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‘Beast from the East’ fallout causing travel havoc

Hundreds of trains and dozens of flights have been cancelled as the Met Office predicts up to 20cm of snow in some parts of eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

‘Beast from the East’ fallout causing travel havoc

Flights and trains across the UK have been cancelled or disrupted and the Met Office has issued a red weather warning as ‘Beast from the East’ grips Britain.

Commuters are being warned to expect long delays and cancellations on trains, planes and buses. Police are urging motorists to avoid driving if possible because of the hazardous conditions.

The advice comes as the Met Office issues a red warning, the highest level of warning. It means there is a likely risk to life and widespread damage, with up to 40cm of snow for parts of Scotland and temperatures below -10°C.

An amber warning – meaning potential risk to life and property – is in place between 6am on Wednesday and 6pm on Thursday for much of England and Scotland while a yellow warning covers most of the UK.

Trains and planes

Rail passengers across the UK are being told to expect long delays and cancellations as 17 operators reported disruptions due to the storm.

With services quickly changing, National Rail is urging travelers to check travel routes constantly before going on a journey in case any reduced or altered service is running.

National Rail has updated travel information on its website.

TfL Rail and London Overground were partly suspended on Tuesday due to ice and snow conditions. Transport for London is advising people to check its website for updates.

Tickets are being mutually accepted between Greater Anglia, London Overground, TfL Rail, c2c and Great Northern services.


Meanwhile, British Airways has cancelled more than 50 short-haul flights in anticipation of the storm and Heathrow Airport is advising passengers to allow extra time when travelling to the airport and to check their flight status with their airline.

Newcastle Airport also suffered delays and cancellations, while Glasgow Airport was forced to suspend all flights.

Flight passengers are being urged to check with their airlines before they set off for the airport in case their journey has changed.

Your rights if your train or plane journey was cancelled

If your journey was cancelled or disrupted due to the ‘Beast from the East’, you might be entitled to compensation.

But your rights are different, depending on whether it was a train or plane.


Under the Delay Repay system, passengers are able to claim for compensation even if the company was not responsible for the delay, because of bad weather or a signalling failure, for example.

Passengers are entitled to compensation each time for any delay of 30 minutes or more. Some train companies such as Southern, Great Northern and South Western Railway offer compensation each time for any delay of 15 minutes or more.

For most train companies, single and return ticket holders currently need to submit claims for compensation for delays on specific trains, rather than receive an automatic discount at renewal.

Use our guide on how to claim for Delay Repay.

If your train is cancelled, you might be able to use your ticket to get onto another train or if you decide not to travel you should be able to get a full refund.


Your airline should let you know if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

When flights are delayed under Denied Boarding Regulations (EU 261), airline passengers are entitled to:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails
  • free meals and refreshments for delays more than two hours
  • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required

If a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than five hours and a passenger decides not to travel, they should be offered an alternative flight or a full refund.

Unfortunately, bad weather doesn’t entitle you to additional compensation because it’s out of the airline’s control. However, you might be able to make a claim through your travel insurance.

Skyscanner has created an arrivals and departures board, updated in real time, so passengers can check the status of their flight.

Read our guide on what you can claim for if your flight is cancelled.

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