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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Thunderstorms bring travel chaos affecting flights and ferry sailings

Lightning flashes over Souter lighthouse in South Shields. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Lightning flashes over Souter lighthouse in South Shields. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Conor McCrave

A sharp change in weather conditions across Europe has brought chaos for travelers with storms affecting flights and ferry sailings.

Storms in the UK and across the continent have caused issues at a number of major airports.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Airport Authority said outbound flights early this morning were not impacted but inbound flights were “picking up delays on flights on the way back in because of the weather across Europe.”

“Passengers are advised to check in with their airlines regarding delays,” she said.

Gatwick and Heathrow Airports in London have both seen widespread disruption to inbound and outbound flights due to thunderstorms which are expected to have the same effect when the storms hit mainland Europe.

Gatwick airport said on Twitter “Adverse weather across Europe is affecting flights in and outbound from Gatwick Airport, this may result in delays and cancellations”.

The tweet directs passengers to “contact your airline for specific flight information before you travel to the airport”.

Luton Airport also tweeted that “due to thunderstorm activity across Europe this morning, air traffic control restrictions are in place and some flights may be subject to delay or cancellation”.

Stanstead is also affected and Ryanair have cancelled a number of flights due to depart from Stanstead Aiport.

A Stansted Airport spokesman said long queues shown in pictures posted on social media were caused by passengers who stayed overnight in the airport trying to re-book cancelled flights with airlines.

"There are no cancellations but there are delays because of the knock-on effect and some restrictions because of storm activity in Europe," he said.

"All the advice is, if you are due to travel today, check with your airline about your individual flight."

Irish Ferries have indicated that a number of Dublin to Holyhead sailings today have been cancelled “due to adverse weather conditions on the Irish Sea”.

Some sailings which are schedule for Sunday will also be cancelled as a result.

P&O Ferries have confirmed via their Twitter page that “traffic congestion” is causing delays to their sailings into English ports from Europe.

Travelers travelling to mainland Europe who were planning on taking the Eurotunnel train to France from Folkestone Terminal are facing delays of 90 minutes as a result of “recent extreme weather”.

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