Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow and Pandemonium

These pictures are from Heathrow on Monday morning, 20 December after a light dusting of snow paralyzed flights on Friday night and Saturday morning. Though most people were cheerful in a "what can you do about it" way; there was also anger, frustration, and tears of desperation as people struggled to gain some modicum of control over their fate.

I understand that there are times when events are beyond reasonable control. But this was just a little snow. I can even understand that Heathrow and the airlines had not planned properly for unexpected cold weather. What I can not understand is the breathtaking incompetence that has left thousands upon thousands of travelers without any kind of information.

The British Air website was inaccessible until earlier today. The phone lines were so jammed that when she got through on her 41st call, my daughter was actually told by an automated attendant that the hold time would be 594 minutes. (That's 10 hours). How has this once great airline fallen so far that they are reduced to having mumbling women, with bull-horns that don't work, walk through a crowd of people telling them that their best option is to somehow get to customer service desk (an obviously hopeless task). I think it may be time to consider reducing Heathrow and British-air to third-world status. I would expect this kind of treatment in Central America.


  1. The UK is traditionally ALWAYS taken by surprise by snow and ice. We never prepare for it; we're British!

  2. "after a light dusting of snow"

    I think you're being a bit unfair. We haven't seen conditions like this in decades.