The holidays for many British travellers turned out to be a season of frustration rather than joy, thanks to bad weather affecting flights at Stansted, Gatwick, and Heathrow. Many travellers, who planned to make the most of the school vacations were left stranded with their baggage as several flights were held up on the morning of September 6th. The flight delays occurred as a result of the ATC strikes in France and also, the heavy rainfall that lashed certain parts of the UK, the night before. Heathrow had witnessed around 50 cancellations. According to an airport spokesperson, the rainfall had been rated as being very severe. This had forced airport authorities to implement restrictions on the aircrafts scheduled to arrive that morning.
According to records, the delays had begun sometime in the morning and had continued on till noon.When questioned, it is believed that the spokesperson responded by saying that the flight cancellations had to continue due to an overcast being present. The spokesperson had also added that most of the flights being cancelled were short haul flights operated by British Airways. He further mentioned that things would go back to normal as soon as the weather showed signs of improvement.
On Gatwick’s side of things, the airport claimed that they did not experience any adverse situations due to the weather. Rather, Gatwick’s delays were being caused by the ATC strikes in France. The ATC strikes had led to certain airspace restrictions being imposed, which had on impact on Gatwick bound flights. A spokesperson for the airport stated that airspace restrictions across Europe had caused a few airlines to make changes to their schedules. The spokesperson requested flyers to check with their respective airline companies to stay updated on current flight status. Stansted Airport also issued a statement asking passengers to stay updated on their respective flight times in context of the delays caused by the ATC strikes.
British Airways had sent its spokesperson to talk and apologize to the passengers. The spokesperson mentioned that thunderstorms had brought things to a standstill across most of South England and that ATC strikes prevented a majority of flights from landing at Gatwick or Heathrow. The spokesperson for BA further added that the delays caused by the two above mentioned factors had impacted BA’s own schedule.
The Met Office had issued forecasts on the same morning stating that there would be torrential rainfall with thundering till 4 in the noon. After which, there could be a possibility of clear weather. The heavy rainfall and thunder had taken quite a toll on much of South and South-East England. Both, roads and railway tracks had been flooded. This had led to train derailments as well. For example, a London Midland train derailed early in the morning at the Watford Junction. It is believed that a landslide had caused the derailment and that the landslide itself was triggered by flooding. Rail services at the Euston station in London were also drastically affected.