HeathROW, London: Staff armed with loud hailers, ordered travellers to leave the airport and go home or else to a hotel. One woman shouted back: "We have nowhere to go." Emotions ran high with some people, desperate to be home for Christmas, leaving the HeathROW terminal in tears.
HeathROW, Gatwick and Stansted were closed, leaving thousands and thousands of passengers stranded on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year, just before Christmas.
In contrast in Sweden, Stockholm airport, where more than a foot of snow fell, remained open with the only cancellations those flying to the United Kingdom.
In Sweden there was some bemusement that the UK had ground to a halt, with the leading news item on Sweden's main broadsheet newspaper reporting on the shutdown at London's airports. At Stockholm's Arlanda airport, its three runways can be cleared in six to 10 minutes - making it the fastest snow-clearing airport in the world.
One traveller noted;
- "This whole mess is just a symptom; so much to say about the UK and the indigenous people. I come from the UK and have had the privilege of living and working in a variety of countries and broadening my knowledge and perceptions."
"Within the spectrum of human behaviours there has always been laziness, barely doing the minimum necessary and sloping off. This is particularly noticeable in the UK and, relative to other places I have lived, a source of warped pride and amusement."
"We have now, following years of political correctness where the demand for standards and self reliance is "not nice" or "not fair", allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum."
"So if we complain or make valid points about the situation we are accused of bigotry and much worse."
"I understand however that the UK is leading the world in post natal support for 14 year olds and clean up of projectile vomit in city centres."
This is a report from one traveller who was there;
- "It was terrible. Whether it was incompetence that meant the runways couldn't operate is difficult to say but.....passengers were treated with contempt - no information or communication from anyone on high within BAA or the airlines. It was the T3 Mushroom Club, kept in the dark and fed bullsh*t. You will be flying, you will be flying, you will be flying - then at 8pm, all flights cancelled and sod you."
"Credit where's it's due however, as we all settled down to a comfortable night on the soft & downy floors of T3, the BAA staff went into overdrive, distributing blankets, water, bacofoil etc and doing whatever they could to make people more comfortable, despite many of the passengers acting like animals and grabbing stuff that was destined for the elderly and children - these individual members of staff deserve high praise, while the managers should get the brickbats. Third world it certainly was - but without the heat!"
Some advice for future travelling planners;
 Where possible, always avoid BrishitAirwheeze; they are champions of non/dis/information & baggage loss and NEVER compensate if they can just sweep you under the tarmac.
 Try to avoid BloodyAwfulAirports; Heathrow should be progressively reduced, not expanded; provincial airports should be upgraded.