International students returning for their Southampton studies this January are almost certain to have a much smoother flight back than any they made in December, the month the snow put travel plans across the country on hold. From iced over roads, to cancelled trains and flights, the snow had caused such a disruption that many students from overseas struggled to make it home for when expected.
With Christmas just around the corner, frustrated students in Southampton were understandably furious about the very weather conditions that are, ironically, usually hoped for during the festive period. Jessica Lynch, a Southampton student from Florence, was meant to be flying on Saturday 18th December: ‘I arrived at the check-in and nothing had been written on the board, or on the website, about the flight being cancelled. When I got to the check-in point, they told me that they could give me the money back or that I could fly the next Tuesday’.
‘When I got to the airport the next morning, they had written on the board that my flight was cancelled a second time, my parents got an e-mail informing them about this only half an hour before the flight was supposed to leave. The worst part was checking the Internet after that and finding that every flight to any place near Florence was booked. On the same day, Tuesday, my dad managed to book a flight with easyJet for Nice, but I went to a information desk and luckily managed to change my flight to the same Tuesday’.
Holly Hargreaves, a Southampton student from Guernsey, was meant to fly on Friday 17th December. She was only held up by one day, but had to get a boat at the last minute. ‘My brother, his friend and I stayed over night at my house in Southampton, got a train to Portsmouth the next morning and got the boat to Guernsey’. Holly found this ‘frustrating, as there was no snow in Southampon or Guernsey; the problem was FlyBe got their plane stuck in the snow somewhere in the North’.
Although temperatures have dropped a little between the end of December and the beginning of January, severe weather conditions are not to be expected, a sure sigh of relief for international students returning to England.