Scottish airport closures cause chaos for customers


THOUSANDS of people were grounded at Scottish airports yesterday (Sunday) after snow closed runways at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Glasgow and Aberdeen were both closed for a number of hours while the runways were cleared of snow.

Although they were reopened at 3pm and 2pm respectively thousands of passengers journeys were disrupted or cancelled as a result.

On the east coast where the weather has been more severe, Edinburgh airport remained closed into the evening.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport said: “The airport was closed between 12 and 3 this afternoon.  Usually we clear at half hour intervals but the snow was just too heavy and constant for this to be enough.

“The runway is now open again and it is up to the individual airlines to organise passenger journeys.”

He added: “This is something we prepare for.  The ploughs have been working since one o’clock this morning.”

Aberdeen airport was closed for 2 periods yesterday.  It normally opens in time for the first flight at 6.10am but runways were not operational until 8am.

The constant flurry of snow then forced the airport to stop flights at 11.40am until 1.55pm.

A spokesperson for Aberdeen airport said: “Going by the weather at the moment Aberdeen should remain open for the rest of today.

“There have been cancellations but the airlines are dealing with customer journeys.”

He added: “The real issue for us is that the snow has been so heavy and constant.  It’s just the shear volume of show.

“It’s just too much snow.  In 20 years of this job I’ve never seen so much snow.  Last year we had a lot but that was over three weeks, this year it’s more like three days.”

A 25-year-old passenger travelling from London to Glasgow who wished to remain anonymous said: “It’s ridiculous.  I can’t believe it.”

This lady was due to fly with British Airways yesterday and return to work today after a three day break in Glasgow with her mother.

“There are about 100 people here who are supposed to be travelling to London but our flight has been cancelled and we are being offered no accommodation and no meal vouchers.

“I won’t get back down tonight.  BA have said they will book us on the next available flight which looks like tomorrow (Monday).

“My mum is flying to Stornoway and she’s already through the gates.  I don’t know if she’s going to be able to fly, the flight time keeps being pushed back.

“One lady has a later connection to Singapore and she went to ask if she would be given priority because she had to get a connecting flight.  She got a rude response from staff who said there was no priority because all flights were cancelled.”

This particular BA customer was able to re-book her trip to London online for Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson for BA said: “We are trying to get as many passengers away as we can.  We have had to cancel some flights.

“We have been providing hotel accommodation for some but not all.  It depends on personal circumstances and each case will be assessed on an individual basis.”