Holidaymakers hunker down for the night at Heathrow after torrential rain and storms across the Atlantic forced dozens of flights to be cancelled

Holidaymakers stranded at Heathrow have hunkered down for the night in the terminal after storms across the Atlantic forced dozens of flights to be cancelled.

Photos show passengers in Terminal 5 trying to get some sleep on the hard plastic chairs as many were not able to stay in the hotel opposite. 

Holidaymakers were spotted surrounded by their luggage and trollies in an otherwise deserted terminal as they settled down for the night. 

Torrential rain has been blamed a flight meltdown at Gatwick and Heathrow on Sunday into Monday that left more than 125 planes grounded. 

It came after two British Airways aircraft were struck by lightning within hours of each other.

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Stranded passengers hunker down for the night in the terminal after dozens of flights were cancelled

Holidaymakers were spotted surrounded by their luggage and trollies in an as they settled down for the night

Holidaymakers were spotted surrounded by their luggage and trollies in an as they settled down for the night

The check-in area was deserted after the desks closed this evening

The check-in area was deserted after the desks closed this evening 

Holidaymakers stuck in Terminal 5 at Heathrow this evening

Holidaymakers stuck in Terminal 5 at Heathrow this evening 

Passengers camped out on the hard plastic chairs after the check-in desks closed on Monday

Passengers camped out on the hard plastic chairs after the check-in desks closed on Monday 

Hurricane Beryl has cut a deadly and devastating path through parts of Mexico and the Caribbean, leaving at least 11 people dead and flattening entire islands before striking Texas on Monday morning. 

10,000 holidaymakers were left stranded after airlines axed flights in reaction to the weather being ‘upside down’, with British Airways scrapping 51 fights due to operate to or from Heathrow on Sunday, and a further 31 on Monday.

Several airlines also cancelled Gatwick flights. The worst affected was easyJet, with 34 flights grounded on Sunday and at least nine on Monday.

Speaking about the delays, aviation expert Julian Bray told MailOnline: ‘Hurricane Beryl – this is the big thing happening in Texas at the moment. 

‘And basically the whole weather system at the moment, as you know it’s been raining quite a lot lately. The weather is completely upside down at the moment.’

Explaining why so many planes ended up being cancelled, he added: ‘It’s like a row of dominoes. If one of the dominoes falls over, then all the other dominoes fall over, and that causes all the delays and the backups.’

Passengers were hit by a double whammy of rail delays after a signalling failure on the Thameslink line yesterday morning. 

EasyJet confirmed ‘some flights across Europe were unfortunately disrupted due to the impact of adverse weather and air traffic control delays.’

Furious travellers slammed the airlines on social media and questioned why other carriers flying the ‘same route, same day’ have not cancelled flights.

EasyJet axed flights from Lanzarote, Budapest and Venice alongside flights to Belfast and Edinburgh.

The terminal appeared deserted after the check-in desks closed

The terminal appeared deserted after the check-in desks closed 

A passenger inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow on Monday evening following flight cancellations

A passenger inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow on Monday evening following flight cancellations 

The check-in desk area appeared deserted following cancellations on Sunday and Monday

The check-in desk area appeared deserted following cancellations on Sunday and Monday 

A female passengers sites inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow on Monday evening with her luggage

A female passengers sites inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow on Monday evening with her luggage 

Passengers hunker down on the black plastic chairs inside Terminal 5

Passengers hunker down on the black plastic chairs inside Terminal 5 

Passengers were stranded due to flight delays and cancellations

Passengers were stranded due to flight delays and cancellations 

Hurricane Beryl has cut a deadly and devastating path through parts of Mexico and the Caribbean, leaving at least 11 people dead and flattening entire islands before striking Texas this morning

Hurricane Beryl has cut a deadly and devastating path through parts of Mexico and the Caribbean, leaving at least 11 people dead and flattening entire islands before striking Texas this morning

10,000 holidaymakers were left stranded after airlines axed flights in reaction to the weather being 'upside down'. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

10,000 holidaymakers were left stranded after airlines axed flights in reaction to the weather being ‘upside down’. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

Several airlines cancelled Gatwick flights. The worst affected was easyJet, with 34 flights grounded on Sunday and at least nine on Monday

Several airlines cancelled Gatwick flights. The worst affected was easyJet, with 34 flights grounded on Sunday and at least nine on Monday

EasyJet confirmed 'some flights across Europe were unfortunately disrupted due to the impact of adverse weather and air traffic control delays'. Pictured: File image

EasyJet confirmed ‘some flights across Europe were unfortunately disrupted due to the impact of adverse weather and air traffic control delays’. Pictured: File image

London 's two busiest airports went into a meltdown yesterday after easyJet grounded 32 flights at Gatwick and BA axed another 32 at Heathrow. Pictured: File image

London ‘s two busiest airports went into a meltdown yesterday after easyJet grounded 32 flights at Gatwick and BA axed another 32 at Heathrow. Pictured: File image

Furious travellers slammed the airlines on social media and questioned why other carriers flying the 'same route, same day' have not cancelled flights. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

Furious travellers slammed the airlines on social media and questioned why other carriers flying the ‘same route, same day’ have not cancelled flights. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

BA cancelled round trips to Rome alongside routes to Naples, Barcelona and Cyprus. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

BA cancelled round trips to Rome alongside routes to Naples, Barcelona and Cyprus. Pictured: Gatwick this afternoon

Passengers took to social media to slam easyJet and British Airways for the travel chaos

Passengers took to social media to slam easyJet and British Airways for the travel chaos

And BA cancelled round trips to Rome alongside routes to Naples, Barcelona and Cyprus. 

Only one flight was cancelled at Manchester and London Stansted – the country’s third and fourth largest airports. 

One person said on X: ‘@easyJet Why is the @TUIUK flight, same route, same day, not cancelled then? Baffling how easyJet alone suffers so many of these ‘beyond control’ cancellations? Could it in fact be pilot/ crew shortage per chance??’

However, easyJet told the traveller that ‘many factors come together that can lead to our flights being disrupted it’s never just one thing. If it is due to something that is outside our control or pilot/crew shortage we need to state it as such.’ 

Others revealed how their flights were cancelled as they waited at the gate to board the plane.

British Airways blamed the weather for their delays - after a night when two aircraft were struck by lightning. Pictured: A passenger shared this image, which they said was taken from the flight

British Airways blamed the weather for their delays – after a night when two aircraft were struck by lightning. Pictured: A passenger shared this image, which they said was taken from the flight

A map showed the flight's route travelling on a smooth course before suddenly circling and zigzagging away from Heathrow

A map showed the flight’s route travelling on a smooth course before suddenly circling and zigzagging away from Heathrow

Another said: ‘@easyJet absolutely terrible. Flight from Gatwick to Munich Friday 5th July cancelled after we were all at the gate. After only 1 hour delay told the crew were out of hours, really! We were left stranded. Thanks @premierinn for finding us a room. #easyJet #airline fail’.

A third person, who this time directed their anger at BA, said: ‘@British_Airways you cancelled my flight with a few hours noticed causing me to miss a job interview and more importantly my brothers birthday. 

‘You offered me a 10h Stopover flight the next day instead of my original 2hr30 flight to Heathrow. Please respond to my ticket!’

A fourth said: ‘To make us sit on a plane for 3 hours to then cancel the flight and give us zero alternatives is an absolute disgrace! Family holiday cancelled, now no doubt I will have to fight tooth and nail for my money back and compensation!’

British Airways blamed the weather for their delays – after a night when two aircraft were struck by lightning.

Both planes had to be taken out of service while the company’s staff carry out safety checks.

A spokesperson said: ‘Due to air traffic control restrictions and adverse weather, like other airlines we’ve had to make a small number of alterations to our schedule. 

‘We know this will be frustrating for our customers and our teams are working hard to get them onto alternative flights as soon as possible, with the vast majority already booked onto services that will fly later today.’ 

And a spokesperson for easyJet added: ‘easyJet operated around 1800 flights yesterday and is operating a similar number today however some flights yesterday evening and three flights from London Gatwick this morning have unfortunately been disrupted due to the knock-on impact of adverse weather yesterday and air traffic control delays.

‘While this is outside of our control, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused and are providing impacted customers with hotel accommodation and meals as well as a refund or a transfer to an alternative flight.’

And a London Gatwick spokesperson said: ‘Poor weather, including numerous thunderstorms across the UK and much of Europe, caused some delays at the airport yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 July). Flights are operating as normal this morning with no further delays.’ 

While low-budget carrier Ryanair has made no cancellations although it did apologise to customers for some delays due to ‘repeated air-traffic control staff shortages’.

It reads: ‘Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, on Mon 8 Jul apologised to its passengers for the excessive flight delays caused by European ATC staff shortages today Mon 8 Jul which are affecting all European airlines.

‘ATC services, which have had the benefit of no French ATC strike disruption this summer, continue to underperform (despite flight volumes being five per cent behind 2019 levels) with repeated ‘staff shortages’.

‘On Mon 8 Jul, 21 per cent of Ryanair’s first wave departures (134 of 579 aircraft) were delayed due to ATC ‘staff shortages’. These repeated flight delays due to ATC mismanagement are unacceptable.

‘We apologise to our passengers for these repeated ATC flight delays which are deeply regrettable but beyond Ryanair’s control.’

British Airways has been contacted for comment.

It marks yet another issue after a summer where families trying to get away for the summer have been hit by delays at airports.

In late June Heathrow was left in chaos after an IT allocation failure in British Airways’ systems left passengers stranded on planes and facing hours of delays collecting their luggage.

The UK’s busiest airport revealed passengers travelling from Terminal 5 ‘may be impacted’ by the failure in BA’s Allocation systems, adding that no other airline has been affected. 

Video from the Terminal showed massive queues of stricken travellers forming across the airport, as passengers struggled to correctly find their luggage. 

Footage from inside the transport hub showed enormous queues forming outside BA’s baggage claim area in the terminal, as well as the customer assistance desk in the arrivals’ area.

Customers unleashed their fury as they shared horror stories about trying to calm children having panic attacks and waiting for hours, with one branding the UK a ‘third world country’.

Just days later stranded holidaymakers hit out at ‘disgusting’ services after Gatwick Airport suspended all their flights. 

Passengers faced massive delays, last-minute diversions to other London airports and missed connections after a Boeing 777 British Airways flight had to make an emergency stop on the runway due to ‘having hot brakes’. 

It sparked chaos for thousands of Brits hoping to kick summer off with a holiday as any flights due to take off or land at the airport were temporarily suspended. 

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