At primary school nothing excited us more than snow. Although the teacher wouldn’t let us out of class until the end of the day, we talked about it, thought about it and even planned our next hiding spot to pick off unsuspecting parents and classmates.
People are curious about snow. Who would have thought a frozen bit of water could cause so much intrigue. Some people poke their heads out of their doors just to see what is happening, others inspect the ground in their front garden and on top of their cars, while others still dig a clear path outside their driveway to minimise the risk of being sued.
Then there are those who are unable to resist the juvenile desire to form a rough sort of spherical shape and launch it at a wall, lamppost or passing pedestrian.
But today thousands of people across the UK are not so intrigued or enthusiastic about the big freeze. A White Christmas could put festivities “on ice” this year.
As flights have been cancelled right across the UK, it is important to know your rights and get the customer service you have paid for.
This scenario happened to me today. At the crack on dawn I dragged a heavy suitcase through the mushy streets of Cardiff in search of a taxi or any form of transport to get to the Airport. I checked all the updates at my departure and destination airports, both reassuring that flights were operating as per usual.
Eventually a taxi driver spotted me making deep tracks in the snow-laden pavement and took me to the airport. I wasn’t too bothered about the fare, a hefty £25, as I was sure my flight was due to board shortly. When I got to the desk, however, I was told the flight had just been cancelled.
My flight has been rescheduled for tomorrow, but I will lose out on airport transfers. Is the flight company liable to pay compensation? According to the Airport Users Traffic Council compensation is not handed out when flights are cancelled due to ‘extreme circumstances’, which includes bad weather.
Under the same act, the airline is required to refund me within seven days or offer a re-routing. But I will not qualify for compensation for hotel stays or transfer costs.
Aside from the cost of the snow to individuals, businesses will be hit as employees are stranded and shoppers postpone their big Christmas shop. It was estimated earlier this year the effects of snowy and icy conditions will cost businesses £1.2bn a day.
In the meantime as I am thinking of a plan ‘B’ – it could be a good time of year for ferry companies.
To see what areas have been affected visit the interactive UKsnow website.