Code Red snow alert leaves airline passengers stranded

Snow at Schiphol Airport, 10 Dec 2017
Snow at Schiphol Airport, 10 Dec 2017Photo: @Schiphol / Twitter

Update, 15:45 on 11 December 2017: One third of all flights were cancelled at Schiphol Airport due to the poor weather, the airport confirmed after 3:30 p.m. on Monday. "Due to extreme snow conditions, runway capacity is very limited," a spokesperson added on Twitter.

Meteorological institute KMNI issued a code red alert warning of extremely dangerous weather due to heavy snowfall in the Netherlands. The snow already resulted in the cancellation and delays of many flights at the Dutch airports. Passengers are advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport, and take extra travel time to the airport into account.

KMNI warns that some places may see up to 15 centimeters of snow today. "Great danger of problems and injury due to slippery roads. Major risks for road users. Risk of large-scale disruption to public transport. Do not travel unless strictly necessary. Follow weather reports and warnings." the institute writes. 

"Due to expected snowfall many flights are canceled by the airlines", Schiphol warned on Twitter. "Before they make their way to Schiphol, travelers are advised to consult the latest status of their flight via the Schiphol website, Schiphol App, or to contact their airline." The airport's website already shows dozens of delayed and canceled flights. KLM alone canceled nearly 300 flights for today.

Rotterdam/The Hague airport currently lists five canceled arrivals, and two departures canceled for today and one tomorrow. "Due to the weather conditions, we expect possible delays and cancelations", the airport's website reads. "Also we would like to ask you take some extra time to travel to the airport. We advise you to check the actual flight information on our website frequently and to contact your airline."

Eindhoven Airport posted a similar warning on its website. The airport currently lists five canceled arrivals and two delays. A Ryanair flight from Prague and a Wizz Air flight from Warsaw were both diverted to Cologne, Germany. 

Maastricht Aachen Airport reports two arrival delays and one departure delay.

Belgium is also struggling under the snowy weather. Brussels Airport notified travelers not to come to the airport until further notice. "Brussels Airport advises passengers against coming to the airport today. Because of the adverse weather, numerous flights had to be canceled. Regularly check the status of your flight to see whether it will actually depart in the course of Monday 11 December and contact your airline for further information. If your flight was canceled, there is no point in coming to the airport. In that case you should contact your airline."

Rijkswaterstaat issued a renewed warning for motorists to stay off the roads today. NS advised travelers to go home as early as possible.