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Snow storms hit Canada, UK hard- Regional travellers late for Christmas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Storms in Ontario, Canada and the United Kingdom have left travellers, hundreds of them on their way to the Caribbean for Christmas holidays, stranded at airports for the past few days. A snow storm has left a path of destruction in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, as well as parts of the United States. Reports revealed that more than 300 flights were cancelled at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport between Sunday and Monday, with dozens more in Ottawa and Montreal.



Up to late yesterday, flights on several airlines remained delayed both in Canada and the United Kingdom. In a phone interview yesterday, Caribbean Airlines communication manager Clint Williams said flights were severely affected on Sunday due to the storms in Canada, but the situation had returned to normalcy by Monday. Williams said a lot of the delays were experienced on the taxi way and international best practice required that they operate with extreme caution.


“Safety must be first priority and the aircraft won’t operate until conditions are safe,” he said. The storms cleared up by Monday, he said, allowing the airline to clear the backlog of passengers Air Canada, the country’s biggest airline, said on Monday that it was waiving fees to allow passengers to change flights—space permitting—as the storms had impacted operations. “Air Canada revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings, the airline said.


“Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting, using our online rebooking tool: check your alternate travel options currently available; re-book yourself and check in before arriving at the airport. When forecasted weather or other conditions may cause flight delays and possibly cancellations, affected airports are listed below by date, region and city.”


UK High Commission political officer, Matt Nottingham, also confirmed there were delays with flights due to the inclement weather. Both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, where CAL operates, were affected by delays. “I don’t know which specific flights were affected but they should expect delays with the adverse conditions,” Nottingham said.


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