Airports 'like third world country'

Irate holidaymakers left stranded by Arctic conditions that brought airports to a halt likened conditions to those of a "third-world country".

And there will be no respite for passengers today, with bosses at Heathrow warning of further disruption.

Trevor Taylor, 37, was among those camping out at the UK's busiest aiport yesterday, having waited with his wife and two sons for a flight to Singapore for two days, and said there was "absolute mayhem" at Terminal 5 and it was like a "third world country".

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"There are kids that haven't been fed, there are elderly people in wheelchairs getting cold. It's 'everyone fend for yourself'," he added. "Frustration is building up. I've been sleeping on a knobbly marble floor and every space you can see is taken."

Elizabeth Herridge said she was told her KLM flight from Heathrow to Amsterdam was going ahead as expected this morning but was turned away from Terminal 4 when she arrived.

The communications worker, who was hoping to get away for Christmas, said: "I received a text alert from Heathrow at 5.30am this morning saying my 8.40am flight was running on time. I didn't ignore it and turned up first thing, but I was greeted by a member of staff at the terminal doors asking why I was here as there were no flights coming in or out and to go home.

"There seems to be a lot of confusion and I have only seen one Heathrow worker. All the airline desks are shut because it is a

Sunday – it's absolutely ridiculous."

In Yorkshire, residents battled treacherous conditions on the roads and floods from bursting pipes, but escaped the worst of the blizzards that paralysed other parts of the country.

Over the weekend, temperatures in the region fell to -10C with some snow, particularly around the Scarborough area. Temperatures hovered around -2C yesterday.

Much of the worst weather in the region was on the coast, leading to warnings by North Yorkshire Police to use extreme caution on the roads encrusted with black ice. Advice to motorists includes packing a shovel, food, and mobile phone and wearing warm clothing in case they get stuck.

Yorkshire Water has issued advice to customers after reporting a huge surge in customer calls for advice about frozen pipes, which also led to some flooding.

In 24 hours from Saturday morning it received some 700 calls – a two-fold increase on normal levels, with customers in West Yorkshire worst affected.

The company doubled its call centre staff and assembled a team of volunteers to supply bottled water to vulnerable customers.

Humberside fire service said it had dealt with at least two significant incidents involving flooding over the weekend. Haycroft Avenue, Grimsby was flooded yesterday by a burst water pipe.

In South Sea Road, Flamborough, on Saturday the fire service was called to flooding inside a farm house.

Although airports remained open passengers were warned flights may be affected by disruption at other airports.

At Humberside Airport, Dutch airline KLM would only take passengers terminating their journey at Amsterdam owing to the number of passengers stuck at Schiphol waiting for connecting flights.

Robin Hood Airport reported three flights cancelled yesterday owing to weather problems at other airports. Leeds Bradford warned of the risk of similar disruption.

The big chill is forecast to continue until around Wednesday.

Royal Mail is to provide 14,000 extra evening deliveries to two million homes this week as part of 20m campaign against the cold snap.