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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.