Workers at Britain’s airports are under “huge pressure” with tens of thousands of Christmas travellers stranded by severe fog.
All airlines have grounded planes today due to the weather conditions, with British Airways calling off every domestic flight from Heathrow.
This has led to chaos at airports with thousands of passengers and their Christmas shopping unable to board planes.
With the system already stretched by heightened security measures, staff are being put under immense strain, according to unions.
Airports have had to set up marquees, put on extra staff and keep facilities open longer than usual.
“There is huge pressure for staff to deliver,” said a spokeswoman for the Transport & General Workers Union.
“Workers from airline staff to cleaners and caterers are having to put in longer hours and work much harder. They are committed to doing so and it just shows what an important job they do.”
Unions have met with airport operator BAA to discuss the extra shifts, and workers will be rewarded with overtime pay, time in lieu or other arrangements.
Weather forecasters have predicted that the fog could last until the weekend, causing Christmas misery for thousands of people.
Air traffic controllers have increased the time gap needed between planes due to the low visibility, causing delays and cancellations.