Norfolk family almost misses out on dream holiday

A family from Norfolk who missed out on their dream holiday because of the snow has had their trip reorganised in time to celebrate the festive season.

Peter Simpson, 61, from Horsford, planned to take his family to Lapland but due to last week's severe weather and incorrect information from the airline, they missed their flights.

The holiday was arranged after Mr Simpson suffered a heart attack earlier this year.

He planned to take himself, his wife Margaret, daughters Helen Dent and Kerri Mitchell and Mrs Mitchell's two children Jade and Calum.

Mrs Mitchell said: 'We'd discussed it previous years. He decided it was a bit of a shock, and he had some retirement money so he thought he'd spend the last of it while he could enjoy it.'

The family travelled overnight by taxi to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday, December 1, to catch a 6.15am flight but at 2.30am came to a standstill on the M25. They eventually arrived at Gatwick at 8am after waiting three and a half hours in traffic.

'We arrived to total chaos,' said Mrs Mitchell.

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'We were told all were flights cancelled until 1pm, followed shortly by another announcement that no flights would be leaving until at least 6am Thursday morning.

'We were advised to leave the airport by easyJet staff, which we did with two very upset and tired children.'

While they travelled back to Norwich, Mrs Mitchell contacted the tour operator who advised the family they should not have left the airport as the flight had been rescheduled to leave Luton Airport at 4pm.

'By this time there was no chance of us making the flight and I was told it was our fault for leaving the airport when we should not have done,' said Mrs Mitchell.

On their arrival back to Norwich, Mrs Mitchell contacted the tour operator who thankfully agreed that because they were wrongly informed by airport staff, they would reschedule their holiday at no extra cost and the family are due to fly out today.

'We're a bit nervous about the weather but we are keeping their fingers crossed that we will not see any more large amounts of snow until we reach Lapland,' said Mrs Mitchell.

Have you got a seasonal story to tell? Contact Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 772438 or email