Holiday Travel In Europe A Giant Mess

The way things are going thousands of passengers could end up spending Christmas in London's Heathrow Airport because of snow, ice and frigid temperatures. The weather has already stranded nearly a million passengers all over Northern Europe.

British Airways urged passengers to stay away from Heathrow unless they are on a confirmed flight that has not been canceled.

The carrier said it is working to update its systems to verify which flights will operate.

Heathrow's second runway is not expected to open until Thursday morning.

BA is dealing with a huge backlog of passengers whose flights have been canceled. When it will all be resolved remains unclear. But the airline suggested that passengers holding tickets for travel through Heathrow up to Dec. 31 rebook their trips if they can.

In better news, the carrier said it does expect to operate most of its flights into and out of London Gatwick and London City airports today, although some flights may be subject to delays.

Other carriers are also being impacted. United and Continental said weather conditions are expected to continue to make air travel difficult, forcing some delays and cancellations of flights to and from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels and Amsterdam this week.

The airlines are waiving change fees for passengers booked on flights to, from or through those cities through Christmas Eve.

Delta also canceled some flights in and out of Heathrow. The carrier said travel to Brussels and Paris is expected to ease a bit by Wednesday, but tough conditions at Amsterdam and London were expected to last at least until Thursday.

Photo, rvacapinta, flickr
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