LONDON — Stranded travelers slept on makeshift beds at European airports yesterday as wintry weather caused travel havoc, dashing the hopes of those attempting to head away for the holidays by road, rail, and air.
It is almost inevitable that some cancellations and delays will continue through this week, causing further disruption for Christmas travelers, British travel industry group ABTA said.
Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest air hub, stopped accepting arrivals yesterday at the start of the Christmas travel rush.
“The domino effect of disruption to services could continue for some days to come,’’ Heathrow spokesman Andrew Teacher said.
Icy conditions curtailed Europe’s high-speed train services, left cars skidding through slushy streets, and saw major events postponed — including shows and sporting events.
In Paris, a Lady Gaga concert was canceled because trucks delivering sets for the pop diva’s event couldn’t get to the stadium. The show was expected to be rescheduled for tomorrow.
About 40 percent of flights were canceled at Frankfurt airport and at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle.
Passengers slept in makeshift dormitories at the Paris airport and at Amsterdam’s Schiphol, while staff at Heathrow Airport in London and Gatwick Airport farther south handed out foam mats and foil blankets.
Britain’s national weather forecaster, the Met Office, said the nation has experienced the heaviest snowfalls in December in decades and is on course for record low temperatures.