Exhausted passengers had to sleep on the floor at Heathrow today as more than 100 flights were scrapped due to the snow chaos.
Many were close to tears after waiting up to 12 HOURS in snaking queues, despite checking online for delays.
And bosses have warned travellers to expect more misery tomorrow as another 250 flights are expected to be cancelled due to bad weather.
Airport operators Heathrow Holdings blamed British Airways, insisting runways were cleared quickly but the airline struggled to cope.
Of the 111 cancelled flights, 101 were operated by BA, and passengers stuck in huge check-in queues at the airline’s Terminal 5 branded the disruption “appalling” and “shameful”.
Businessman Sadanand Joshi, 34, was travelling to Houston, Texas, with his wife Tejaswini, 32, and their one-year-old daughter Siya.
They arrived at 7am on Friday but had two flights cancelled –including one where they sat waiting on a plane for four hours.
He said: “I am exhausted. If I stopped I think I would collapse. My poor daughter has been crying and so has my wife.
“We’ve had to queue up three times for five hours each for each plane. There’s been no help, nothing.
“We feel like we’ve had to fend for ourselves. I had to get a friend to come to Terminal 5 with food for the family.”
As tempers flared some passengers turned on airport staff.
Jim Dodd, who was due to fly to Argentina with wife Rita, said: “Nobody was being told anything. British Airways flight crew were being shouted at.
“I felt sorry for them as they were in the same situation as us.”
The Heathrow delays caused knock-on chaos all over Europe and badly affected connecting flights to destinations all over the world.
The shambolic scenes came two years after the last major snowfall closed the airport and bosses vowed to “do better next time”.
Since then, £36million has been spent on extra equipment and staff to minimise weather-related disruption.
As the airport came to a standstill, British Airways blamed a “ripple effect”, brought on by having to push back departure times and then being unable to recover.
A BA spokesman said: “We are doing everything we can to help customers whose flights have been disrupted by severe weather and we fully apologise for the inconvenience caused.
“Our flight plans are more complicated than any other airline and there has been a ripple effect.”
Husband and wife David and Janet Brindle, from Cumbria, missed their flight to New Zealand.
Mrs Brindle said: “Not a single person came to tell us what was happening. Nobody knew what they were doing.”
Her husband added: “There was no contingency plan. Just chaos.”
Aoife Bergin, 29, from Co Westmeath, Ireland, was looking forward to a holiday in Tokyo with her boyfriend but had been queueing for almost two hours.
She said: “I checked the website this morning and there was nothing to say things wouldn’t be normal.
“You ask the staff here but they don’t know anything. It’s shockingly bad.”
Many unfurled the contents of their bags to make pillows as they waited to fly, while others forked out for pricey hotels.
Richard Peterkin, of Lewisham, South London, was due to go to Los Angeles for a skiing trip with 26 family members and friends. The hold-ups meant half the group missed the flight.
He said: “There has been no control here. This holiday has cost me £4,000 and my children will have to sleep soon. Where can I put them down?”
Tomorrow 250 flights are likely to be cancelled at Heathrow – 20 per cent of the airport’s total capacity.
More snow is predicted for London and the South East and freezing temperatures look set to continue for days.
People were urged to check their flight details before turning up and Heathrow chief Normand Boivin said: “Cancelling flights in advance of disruptive weather means the greatest number of passengers can fly with the minimum amount of disruption.”
Rail passengers also had a nightmare today, with Virgin Trains cancelling a number of services from London to Birmingham and Manchester.
In contrast, Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester Airport were running normally today but advised passengers to check with their airlines.
Snowhere to hide
BLIZZARD-battered Britain looks set for more whiteouts, with snow forecast to fall in some parts until Wednesday.
The Met Office said the South East would be badly hit, with the east coast and Tyneside also seeing heavy snowfall tomorrow.
In Wales, compacted snow and ice on roads and pavements will make moving around extremely hazardous, while highways teams in Gloucestershire are struggling to keep key routes passable.
To add to the misery, temperatures across the nation show no signs of breaking the freezing mark as the week begins.
According to forecasts, tomorrow will see the mercury plummet to a chilling minus 5C in the West Midlands.
A spokesman for the AA said: “With the snow compacting and turning icy, we’re likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend. Fresh snow will add to the problems.”
A Met Office spokesman said: “Temperatures will struggle to get above freezing everywhere for the next few days.”
But it’s not all bad news, as there’s plenty more time for snowman building.
UK snow "We had to fend for ourselves": Hundreds stranded in snow and there’s … – Mirror.co.uk
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