News / Europe

Christmas Travelers Snowed Under in Europe

Passengers wait for their flights in a terminal after sleeping a night at the Charles-de-Gaulle Roissy airport, Paris, 24 Dec 2010
Passengers wait for their flights in a terminal after sleeping a night at the Charles-de-Gaulle Roissy airport, Paris, 24 Dec 2010
Lisa Bryant

Holiday travelers in Europe faced more misery Christmas Eve as a fresh batch of bad weather barreled into the region.

Many Europeans will wake up to snow on Christmas Day – but for those stranded in cars, train stations and airports around the region, that is not necessarily a good tiding.

As yet another wintertime storm hit Europe, Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris was forced to cancel at least one in three flights because of yet another problem – a shortage of de-icing fluid for planes.

In remarks to local radio, French Transportation Minister Thierry Mariani blamed the wave of bad weather for the shortage of the fluid – and the fact that France's only factory that manufactures it has been on strike. The factory denied responsibility.

Whatever the reason, the delays forced holiday travellers like Italian Ramona Sansotta to wait hours to catch a flight.

Sansotta said her flight to Genoa, Italy had been cancelled twice since Thursday. She had spent the night at Charles de Gaulle airport. She still hoped to get home by Christmas.

Snow and freezing rain has also disrupted road and rail travel around France, with about a fifth of French departments posting weather alerts.

French driver Nicolas told French media he has been stuck in a village in the Champagne region since Thursday with a friend because of the ice. They had hoped to spend their holiday in Alsace.

In Germany, bad weather shut down Dusseldorf's airport for part of Friday. And at Brussels Airport, Americans Richard and Kathy Boughton were crestfallen to find their flight home to Washington D.C. had been cancelled.

"We go back like every other year, and this was an important one for us to get back for family reasons," Boughton said. "Our kids are over there, all the rest of the family are there. But not us this time. Oh well. Merry Christmas. The Christmas that wasn't."

Travelers had better luck elsewhere in Europe. Flights at London's Heathrow airport were nearly back to normal after days of weather-related cancellations. And Germany's Frankfurt airport was also operating near normal.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More