For once, winter weather snafus not Toronto’s fault (but Torontonians still getting screwed)

For once, winter weather snafus not Toronto’s fault (but Torontonians still getting screwed)

"Heathrow is a war zone," reports David Armano, the photographer

Call in the army to clear snow just once, and a city’s reputation for being winter-competent is ruined forever. Between the mess in Sarnia (where someone actually died of exposure) and the unfolding mess in London, Toronto can, at least for now, hold its head high and be proud that we’ve handled our snow pretty well so far.  According to the CBC, among many others, air travel throughout Europe is being disrupted because the snowfall at London’s Heathrow airport has been thick enough to choke traffic. Lineups at Pearson are bad and getting worse.

Almost 70 flights have been cancelled from the Toronto airport over the past day and a half, including an 8:15 a.m. ET Air Canada flight to London’s Heathrow Airport.

Many more flights from Ottawa and Montreal have also been delayed.

Shamila Arshad has been waiting to get on a flight to Saudi Arabia via England for three days. Her visa expires tomorrow, so she’s hoping that she’ll get on a flight in Toronto today.

“I’m really frustrated. I’m so tired as well,” she told CBC News. “Hopefully it’s going to work out today.”

It’s not just Heathrow; airports across northern Europe are operating at lower capacity, but Heathrow is a hub for so many trips around Europe and the Middle East that a service knockout there sets dominoes falling across the Atlantic. Cue memories of Eyjafjallajökull.

Of course, eventually Toronto will get a serious blast of winter weather, and then it will be Europe’s turn to whale on us. But at least whatever name we give it, people will be able to pronounce the cause of our flight delays.

• Toronto airport hit by Europe weather woes [CBC News]

• Anger rises over European travel chaos [Toronto Star]