News / Economy

Weather Playing Havoc with Holiday Travel

Travelers wait in line to check in as they prepare to travel to Cuba at Miami International Airport in Miami, 23 Dec 2010
Travelers wait in line to check in as they prepare to travel to Cuba at Miami International Airport in Miami, 23 Dec 2010

Multimedia

Travelers around the world are being besieged by all kinds of problems this Christmas season: snow, mudslides and even terror threats.

Snow in Western Europe has meant a beautiful white Christmas for some people, but travel delays for many others.

The main airport in Paris was running short of de-icing liquid. Many planes could not get off the ground, leaving desperate passengers stranded on the Christmas Eve.

Some unlucky travelers were still stuck at the airport on Friday morning. One Mexican woman said she had been waiting for a flight to Geneva since Thursday. She slept the night with her young child at the airport.

An Italian traveller, Ramona Sansotta, said her flight had already been cancelled twice.

"We hope to get back home before Christmas," said Sansotta.

Snow and ice also disrupted Brussels airport in Belgium.  Richard and Kathy Broughton were trying to get home to the US.

"Our kids are over there, all the rest of the family are there," said Broughton.  "But not us this time. Oh well, Merry Christmas. The Christmas that wasn't."

But snow was not bothering everyone in the world.

China's landmark national stadium in Beijing was transformed into a winter wonderland with artificial snow: more than 25,000 tons of it.

"This is the first time I have seen snow," said student Li Yanxiao.

But in the United States the weather was playing a dirty game on California. Instead of clean, white snow, people there were facing dirty mudslides.

In Highland, California, people were chased from their homes by tides of mud and water, leaving behind homes strung with holiday lights.

The tough task was to dig out vehicles stuck in the mud. Bill Peters works for the state's Forestry and Fire Protection Department.

"You've got to dig out," said Bill Peters.  "You've got to put it on a truck, you've got to dump it, you've got to come back. It becomes a 24-7 process."

Overall, millions of Americans are braving cold weather and snow and traveling 80 kilometers or more by car or by air to be with their families for Christmas.

Passengers traveling by air face a new security alert. Airport screeners are extra-focused on thermos-type insulated beverage containers.

Security agents say there is no specific terror plot, but they are concerned.

Meanwhile, those traveling by car or truck are paying more for gas, 75 cents a liter ($3 a gallon). The national average has never been that high at Christmas-time.

Still, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 9 out of 10 Americans will travel by car and almost three million will fly.

"During challenging economic times there is a battle between the heartstrings and the purse strings when it comes to time to visit family and friends during the holidays and usually the heartstrings will win out," said Troy Green of AAA.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7756
JPY
USD
108.49
GBP
USD
0.6096
CAD
USD
1.1002
INR
USD
60.951

Rates may not be current.