High winds battered Britain and western France Monday, wreaking havoc with flight schedules, ferry transport across the English Channel and closing the Port of Dover.
Passengers reported frightening attempts to land at London’s airports in extreme high winds as Storm Katie caused some 130 flights at Gatwick and Heathrow airports to be diverted or canceled.
Dan Prance told Britain’s Press Association that passengers on his flight from Budapest to Gatwick were so terrified that many burst into tears with relief when they finally touched down after being diverted to Birmingham.
“You could see from the windows there was a massive storm happening outside, the wind and rain was smashing against the glass,” he said. “We got closer to the ground at Gatwick until the captain suddenly aborted the landing and we went shooting back up into the sky to attempt again.”
Gatwick also reported some disruption on the road leading to the North Terminal and both airports advised passengers to check the status of their flights before traveling to the airport.
The Port of Dover was closed by the winds and rough seas Monday morning and ferry services linking France and Britain were suspended. The port has since reopened but ferry companies are reporting delays as vessels are slowed by heavy weather.