Once again it has snowed in England and once again there is a certain amount of chaos for airline passengers, thanks to the airports mainly being at capacity.

News reports have been showing throngs of passengers delayed at London Heathrow Airport thanks to the weather. This is not going to get better anytime in the foreseeable future either.

Airports Are Full

Some of the airports are running at capacity most of the time and this includes London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Both airports have done an excellent job in using all the runway capacity they can to maximise flight movements.

The only problem is that when adverse weather hits, flights are delayed or cancelled as there is no wiggle room to cope with the issues. Each year thousands of passengers are impacted by this.

New Runways Will Come… One Day

At last look, a third runway for London Heathrow has been approved, but so what? It is many years away at this point and once it opens, new slots will be allocated to airlines wanting to add more flights and the airport will be instantly full once again.

It would probably make more sense to build two new runways but only allocate take off and landing slots for the equivalent of one runway, meaning there is spare capacity to cope with vagaries of weather. I can’t see this happening though.

Passengers Just Need To Deal With It

Anyone flying during the winter months in Europe generally expect there to be issues. Many of the countries don’t deal very well with snow as they get it fairly infrequently. This leads to delays and cancellations throughout the region.

I have had flights cancelled before, or delayed several hours due to weather and there’s not much else to do but sit and hope you will get a flight out. This is the winter reality for many people.

Overall Thoughts

Airports in England will continue to experience delays during weather events. While it has been recognised that there is a need for more capacity at the main airports, this is not going to arrive for a very long time.

In the mean time, passengers should bone up on their rights to ensure they are getting all compensation due to them under the regulations that apply.

Have you been delayed due to snow? How was that for you? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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London Heathrow image by Konstantin Von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons.