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Wednesday
Dec222010

European Travel Turmoil Easing But Cancellations Persist

Photo Courtesy - Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Europe's Christmas travel chaos is finally starting to ease after freezing temperatures and heavy snow closed airports and stranded thousands, but it's still far from smooth sailing for many weary travelers.

Traveler David Sorrell, at London's Heathrow Airport, described the scene as "atrocious."  He said people were intoxicated, sleeping on the floor, and shouting.

"It's like a refugee camp," Sorrell added.
 
Both runways are now open at Heathrow, and the airport is slowly chipping away at the large backlog of passengers.  But as airport commercial director John Holland-Kaye said, some problems, such as planes and crews being out of place, persist.

"We've been working hard with the airlines to have a limited schedule," Holland-Kaye said.  "So we have reduced the number of flights at the moment for each airline by a third and that's the first time that's ever been done by any airport in the world."

Conditions similar to those at Heathrow can be found elsewhere in Europe, where things are improving but places like Frankfurt, Germany and Paris, France still anticipate a few flight cancellations.

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