Swiss Alps, Monday May 18, 2009, where the highest point is 2,108 meters above sea level. The pass will be reopened on May 27, 2009, after an estimated seven weeks of cleaning works and around 220,000 tons of removed snow, according to the removal team leader. The pass connects the German-speaking part of Switzerland with the Italian-speaking region of the country.(AP Photo/Keystone, Urs Flueeler)
Boris the Barbary lion at Belfast zoo. Submitted by Lisa Shilliday. 05/02/09
Pupils from Methodist College Belfast battle their way through the snow on the way to class
Caption: Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - 5th February 2009 ..Pupils from Methodist College Mark Walker and Michael Rogers snow ball our photographer in University Road.....Mandatory Credit -Photo by Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com.
With no worries about outlook of further snow three-year old Kenneth Moore, Greenacres, Ballyutoag, Ligoniel, admires his giant snowman in the garden of his home. 21/1/1965
A U.T.A. bus which was abandoned in deep snow-drifts on the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
These cars found the Belfast-Aldergrove road very tricky as they manoeuvred slowly along on the hard packed snow. 16/2/1966
Snow plough trying to clear the drifts blocking the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
Allister Cosby (left) and Julian Parker, both aged nine, of Downview Park, West Belfast, were out early enjoying the snow. 3/12/1966
An army of workmen went out early clearing the snow in Belfast's city centre, before the first of the office workers arrived. 6/2/1963
Cold comfort -- snow may look pretty but it has us shivering in our boots
Heavy Snow on the Glenshane Pass on Tuesday 28th Oct 08. Photo by Conor McDonald, Maghera

Snow has continued to play havoc with Christmas plans as blizzards struck parts of Scotland and south east England and a thick fog hung over Belfast International Airport.

A flight to Edinburgh was cancelled due to the snow causing thousands of passengers to fear their Christmas plans could be ruined.

Rev Dr Eric Culbertson, rector of Newmills Church of Ireland parish in Dungannon, his wife Kay and 17-year-old daughter Sarah had been hoping to get home from Belfast International Airport to Edinburgh .

“We were up very early this morning for a 7am flight. My daughter fell asleep on the plane and when she woke up to people getting off the plane, she thought we had landed in Scotland, but sadly not.

“We are planning to spend Christmas with my wife’s father and my other daughter Mary is travelling up from Canterbury to join us there — we are just hoping we manage to make it. People are starting to get a bit crotchety because of the early start but we are keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to make it.”

Isobel Wylie from Londonderry had planned to spent Christmas with her daughter in Edinburgh.

She got to Belfast International Airport at half five yesterday morning only to find out that her flight had been cancelled. I couldn’t believe it, I thought the flight would most likely have been delayed because of the snow, but I was not expecting it to be cancelled. My Christmas plans are ruind,e” she said.

“My son is travelling from London up to his sister in Edinburgh. I hope he isn’t experiencing any of the problems that I have.”

Andrew Smyth was flying from Liverpool to City of Derry Airport with Ryanair yesterday afternoon to spend Christmas with his family in Limavady but the flight was diverted to Dublin Airport after heavy fog closed Derry Airport.

Twenty minutes before the plane was due to land at Derry, passengers were informed of the possibility that their flight might be diverted and when the fog failed to clear they were told they would be flying to Dublin.

Mr Smyth said: ”When we landed at Dublin, we were told to go to arrivals which we did and then they told us to go to the Ryanair sales desk.

“When we got there we were told to go downstairs and then we met some woman who told us to go to the other side of the airport to get a bus. We then waited outside about 45 minutes for the buses to arrive.

“It’s an absolute disgrace. I don’t understand why we couldn’t land at Belfast City. It seems ridiculous to suggest that the runway at Belfast would be unsuitable for our flight when we were supposed to be landing at Derry City, which is a much smaller airport.”

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