ICE + FIRE = CHAOS

Tour agencies in S'pore ready to help customers

Britain experienced its heaviest snowfall in four years, and more than 300 flights were cancelled in Germany's busiest airport in Frankfurt, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.
Britain experienced its heaviest snowfall in four years, and more than 300 flights were cancelled in Germany's busiest airport in Frankfurt, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. PHOTO: AFP

Tour agencies in Singapore are on the alert and monitoring the situation in Europe following the heavy snowfall on Sunday.

Britain experienced its heaviest snowfall in four years, and more than 300 flights were cancelled in Germany's busiest airport in Frankfurt, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

Dynasty Travel's director of marketing communications Alicia Seah said the agency has been monitoring and getting updates from its tour managers on the ground.

"We understand some itineraries have already been changed, as the weather conditions have impacted the situation on the roads. For example, certain places can't be visited because of the snow."

Ms Seah said that over this week and next, the agency will have about 700 customers in Europe.

"If flights are affected, we will take care of our customers and provide them with assistance."

Ms Jane Chang, head of marketing and communications for Chan Brothers, said that necessary flight adjustments have been made for the few affected groups on tour. "As of now, they have been put on alternative flights back to Singapore and will be returning over the next few days."

Ms Stella Chow, senior manager for advertising and marketing at Hong Thai Travel, said heavy snowfall is a common situation the agency has to be prepared for. "Last year, we had this in Hokkaido and Harbin. When there is heavy snow, airports and roads will be affected. We always have to be careful and on standby to respond."

Some Singaporeans caught in the storms have had to scramble to change their plans.

Art director Farhan Hassan, in Britain for his honeymoon, said his train from Liverpool to London on Sunday was cancelled due to the weather situation. "We arrived early so we could take the first train to Euston and we saw on the board that our train got cancelled," said the 35-year-old, adding that he and his wife were forced to squeeze onto an earlier train as a result.

Postgraduate student Mel Hua, 24, said: "My boyfriend, who has been studying here (London) for four years, said it was the heaviest snow he'd seen in his time here. My roommate's friends' flight out of London was cancelled due to the weather, so they came to our flat."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Tour agencies in S'pore ready to help customers'. Print Edition | Subscribe