Monday, 29 October 2012

Misery for UK travellers (Photos)

Misery for UK travellers as 'Frankenstorm' Sandy grows to 1,000 miles wide, closing airports and turning New York into a ghost town

BA and Virgin Atlantic cancel all flights from London to East Coast states today - affecting those on half-term holiday

Up to 2,500 holidaymakers could be left stranded in New York City as state and many other areas come to standstill
More than 7,000 flights cancelled globally as Philadelphia and Newark airports each have more than 1,200 cancellations

Hurricane Sandy could be the largest storm to ever hit US and 65 people have been reported dead across Caribbean

Thousands of Britons were today stranded in America as the biggest storm in US history threatened to wipe out vast swathes of the country’s East Coast.

Hurricane Sandy is set to affect up to 50 million people, forcing the shutdown of transport networks, schools and financial markets in New York City and beyond, sending coastal residents fleeing for higher ground, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, heavy rain and a surging 11ft wall of water.

The hurricane has now grown to 1,000 miles wide and is increasing in speed as it hurtles towards New Jersey where it is expected to make landfall later today. New York is due to feel the effects from 2pm local time (6pm GMT). The storm will peak tonight and then subside in the early hours of the morning.

Dozens of flights to and from East Coast states in the US have already been cancelled. Britons could be left in the U.S. for days as flights back to London and Manchester have been cancelled and those with trips booked during the half-term school holidays are being told they cannot fly to US destinations.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have cancelled all of their flights between London Heathrow and the East Coast including New York, Baltimore, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia. Vincent McAviney, 24, from London, was due to be travelling to Washington but his flight was cancelled.

It comes as nearly 7,500 flights have been canceled globally according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware as tens of thousands of stranded passengers wait out the storm.

The massive storm threatens to bring a near halt to air travel for at least two days in a key region for both domestic and international flights.

Both Philadelphia International Airport and Newark International Airport, a hub for United Airlines, each had more than 1,200 cancellations over the course of yesterday and today.

Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities such as San Francisco to Chicago, and disruptions spread to Europe and Asia, where airlines canceled or delayed flights to New York and Washington from cities that are major travel hubs including Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Travelers such as businessman Alan Shrem, who was trying to return home to Boca Raton, Florida after attending trade fairs in Hong Kong and China's Guangzhou, were facing long waits for a new flight.

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