Thousands Stuck at Iceland Airport - Including Damian Lewis

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  • Thousands of people were stranded at Keflavík International Airport in Iceland due to bad weather.
  • Travelers describe ‘otherworldly’ conditions, lack of food and water and no way to reach hotels.
  • Caroline Rose, who finally returned to DC, also spotted actor Damian Lewis among the crowd.

Thousands of people were stranded at Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport due to bad weather – and they took to social media to mourn, sharing photos of the airport’s “otherworldly” conditions during December’s peak holiday season.

Caroline Rose, a 26-year-old researcher at the New Lines Institute, a Washington-based think tank, shared a few photos on Twitter, including a selfie with 51-year-old “Billions” actor Damian Lewis.

Per Twitter DM, Rose described the experience as a “total nightmare” for Insider and said she asked Lewis, who appeared to be expecting with her children, for a photo – “I thought I’d ask for a selfie to have some kind of positive memory of the night ” Rose explained. “He was incredibly kind!” Lewis’ representatives did not immediately respond to the Insider’s request for comment.

Rose, who flew from Heathrow to Keflavík on Saturday, described her flight being delayed “every several minutes or so, citing extreme weather conditions on the ground”, but, after calling Icelandair to make “alternative arrangements”, she told Insider that he was instructed to stay on the flight, which ended up leaving London and landing in Keflavik.

Rose described other travelers arriving in Keflavík late Saturday night to find “otherworldly” conditions, saying “all the restaurants have closed and the vending machines have been virtually looted”.

“Many of us were starving and had to look for whatever food we could find after the airline just gave us granola bars to munch on while we waited on the tarmac,” Rose said, alluding to a two-hour delay she experienced waiting in the queue. track. to disembark.

As the number of stranded travelers increased, available hotel accommodations dwindled rapidly.

One TikToker, who said in a Dec. 21 TikTok that he landed in Iceland for a one-hour layover and had since been stranded for four days, described commuters “swarming” to find hotels at the same time. According to NBC Newsmany nearby hotels were already fully booked for the weekend.

While airlines like Icelandair and easyJet offered passengers hotel accommodations and refunds, even those lucky enough to book hotel stays didn’t necessarily make it to the beds they paid to sleep in. Rose, who said she booked a hotel room while still on the track, was one of them. such traveller.

“There were no taxis or buses that could take us to nearby hotels or into Reykjavik,” she explained, “so I had to shoulder the cost of my hotel reservation for the night (they wouldn’t refund) and sleep on the airport floor throughout. with hundreds of others.”

Rose shared photos of travelers camped out in the cold airport.

Caroline Rose via Twitter

Travelers trying to pick up visitors from the airport also shared failed attempts at the “dangerous danger” to rescue airport visitors on Dec. 19, including a woman whose mother ended up being escorted away by a “mountain rescuer”.

Rose described travelers sleeping on their check-in luggage belt and on top of luggage, as well as those setting up “camp-like circles” with strangers on the floor to share whatever snacks they had with them.

“It was heartbreaking to see the parents trying to put the kids to sleep,” said Rose. “The airport was very cold.”

Around midnight, as rebookings began to hit passenger accounts, Rose described routes that were frustratingly tricky or impossible – she recalled a traveler being put on a Thursday flight (it was, then, Sunday morning). and another who would need to fly back to London and change airports during an hour layover.

“I had to fly to Amsterdam, where I transferred in less than 15 minutes to my flight back to DC,” said Rose, who is now finally back in Washington. “I did it for the skin on my teeth.” Unfortunately, Icleandair lost her checked bag, she said.

A crucial 30-mile highway linking Keflavík to Reykjavík was cleared of snow on Tuesday, and flights out of the airport resumed, albeit with delays. according to a statement from Icelandair🇧🇷

“Our team worked tirelessly overnight to rebook passengers on new flights and will continue to do so today,” he said. Icelandair said in an update on Wednesday morning🇧🇷 “It’s our top priority to get passengers where they need to be before Christmas.”

But passengers remain frustrated with the experience and the way airlines have handled the chaos.

Ryan Stevens, another traveler from London, lost 1,500 euros after paying for three nights in a hotel and two additional flights booked, according to a report by Rebecca Cohen of Insider, with no information about the reimbursement.

“I’m lucky I didn’t go to the airport. I’m not stuck there. But I don’t know what to do,” Stevens previously told Insider. “Nobody can blame the airlines for the cancellations, but the aftercare after such an event needs to be better managed. I’m stuck. No idea what the next step is. No support at all.”

Rose felt the same.

“I have a hard time understanding why Icelandair irresponsibly decided (and continued to) send passengers to Keflavík when they knew full well that the weather conditions were so dangerous and would prevent people from accessing a warm place to sleep, food and water. ,” she said.

Icleandair did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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