Europe Struggles To Dig Airports Out Of Snow And Ice


London -- Increasingly desperate travelers struggled to get home Monday in time for Christmas as Europe's key airports tried to dig their way out of snow and ice.

Only one of London Heathrow's two runways was operational Monday morning, a day after almost all flights at one of the world's busiest international airports were canceled.

Hundreds of thousands of people were left stranded over the weekend, with many sleeping at the airport.

Paris' Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport is due to cancel 30% of flights Monday, as is the city's second airport, Orly, Aeroports de Paris said.

And Frankfurt airport in Germany has called off 325 flights out of a scheduled 1,300 to 1,400, spokesman Robert Payne said. Some of that is because of the weather in Germany, and some of it is because of flight disruptions at other airports, he added.

The airport, Europe's third busiest, has 450 people working "around the clock, de-icing and and removing snow," he said.

British Airways urged passengers not to go to Heathrow unless they know their flight is operating, and encouraged people who did not need to travel to cancel their flight or rebook it.

More than 200,000 passengers were due to take off from Heathrow on Sunday, said Donna O'Brien, a spokeswoman for Heathrow airport operator BAA.

Meanwhile, ground travel in France was also snarled by heavy snowfall and cold temperatures. The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Sunday that French authorities reported they are preventing all cargo trucks and buses from using roads in northern France and the greater Paris metropolitan area, and that car travel is "unadvisable." Air and rail services were also affected, the office said.

The adverse weather in France affected pop singer Lady Gaga, who said on her Facebook page that all 28 of her tour trucks had been detained by the government for more than 24 hours.