Fog at London airports causes second day of disruption

Cars in thick fog on the M2 in KentImage copyright
PA

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Motorists were also warned to take care in dense fog

Thick fog is causing a second day of delays and cancellations at London airports.

Heathrow and Gatwick said delays and cancellations are expected due to heavy fog across England and Europe.

London City airport reopens Sunday afternoon and, as with the other airports, advised passengers to contact their airline before leaving home.

Travellers also face further disruption over Christmas due to planned strikes by cabin crew and baggage handlers.

The Met Office issued a severe weather warning into Sunday afternoon, saying reduced visibility will continue in southern England and south Wales and creep into the Midlands.


Flight delays: Your rights

  • If the delay was caused by an “extraordinary circumstance” you will not be entitled to compensation
  • You can claim compensation on flights covered by EU law – this includes any flight departing from the EU, or flights arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline
  • You can claim only if the delay was severe – more than three hours – and could have been avoided by the airline
  • If your flight is delayed for two or more hours you have the legal right to food, drink, access to phone calls and emails, and accommodation if it is overnight

Source: Civil Aviation Authority


Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said the fog had spread overnight and would be slow to disperse.

He said: “There’s no wind to help move it across, that’s why it’s persisting for quite some time.

“The fog was there throughout yesterday as well but it has become more widespread throughout the night.

“But I think as we go through the day we will see the fog start to move out.”

British Airways warned that there would be knock-on delays due to disruption at Heathrow. It said to expect delays and a “small number” of cancellations, as the airport has restricted landing and take-off.

On Friday, BA cabin crew based at Heathrow said they would strike on Christmas Day and Boxing Day in a row over pay and conditions.

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Reuters

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The top of London’s Tower Bridge was shrouded in fog as boats made their way along the Thames

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PA

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The weather didn’t stop thrill-seekers from having fun at Dreamland amusement park in Margate

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ALLSPORT/Getty Images

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Horses and jockeys continued around Ascot Racecourse despite thick fog

The disruption to flights comes days before a planned 48-hour strike at UK airports called by the Unite union over pay and conditions.

More than 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew employed by Swissport will walk out on 23 December.

It is unclear exactly how many airports will be affected, but airlines at Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, Newcastle, Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester airports all employ Swissport staff.

Swissport said it had made numerous offers to Unite since April 2015 to resolve the dispute. It said the planned strike was “another in a series of recent examples where a minority of trade union members are acting in a cynical fashion”.

The company said it would do “everything within its power to limit any impact of the proposed industrial action on the airlines it serves and their passengers”.

Virgin Atlantic pilots have voted to work to rule from 23 December in a row over union recognition.


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Fog at London airports causes second day of disruption

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