British Airways flights face disruption today following the coldest night of the winter with temperatures plummeting to -13C in some parts of the country.

Freezing temperatures continued after snow and ice caused travel chaos and closed hundreds of schools in much of the UK on Wednesday.

Manchester and Liverpool airports closed runways yesterday morning but re-opened them later in the day. Freezing fog was affecting Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester airports this morning.

BA warned: “We are expecting adverse weather conditions across parts of south east England on Thursday, which is likely to affect some of our short-haul flights.

“We recognise the uncertainty that the bad weather may be causing customers, and have therefore introduced flexible rebooking options for all customers on short-haul flights flying to/from London Heathrow.”

The airline urged passengers to keep checking the latest information about their flights before travelling to the airport as the situation could change at short notice.

“If you are due to travel on a short-haul service on Thursday, regardless of whether your flight is currently showing as operating or not, you can rebook to travel up to and including Wednesday 6 February,” BA added.

“We are sorry for the potential disruption to your travel plans and are doing all we can to minimise the effect the poor weather may have on our flights.”

Flybe also called on travellers to regularly check the status of their flights..

The regional carrier said: “Flybe, like every airline, has minimum acceptable weather conditions in which we can safely operate.

“Please be assured that we will be doing our best to operate our services as normal, taking into consideration any adverse weather conditions.

“We would apologise in advance if your flight has been cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions and you have the following options.

“We will rebook your travel on an alternative flight at the earliest available opportunity. Alternatively, you may obtain a refund for any parts of your journey not taken.”

Access to Stansted was restricted early this morning with multiple Stansted Express trains cancelled or delayed following damage to overhead electric wires.

Meanwhile, many flights using Chicago O’Hare airport – one of America’s largest hubs – have been grounded as the US Midwest struggles under a deadly polar vortex.

The arctic weather conditions, leading to temperatures falling to -30C in Chicago, have lead to at least seven deaths across several states.

United Airlines schedule from O’Hare has been “significantly reduced” from Tuesday through until Friday with passengers urged to check their flight status before travelling to the airport.

“Safety is our top priority, and we are continuing to take every possible precaution to ensure our employees are safe while working in these extreme and severe conditions,” the airline said.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued an updated travel advisory warning of flight delays and cancellations.

“A severe winter storm is affecting several states within the US Midwest region, including Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin,” the FCO said.

“Hazardous weather conditions have led to power outages and travel disruption in some areas, including delays and cancellations to flights.

“Schools, businesses and government agencies have also announced closures in multiple states.

“Road conditions may become hazardous, and you should consult the relevant authority for the state(s) you are travelling through before departing.

“If you’re in an affected area or due to travel, you should monitor local media, follow the advice of the local authorities and check with your airline or transport provider before travelling.”