The United Kingdom has been plunged into what could be the coldest week of winter — and travelers should watch out for changes in flight schedules.
British Airways canceled more than 80 flights on Monday and Tuesday, according to Express. The airline was reacting to weather forecasts that predicted snowfall, sleet, and sustained temperatures below freezing.
Unfortunately, despite the Arctic cold, the precipitation failed to materialize — though approximately 10,000 passengers were still impacted by the disruption.
“On Sunday, due to the predicted poor weather,” the airline told Express. “We proactively made some adjustments to our short-haul schedules.”
While the cold alone isn’t a reason for airlines to cancel flights, carriers must take into consideration the additional time needed to de-ice aircraft. If even the slightest bit of frost accumulates on the wing, it can affect flight performance and safety.
Airlines and airports must also take into consideration tarmac conditions, air traffic control visibility, and the safety of ground crew — all factors that can delay or ground flights without so much as a snowflake in sight.
Air France also told travelers to be prepared for delays and cancellations.
While British Airways may have been a bit too bold, the U.K.’s Met Office is still warning of severe winter weather across the region. A warning is in place for snow and ice every day until Friday afternoon.