Icy conditions strand hundreds of passengers at UK airports

Passengers slept on floors and baggage belts following dozens of Ryanair and Easyjet cancellations

Icy conditions strand hundreds of passengers at UK airports

A Blue Air flight comes into land at Luton Airport after wintry weather swept across Britain, 27-12-2017. Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

Hundreds of passengers have been stranded at airports in the UK with freezing weather conditions expected to cause further travel disruption throughout the day.

Around 300 passengers were stuck at Stansted Airport overnight after snow and ice grounded planes.

Dozens of Ryanair and Easyjet cancellations left passengers waiting to rebook, while others reported being stuck on planes for hours and having trouble getting their luggage back.

Christy O'Leary said he had been left with "nowhere to go" after his Ryanair flight to Stockholm was cancelled.

"Unfortunately the managing director is actually a long-distance cousin of mine - Michael O'Leary," he said.

“I'm ashamed of him.”

He said the wait has been “very tough” with small children forced to sleep on the floor because there are no seats available to sleep on.

“Somebody said that Stansted Airport had provided blankets and food and stuff like that – which is completely untrue,” he said.

“Nobody from Ryanair has given us the slightest bit of attention.”

Lana Briggs, who had flown into Stansted from Dublin, said her aircraft was held on the runway for an hour and she was not told when her luggage would be unloaded.

She said: "People are talking about it turning into a riot if we don't get more information.”

“I'm sure it's not going to happen but it does feel pretty devastating at the moment. It's definitely tense.

"Mums and babies are on the floor.

"There are families kipping on suitcase carriers and even on some of the baggage belts that aren't working at the moment.

"All the local hotels are booked up."

Maria Fotiadou, whose Ryanair trip to Greece was cancelled, said she had been told the next available flight was on 1st January.

"We don't know if we're going to be able to get a room in a hotel for free," she said.
"Basically, nobody told us anything."

Christy O'Leary said he had been left with "nowhere to go" after his Ryanair flight to Stockholm was cancelled.

"Unfortunately the managing director is actually a long-distance cousin of mine - Michael O'Leary. I'm ashamed of him," he said.

Cold Feet star Fay Ripley was also caught up in the disruption, saying she spent 10 hours on a runway ahead of her flight to Copenhagen.

She tweeted: "#shameonyou #Ryanair terrible treatment."

Ryanair said a "small number" of flights had been cancelled due to "snow-related runway closures" at airports including Liverpool, Luton and Stansted.

"We sincerely apologise to all customers affected by these weather cancellations and disruptions, which are entirely beyond our control," a spokesman for the airline said.

Some 27 inbound and 27 outbound flights were cancelled at Stansted, while around 50 flights were cancelled at Luton.

In Ireland, road users are being urged to take extra care this morning with Met Éireann's status yellow snow and ice warning remaining in place until 9pm this evening.

A severe frost overnight has led to icy conditions in most parts of the country - and some snow showers are expected in places.

Motorists are being asked to look out for patchy accumulations of snow with up to 3cm expected to fall between 7am today and 6am tomorrow, especially on higher ground.